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MacLellan signs contract to remain general manager of Capitals

Washington on track for fourth straight playoff appearance since he got job in 2014

by Tom Gulitti @tomgulittinhl / Staff Writer

Brian MacLellan has signed a contract to remain general manager of the Washington Capitals, the team confirmed Friday.

MacLellan, 59, is in the final season of his contract. He was promoted to GM on May 26, 2014, after serving as assistant GM for seven seasons under George McPhee, who was fired after the Capitals failed to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 2013-14.

The Capitals (37-23-7) are in second place in the Metropolitan Division, one point behind the Pittsburgh Penguins, heading into the finale of their three-game California road trip against the San Jose Sharks on Saturday (4 p.m. ET; NBCSCA, NBCSWA, NHL.TV).

Washington has qualified for the playoffs in each of three seasons under MacLellan, winning the Presidents' Trophy in 2015-16 and 2016-17, but the Capitals have not advanced past the second round of the playoffs since making their lone Stanley Cup Final appearance in 1997-98.

Coach Barry Trotz's future remains unclear. He was hired May 26, 2014, to replace Adam Oates and his contract is due to expire after this season. Trotz, 55, is fifth in NHL history with 750 wins and 1,509 games coached. He is 750-565-134 with 60 ties in 19 NHL seasons, including 193-86-34 in four seasons with the Capitals.

MacLellan is attempting to retool the Capitals on the fly following the departures this offseason of forwards Justin Williams, Marcus Johansson and Daniel Winnik and defensemen Karl Alzner, Kevin Shattenkirk and Nate Schmidt. Washington re-signed defenseman Dmitry Orlov (six years, $30.6 million) and forwards T.J. Oshie (eight years, $46 million), Evgeny Kuznetsov (eight years, $62.4 million) and Andre Burakovsky (two years, $6 million) in the offseason.

To fortify a defense that had rookies Christian Djoos and Madison Bowey in its top six for most of the season, the Capitals acquired Michal Kempny from the Chicago Blackhawks on Feb. 19 in a trade for a conditional third-round pick in 2018 NHL Draft, and Jakub Jerabek from the Montreal Canadiens on Feb. 21 in a trade for a fifth-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft.

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