The first conversation with George McPhee that morning hadn't been a good one. Early on a Monday in November 2011, McPhee told Bruce Boudreau that he was fired as the Capitals' coach. He'd been the fastest NHL coach to win 200 games, but McPhee felt like the Capitals were no longer responding to him. It was time to move on.

So when McPhee called again at around 10:30 a.m., it seemed odd to both Boudreau and his wife, Crystal.

Maybe McPhee changed his mind, Boudreau suggested.

"I doubt that," Crystal answered.

Then, because she was feeling hurt and maybe a bit vindictive, she told him not to answer it. Send McPhee to voicemail.

"He's not your boss anymore," Crystal said. "He gets put on the back burner."

Boudreau answered anyway.

"I said, 'You have reservations? You want me back?'" Boudreau said in recounting the conversation.

There were no reservations or second thoughts. Instead, more questions:

Do you want to coach in the NHL again?

The answer, of course, was yes.

The second question from McPhee was the most surprising.

Do you want to coach tomorrow?