The expansion Las Vegas franchise made their first key management hire earlier today with the hiring of former Washington GM George McPhee as the team’s first general manager. Fans of the newest NHL team should expect more hirings in the days and weeks to come.
In the press conference, McPhee noted that he plans to focus on building the scouting department next, writes Taylor Bern of the Las Vegas Sun. While the team technically won’t have any players for nearly another year, the scouts will still have plenty to do in terms of scouting the prospect ranks as well as keeping tabs on each NHL team to evaluate their options for next June’s expansion draft. McPhee noted that a coaching hire is still a long way away, however. That hiring will likely come at the end of next season when there are more options available.
While owner Bill Foley was heavily active in McPhee’s hiring (along with his advisor, long-time NHL’er Murray Craven), he will take a step back and allow McPhee to have a large say in future hirings as McPhee builds his staff.
As for Foley, his next priority is to finalize the team’s name. That process hasn’t gone as smoothly as he had hoped due to trademark issues. At the press conference, Foley had this to say about what the eventual team name will represent:
“It needs to be a name that people hear and say, these guys are tough, these guys are going to win, these guys are dedicated.”
TSN’s Gord Miller hears that the team could be called the Knights although Black Knights is also believed to be a possibility.