Evidently the new Las Vegas expansion team is wasting little time getting up and running. As we mentioned yesterday, the newest entry in the Western Conference was closing in on naming the first GM in franchise history. Today we learned a press conference has indeed been scheduled for tomorrow at 1 pm PST where club owner Bill Foley is expected to announce his choice. Speculation, and that’s all it is at this point, is that George McPhee, formerly the longtime GM of the Washington Capitals and currently serving as an adviser with the Islanders under Garth Snow, will be named Las Vegas’ inaugural GM.
More from the wild, wild West:
- Chicago GM Stan Bowman deserves a lot of credit for maintaining the Hawks presence as a Stanley Cup contender despite annual salary dumps, including this summer’s trades of Teuvo Teravainen and Andrew Shaw. His ability to constantly juggle his roster while remaining cap compliant is due to the constant infusion of affordable young talent the organization continues to find and develop. Mark Lazarus of the Chicago Sun Times profiles several youngsters who aim to make the Hawks roster for the 2016-17 season.
- Addressing questions from the reader mailbag, Adam Vingan of the Tennessean speculates how the Predators will employ shiny new toy, P.K. Subban. Like many, I thought the Predators got the better end of the Subban-for-Shea Weber trade. Subban is an electrifying talent still in his prime at 27 while Weber would seem to be on the downside as he approaches his 31st birthday. Plus with another decade remaining on Weber’s contract with a cap hit in excess of $7.8MM per, the Canadiens took on a healthy amount of risk on the back end of his deal.
- From the same mailbag, Vingan also deals with the same tough choices every NHL GM will have to face between now and the expansion draft; namely which quality NHL player or players will they leave exposed. The league certainly went out of its way to ensure Las Vegas will be able to add legitimate talent and a lot of teams will be in the unenviable position of allowing a good player to leave for nothing.
- The Subban deal wasn’t the only blockbuster trade completed this summer and it may not even by the one most panned by critics. Nearly every pundit thought the Devils pilfered LW Taylor Hall from Edmonton with Adam Larsson the return going to the Oilers. But it may not be as bad as it seems. Bottom line is GM Peter Chiarelli absolutely needed to upgrade his defense corps and likely didn’t have a lot of palatable options with which to do so. Plenty of young, RFA defensemen have been rumored to possibly be available via trade but exactly none have been moved to date despite the abundant need for quality blueliners around the league. Plus, unlike those RFA’s who would need new contracts with salaries inflating, Larsson comes at the beginning of a freshly inked deal that pays him a shade over $4.1MM on average for the next five seasons. That cost control has value. Fact is, Chiarelli might have made the best deal possible at the time, even if it ends up being a net negative in the long run.