On Nov. 23, 2007, Washington Capitals General Manager George McPhee made a decision with monumental consequences for his team. They were 6-14-1, losing nine of 10 games. The fans chanted “FIRE HANLON” during a 5-1 loss on home ice to the Atlanta Thrashers in reference to head coach Glen Hanlon, who had toiled behind the bench since 2003.
So McPhee fired him, and he promoted a cherubic farm-hand from the AHL named Bruce Boudreau on an interim basis.
At the time, Hanlon’s firing was viewed by veteran players as a result of their own failures. Said Olaf Kolzig to the Washington Post: “It was pretty evident what we were doing wrong, and we went right back out in the second period [Wednesday] and did the exact the same thing. That has nothing to do with coaching, and has everything to do with individuals not listening and being on their own program.”
The four-year anniversary of Boudreau’s hiring is Wednesday.
By Greg Wyshynski