Las Vegas NHL Expansion Team Hires Assistant GM
A couple of weeks ago, the Las Vegas NHL expansion team announced the hiring of George McPhee as the team’s first general manager. On Tuesday, the team announced McPhee’s first hire since joining the team, naming Kelly McCrimmon the assistant general manager.
As the team begins to build onto their management structure, they add someone with a lot of hockey experience, although it came in the minor league and not the NHL. He began as a player for the Brandon Wheat Kings, but quickly moved to the assistant coach of the team in 1988. Since then, he has grown to be the team’s head coach, general manager and owner.
Under McCrimmon, the Wheat Kings have become one of the most successful franchises in all of junior hockey. With the team, McCrimmon was named the executive of the year a total three times in the Western Hockey League. He will look to continue that success into the NHL with their newest franchise in Las Vegas.
The Las Vegas NHL expansion team, which doesn’t officially have a name yet, are set to begin league play for the 2017-2018 season. This doesn’t give the team — and right now, more specifically McCrimmon and McPhee — a lot of time to start putting the pieces to the puzzle together. Not only do they need to finish filling out their staff and personnel sheet, but they also need to start thinking about who they want to fill out their roster.
The NHL will enter an expansion draft next June, which will allow the team to put together a roster to play with. So, how will the draft work? Well, Las Vegas will get to choose one player from each NHL franchise. However, each club will have the opportunity to either protect seven forwards, three defensemen and one goaltender OR eight total skaters and one goaltender. Any player on the protected list won’t be able to be drafted by Las Vegas. In addition, players that are in their first or second year, as well as unsigned draft choices, will be exempt from the expansion draft.
For a full list of the requirements and rules for the 2017 NHL expansion draft, click here.
Following the expansion draft, Las Vegas will also take part in their first NHL draft of young players, which will give them a chance to find some franchise players for years to come. For a new team, that’s always a must.
Las Vegas will join the Pacific Division as the eighth team and will join the Western Conference as the 15th team. Currently, the Eastern Conference has 16 teams, making a total of 31 teams.
Stay tuned for more information and signings for the NHL’s newest team in Las Vegas.
(Las Vegas NHL Expansion Team Hires Assistant GM)