Fans gave The Athletic their yearly front office rankings for every NHL team and the results were released on Wednesday. GM Brian MacLellan and the Washington Capitals’ front office ranked 14th in the NHL, according to the fans.
“Brian MacLellan has done a great job of keeping the Capitals competitive even though the star players are growing old,” one fan commented.
“Kind of stuck given the aging core. They can’t (and shouldn’t) move the key guys, but it won’t be long before the team is circling the drain,” another chimed in.
“The bottom half of GMs are terrible. There are a few right at the top. GMBM is right below that first tier. Identifies problems, goes and makes moves to address them. Most of the time they work out, sometimes he overpays,” a third claimed.
The public ranked the Capitals 17th (11th in roster building, 21st in salary cap management, 26th in drafting and development, 18th in trading, and 13th in both free agency and vision) while the fan base had them at 11th (eighth in roster building, 16th in salary cap management, 22nd in drafting and development, ninth in free agency, and 10th in both trading and vision).
The defending back-to-back Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay Lightning were first while the reigning Presidents’ Trophy-winning Colorado Avalanche were second.
In the Metropolitan Division, the New York Islanders took fifth; Carolina Hurricanes ninth; New Jersey Devils tenth; Columbus Blue Jackets 16th; Pittsburgh Penguins 20th; Philadelphia Flyers 22nd; and New York Rangers 23rd.
The expansion Seattle Kraken were given the 19th spot while the Buffalo Sabres, who were dead last in the NHL standings last season, also finished last in The Athletic’s front office rankings. To view the entire list and breakdowns for every team, click here.
By Harrison Brown