After hiring Kelly McCrimmon as Assistant General Manager earlier this week, Las Vegas GM George McPhee has wasted little time adding to his hockey operations department. In an interview with Alex Prewitt of Sports Illustrated, McPhee noted that the team has made five more hires, including directors of hockey operations and player development, a capologist, and an organizational goalie director. In the interview, McPhee didn’t provide any specifics as to who those hires were. However, the team later announced that Wil Nichol, formerly a scout with Washington, has been hired as the Director of Player Development.
On top of those additions, McPhee told Prewitt that he hopes to have pro and amateur scouting directors hired by the end of the week.
While the trend for many organizations now is to hire more and more front office people, McPhee does not intend to follow that same approach, particularly when it comes to specialists:
“I’m not sure that’s always the way to go. Sometimes when you’re a little smaller, there’s real trust. I don’t like a lot of layers. Basically, with scouting for example, you have a director of pro scouting. We don’t need a lot of people between him and me. Just a guy like Kelly, and that’ll be it. Other organizations have lots of people with lots of titles. I don’t think we’re going in that direction. A smaller staff can create that camaraderie and trust. I think it’s ideal for a new team, for sure.”
While McPhee has been very busy filling out the front office, one hiring that won’t take place until next offseason is their head coach. He wants to wait to see who happens to be available at that time (in terms of coaches that are relieved of their duties in-season as well as other coaches who may be ready for a promotion at that time).
The expansion franchise that will make their debut in2017-18 has yet to come up with a team name, in large part due to trademark issues that owner Bill Foley is in the process of working through. One of the expected options was ‘Black Knights’ but Steve Carp of the Las Vegas Review-Journal noted that the team is not expected to be called that. Carp adds that one possible variation that has a good chance of getting the nod is ‘Silver Knights’. There is no firm timetable for the team to choose its name.