The Capitals have failed to make it past the second round of the playoffs since 1997.
The Washington Capitals fired head coach Adam Oates and decline to renew the contract of general manager George McPhee yesterday after the team failed to make the NHL playoffs for the first time since 2007.
Oates, a former star player for the Capitals, had one season left on his three-year contract. This was his first job as a head coach. Last year under Oates, the team finished first in the division in a lockout-shortened season before being eliminated in the first round. But this year, the team dropped to 5th in the division and failed to make a late-season push to qualify for the playoffs.
McPhee was let go by owner Ted Leonsis after running the team for 17 years, years where he drafted both team superstars Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom in the first round.
Under McPhee, the team won seven Southeast Division championships and enjoyed considerable regular season success, but were never able to get back to the Stanley Cup Finals after McPhee's first season.
Ovechkin has won three league MVP awards and again led the NHL in scoring this season with 51 goals. But the Capitals have yet to make it past the second round of the playoffs during the Russian wing's career.