On December 29, 1975, Milt Schmidt was relieved of his duties as Capitals coach and general manager. Two days later, Washington hired Tom McVie to succeed Schmidt behind the bench and Max McNab to take over as the team's general manager.
A 6-0 loss to Montreal that night extended the Capitals' winless streak to 14 games (it would eventually grow to a franchise record of 25 games). With the Montreal loss, the Capitals' record dropped to 3-28-5 and the team was winless in 23 of its last 24 games.
Schmidt, a Hall of Fame player who went on to serve as coach and general manager of the Boston Bruins, was the architect of Boston's 1970 and 1972 Stanley Cup-winning squads. He was hired as Washington's first-ever GM, but was forced to step behind the bench late in the team's inaugural season after Jimmy Anderson and Red Sullivan failed to achieve success.
Schmidt was 5-33-5 in his tenure behind the Washington bench and 11-95-10 as the team's general manager. McVie lasted two and a half seasons behind the bench and McNab served as the team's GM for almost six seasons.