It’s hard to know exactly what you’re going to get out of a general manager, especially one that has never been a general manager before.
After spending the past thirteen seasons in DC, seven as assistant general manager, Brian MacLellan has been promoted by Ted Leonsis and Dick Patrick on Monday.
Does GMBM have the credentials? It’s hard to know exactly. The Caps tell us he’s won a Stanley Cup as a player, though he was a bit of a passenger on that Cup-winning Flames team in 1989. He played 606 career NHL games with the Los Angeles Kings, New York Rangers, Minnesota North Stars, Calgary Flames and Detroit Red Wings. MacLellan was also a teammate of McPhee’s at Bowling Green for four seasons.
The Caps tell us MacLellan oversaw the club’s professional scouting staff (the evaluation of dudes at the NHL level) and worked closely with the Hershey Bears, who won Calder Cups in 2006, 2009, and 2010. The Bears, who dominated in the early years of their affiliation– when Washington was rebuilding– have faltered since – missing the playoffs completely this season after aggressively signing minor-league free agents last summer. The Bears watched head coach Mark French leave the organization, who has since gotten rave reviews leading the KHL’s expansion Medveščak Zagreb. Medveščak made the KHL playoffs last season.
On Monday, Leonsis– as open and upfront as he can– wrote a long blog post about the hiring, hinting that MacLellan winning the job was a surprise even for him.