Former Guelph Platers teammates at the helm of Stanley Cup finalists
A pair of NHL general managers who grew up together in Guelph and still remain good friends will meet in this year’s Stanley Cup final.
Both Brian MacLellan of the Washington Capitals and George McPhee of the Vegas Golden Knights call the Royal City their hometown, and even won a championship together.
They were both on the Guelph Platers, which were 1978 Centennial Cup champions and part of the Ontario Hockey Association Junior A League.
“It was a team in the 77-78 season that many NHL scouts thought was as good as most of the teams playing major junior that year,” said Larry Mellott, voice of the OHL’s Guelph Storm and former play-by-play announcer for the Platers.
The Platers swept the Prince Albert Raiders 4-0 in the finals, and both McPhee and MacLellan were named to the All-Star Team.
Both were then recruited to Bowling Green State University, where McPhee won the Hobey Baker Award in 1982.
Their NHL careers took them in different directions, as MacPhee had a seven-year career with the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils, while MacLellan won a Stanley Cup in 1989 with the Calgary Flames.
They were reunited in 2001 when McPhee, then the general manager of the Capitals, hired MacLellan as a scout.
McPhee was let go by the team in 2014 and MacLellan was named as his replacement, but McPhee resurfaced in 2016 when he was named GM of the Las Vegas expansion team.
Mellott said both are two very smart hockey minds and it’s not surprising they have remained good friends.
“Their careers have taken them in very similar paths. They played on a championship team here, and players in any sport at that level, when they accomplish a national championship, will tell you that there is a bond developed there that never leaves,” he explained.
The series gets underway Monday Night in Las Vegas, but it’s more than likely the Stanley Cup will be making a trip to Guelph in the coming months.
“It’s hometown for both of them,” he said. “Regardless of which team wins, I think we’ll see the Stanley Cup pay a little visit to Guelph at some point over the summer.”
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