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WASHINGTON -- General manager George McPhee and coach Adam Oates lost their jobs with
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WASHINGTON -- General manager George McPhee and coach Adam Oates lost their jobs with the Washington Capitals on Saturday, about two weeks after the team failed to make the playoffs for the first time since 2007. Jerry Tillery Jersey . "We were left with the overall impression that the team wasnt trending toward being able to compete for a Stanley Cup," Capitals owner Ted Leonsis said in a news conference at the clubs arena. "And that was just a clear signal and why it was time to make those changes." McPhees contract was up and the team announced it will not give him a new one after his 17 years as the GM, which included drafting Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom in the first round. Oates was fired with one season left on his three-year deal. A former star player for the Capitals, he was in his first job as an NHL head coach. Washington finished this season with the ninth-most points in the Eastern Conference, one spot out of a playoff berth. "You have to do something to pivot the team to be an ongoing strong team," Leonsis said. "And I just felt that new leadership at this time was needed, and lets start it with a clean slate." Asked whether any player would be untouchable as part of upcoming changes -- a chance, perhaps, for Leonsis to mention captain and top scorer Ovechkin -- the owner replied: "Im not the general manager. So If the general manager comes with something, we would listen to the general manager." Ovechkin has won three league MVP awards and again led the NHL in scoring this season with 51 goals, but the Capitals havent made it past the second round of the playoffs during the Russian wings career. Dick Patrick, the president of the Capitals, said the team already has drawn up a list of potential GM candidates. "Typically, youd like to have a general manager in place and have him choose a coach," Patrick said. The Capitals reached the Stanley Cup finals in 1998, McPhees first year on the job, and were swept by the Detroit Red Wings. Later, McPhee oversaw a "rebuild" ordered by Leonsis, including jettisoning top players with big contracts such as Jaromir Jagr. "Lets not forget that rebuilding process was dramatic. And I watched a great executive go through really, really hard times and really rebuild that team quickly. We just didnt get there," Leonsis said. "At some point, you just have to try something different." While McPhee eventually built a young roster filled with offensive stars, he never placed as much emphasis on constructing a rugged, defensive-minded blue line crop. He hired a succession of coaches with zero previous NHL experience running a team, including Glen Hanlon, Bruce Boudreau, Dale Hunter and Oates. Led by Ovechkin, the Capitals produced terrific regular-season results for a half-dozen seasons, without similar success in the post-season. Four years ago, Washington won the Presidents Trophy for having the most points during the season, then lost in the first round of the playoffs to the eighth-seeded Montreal Canadiens. Leonsis called McPhee, who built seven division-winning teams, "a talented man, a great friend," but that it was time for "a fresh set of eyes." The Capitals went 65-48-17 under Oates in his two seasons. In a brief statement released via the team, Oates called it "a tremendous honour to coach the Capitals these past two seasons" and said he was "grateful for the opportunity." In his first season in charge, which was shortened because of a labour dispute, Washington reached the playoffs with a late surge before losing in the first round to the New York Rangers in seven games. "We were a continuously improving playoff team until we werent. And the last two seasons showed us that we need to improve. And thats what it came down to," Leonsis said. "Dick and I said, We have to make that gut check. Do we have to change? And where do you start? And you start with the coach and the general manager." LaDainian Tomlinson Jersey .com) - Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer were among the third-round winners Friday at the French Open. Wholesale Chargers Jerseys . Fifth-seeded Cilic gained his fourth title in Zagreb and became the third Croat overall to win at least 10 career titles. Cilic also lifted his career record in Zagreb to 22-4, winning 20 of his last 21 matches at the event. http://www.cheapchargersjerseysauthentic...ick-jersey . The Austrian ski federation said Morgenstern was "conscious and well responsive" and his condition would be monitored in the intensive care unit of a Salzburg hospital for the next 72 hours. The federation said it was "way too early" to judge Morgensterns chances of competing in Sochi, and that an update on his condition was not expected before Monday.SAN FRANCISCO -- Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers would prefer to be talking about how well Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan have played against the Golden State Warriors. Or how his team has defended Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. Or just about anything that has happened on the court in the first-round playoff series. Instead, Rivers and his players spent Saturday talking about how they would respond to an audio recording of a man identified as Clippers owner Donald Sterling telling his girlfriend not to bring black people to games. "The fact that I had to spend 45 minutes in a meeting instead of watching film did not make me happy," Rivers said. Whether the comments -- which drew sharp criticism and calls for action from around the NBA -- effect the Clippers in Game 4 against the Warriors is all that worries Rivers right now. Los Angeles leads the series 2-1 and has looked every bit like a championship contender in winning the past two games. Chasing a title is the reason Rivers said players decided against protesting or even boycotting the game. They want to win for each other, he said, and not for Sterling or anyone else. "For me, I want to focus on my guys. I came here for them. They came here for each other. Our goals have not changed," Rivers said passionately after the Clippers practice at the University of San Francisco. "Its like one of the players said, Hey, when I was a kid, I had a goal to win a world championship. It was to do that. It wasnt to win a world championship for someone." Clippers point guard Chris Paul, the president of the National Basketball Players Association, released a statement through the union that said "this is a very serious issue which we will address aggressively." Paul and Clippers All-Star forward Blake Griffin declined further comment on the issue after practice. Other players were not made available as Rivers said he would speak for the team. "A lot of guys voiced their opinions. None of them were happy about it," Rivers said. "This was a situation where were trying to go after something very important for us, something that weve all dreamed about all our childhoods. Doug Flutie Jersey. Donald or anyone else had nothing to do with that dream, and were not going to let anything get in the way of those dreams." Sterling, a real estate owner who has a decades-long history of alleged discrimination and offensive behaviour, made his team the centre of NBA attention for all the wrong reasons again. In a recording posted on TMZs website, a man reported to be Sterling questions his girlfriends association with minorities. Clippers President Andy Roeser said in statement that the team did not know if the tape is legitimate or has been altered. Roeser also said the views expressed on the recording do not reflect Sterlings beliefs and that the woman on the tape -- identified by TMZ as V. Stiviano -- "is the defendant in a lawsuit brought by the Sterling family alleging that she embezzled more than $1.8 million, who told Mr. Sterling that she would get even." Sterling has not commented on the situation. Left in the aftermath was Rivers and his players facing more than 50 reporters at the Clippers practice Saturday. A day earlier, only about a dozen were at the teams hotel for the interview session. Most players ignored the added attention. Jamal Crawford looked over and laughed. Hedo Turkoglu jokingly shouted and smiled as he attempted shots. All that the hoopla meant for the Clippers as a team, Rivers said, was one monumental "distraction" before its biggest game of the season. "In a weird way, Im sure Golden State is having a ball right now because were not talking about them," Rivers said. Warriors coach Mark Jackson, who played for the Clippers from 1992-94, said "theres no place" for Sterlings alleged remarks but his team would remain focused on the game. His players echoed those sentiments, saying they wouldnt be deterred by one mans beliefs -- no matter how offensive. Rivers also said the audio recording would not serve as motivation for his team. "Were playing Golden State, and Golden State is our enemy right now," Rivers said. "Thats where were going to keep it, and thats where we want to keep it." 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