- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 12, 2002

If nothing else, the Washington Capitals have enjoyed stability in management. Ron Wilson was their fourth coach since 1982; by contrast, the Philadelphia Flyers had eight through the 1990s and are searching for a ninth. But now Washington has joined the New York Rangers and Anaheim Mighty Ducks in the manpower hunt.
Caps general manager George McPhee said he has "someone in mind," a somewhat curious statement at this stage. If McPhee's wish list is down to one and he hasn't acted, that might mean his target is an assistant with a club in the playoffs and is therefore untouchable.
Another possibility, taking the wording of McPhee's statement into account, is that he has spoken to the person he would like to hire but that person has put him on hold. That could mean the target is looking elsewhere himself and Washington would be his second choice.
There are two qualifications the new coach should have. One, he has to be offensive-minded, able to open up an attack that includes two of the most explosive forces in the game today, Jaromir Jagr and Peter Bondra. Two, he has to be able to command respect and get results without being a tyrant.
Here are some people McPhee might have under consideration, listed in no particular order:
Glen Hanlon, coach, Portland Pirates: A former NHL goalie, he has done well coaching and teaching with the Caps' top farm team and has a reasonable approach to running a dressing room. He is a friend of McPhee's from their days together in Vancouver.
Bryan Trottier, assistant coach, Colorado Avalanche: A proven winner, he was the backbone of the New York Islanders when they won four straight Stanley Cups. McPhee hired him to coach Portland before the Colorado job opened. Trottier knows offense and is a close friend of Jagr's, a huge plus.
Mike Johnston, assistant coach, Vancouver Canucks: He is slowly but steadily climbing the coaching ladder. Johnston is a former general manager and coach of Canada's national team, has the Vancouver connection that McPhee appears to value and has a solid, strong work ethic.
Dave Tippett, assistant coach, Los Angeles Kings: Tippett played with the Caps for parts of two seasons in the early '90s. He had limited skills but lasted 11 seasons in the NHL through hard work and determination. He runs the Kings' offense.
Doug Jarvis, assistant coach, Dallas Stars: He came to the Caps in 1982 with Rod Langway. Jarvis was a defensive forward with few equals in NHL history and is intelligent, easy to work with and a great innovator. His future in Dallas is uncertain with a coaching turnover possible.
Larry Robinson, assistant coach, New Jersey Devils: He was dismissed as the Devils' head coach because he was too easy to get along with. He has said he doesn't want to be a head coach again, but the right figure might change his mind.
Others who might be considered: Pat Burns, unemployed, harsh taskmaster most recently fired by Boston; Ken Hitchcock, unemployed, handcuffed offense for defense-first style and fired by Dallas; Barry Melrose, studio commentator for ESPN, former Los Angeles coach who is a perennial candidate; Ted Nolan, self-employed, fired as Buffalo coach for disagreeing with management about everything.


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