The NHL’s newest expansion team has narrowed its GM search down to two candidates, says owner Bill Foley in an interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal. The unnamed Las Vegas team hopes to finalize their decision within a few days.
Whoever takes the GM position will face numerous unique challenges as a product of the expansion process. The new GM will have to run the expansion draft, build a prospect pool from scratch, and balance prudent long-reaching moves with a new fanbase’s desire to see a winning product. The ideal candidate would be experienced and able to quickly hire support and scouting staff.
Foley interviewed seven candidates in his search. Two people thought to have the inside track, however, were not even considered. Panthers President of Hockey Operations (and former Panthers and Blackhawks GM) Dale Tallon told reporters he wasn’t even interviewed. Same goes for Chicago Blackhawks Assistant GM Norm MacIvor.
Possible candidates for the position include former Washington Capitals GM George McPhee, former Arizona Coyotes GM Don Maloney, and current Montreal Canadiens Assistant GM Scott Mellanby. McPhee helmed the Capitals for 17 years, making to the finals in his first season and remaining competitive for most of his tenure. Maloney was let go this off-season in a surprising move for the Coyotes, but knows the market well and kept things afloat during the almost-constant relocation rumors. Finally, Mellanby played with Foley’s hockey advisor Murray Craven during his career, and is rumored to be a leading candidate for the position.