Washington Capitals General Manager George McPhee appeared on The John Thompson Show this afternoon and discussed a wide variety of topics. Some highlights:
On the franchise's philosophy about reloading through the minor league system:
"Anything that we really need to add to the team I thought we already had in our system, which is nice. We've drafted so well. The really neat thing is we've drafted so well that we've got 11 of our first-round picks in our lineup starting Friday night. The league average is four. The closest team to us has seven, but they haven't drafted as well as we have, and so when we lose a player, we've been able to bring a guy up from Hershey in the system to fill the hole. We've added a few things from outside, but most of it comes from internally, which is pretty darn nice because you know the player, and I think we develop them well. We've lost four or five guys, but mostly we've replaced them from within."
On balancing experience with youth:
"I think we all like experienced teams. I'm sure you liked it at Georgetown when you had a bunch of seniors. They've been through it, knew what to expect. I like experienced teams, but the interesting thing is that we've drafted so well and these kids are ready that I really have no choice but to put them in there, especially in the salary cap world. It helps when you've got young guys go in there and play. . . . The interesting thing in our sport, it was usually the older teams that were winning, but the last two winners were two of the youngest teams in the league in Chicago and Pittsburgh, so I hope the next young team to win is ours."
On whether he still expects great things from Mike Green and Alexander Semin:
"We are. The NHL playoffs is pretty tough hockey and a pretty tough grind, and a guy like Green and a guy like Semin become targets. Like in any sport, you go after the best players and make them pay a price. Some guys can play through it. Some guys can rise above it. Some guys wilt a little bit. I'm not going to say these guys have wilted."