The Washington Post’s Katie Carrera reported via Twitter the Capitals have fired general manager George McPhee and head coach Adam Oates.

Capitals fired coach Adam Oates (left) and GM George McPhee.

Capitals fired coach Adam Oates (left) and GM George McPhee.

 SPECTOR’S NOTE: Color me unsurprised. In fact, the only surprise is the Capitals waited this long to hand McPhee and Oates their pink slips. Since winning the President’t Trophy in 2010 the Capitals have steadily declined, missing the playoffs this season.

Most of the blame falls upon McPhee, who did a good job building the Capitals up into one of the league’s top teams, but subsequently fumbled in his efforts turn them into a Stanley Cup contender. Oates came in last season as head coach and got them into the 2013 playoffs, but was unable to build upon that this season.  

With the duo now gone, the challenge is for the Capitals to find the right men to right this sinking ship by building around franchise player Alexander Ovechkin. The Capitals lack a proven starting goalie, a skilled shutdown defenseman, secondary scoring and checking line depth. The improvements won’t happen overnight.