Brian MacLellan opened his interview with the Caps by telling Ted Leonsis how to do his job better


(Via Monumental Network)

If you ever apply for a job with Ted Leonsis, open the interview by telling him how he can do his job better. That strategy worked for new Capitals General Manager Brian MacLellan, who was introduced along with Coach Barry Trotz at a news conference today.

Here are five interesting quotes from the proceedings.

Ted Leonsis on hiring an internal candidate and how MacLellan began his interview…

“When we started the process, that was not the intention in any way. We said we would be open-minded, that we would go and talk to as many candidates as we could, which we did. Brian lived in Minnesota. As I said, I had never really heard his voice. When Brian had his interview with us, he was very, very straightforward. It really wasn’t an interview where he was trying to impress us or impress me, it was pretty straightforward. He led off with some of the the things that I have to do to be a better owner. I thought was very brave and very astute because you don’t want to hear things like that. I thought that was very, very straightforward and honest and authentic to him. I was very appreciative of that because I obviously need to be a better owner.”

Capitals President Dick Patrick later said that the Capitals interviewed roughly 15 candidates for the general manager position. Leonsis declined to name names, though he did say the Capitals did not talk to Wayne Gretzky.

Leonsis on MacLellan’s ability to work with player agents…

“I also thought that Brian’s ability to be able to work with the [salary cap] with [assistant GM] Don Fishman, but also his ability and want to work with agents was going to be an important change for us. He seems to enjoy doing that. Agents are a real, real important part of our fabric of our industry, and that is a meaningful thing for us.”

Why is this important? Multiple league sources told Katie Carrera that the Capitals’s inability to bring key free agents to Washington was partly attributable to George McPhee’s adversarial relationship with player agents.

MacLellan on changing the identity of the team off the ice…

“I think conditioning’s gotta be a big part of it. Off-ice conditioning, training camp. I’ve encouraged Barry, I said, we need to have a hard camp. We’ve gotta get everybody ready to play hard and set a tone for the organization. I think the off-ice workout culture needs to change a bit.”

Trotz on Alex Ovechkin…

“I’m going to have a conversation with Ovi on his role with the group and how I would like to play. We’ll decide that together, putting him in a situation to be successful within the group. I haven’t really discussed that with him. Actually, I talked to him when he was over in Russia and they won a championship, the world championships, and he was at Mr. Putin’s house, I believe, or somewhere like that, so it wasn’t the proper time to really sit down and do that.”

Leonsis said Trotz was the only coach the Capitals talked to.

Trotz on how soon the Capitals can realistically compete for a Stanley Cup…

“I think with a couple of adjustments that Mac has mentioned and some of the things that we’re capable of, I don’t see why you can’t be in that mix right away. There’s enough ability here. We just have to forge a little bit of an identity going forward. We talked about work ethic and consistency and all that. It’s going to be a group effort.”

Scott Allen writes about all things D.C. sports. Follow him on Twitter @ScottSAllen or e-mail him if you’ve got a tip to share.
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