The Las Vegas expansion team has been a big story this summer, after being announced by the league just before the draft. The team has built a core front office, headed by new general manager George McPhee, and is surely beginning to build their strategy for next year’s expansion draft where many talented players will be left unprotected. Here is the latest news surrounding the NHL’s 31st franchise:
- Tuesday on Sportsbook Radio in Las Vegas, team owner Bill Foley talked about all the work he’s done so far on the club. On his original GM search, he said that there was seven potential candidates, eventually settling on McPhee because of his dedication to hockey and contacts throughout the league. “As a 17-year GM of the Capitals, and prior that an AGM of the Canucks, he really did everything. He built the Capitals up from the point where they had about 2500 or 3000 season tickets to where they were selling out.”
- On the nickname search, which last week was reported to be having trouble with the presumptive favorite “Knights”, Foley said they have vetted four different names that they believe are all available. It is definitely not Black Knights, due to push-back from a variety of organizations. There is also a “bird that we have available to us, that we may use”.
- The team is working on a brand new practice facility as well, and Foley gave an update: “We believe we’ll be breaking ground some time in the month of October. That’s our target. We also believe we’ll be moving in September 1st of 2017.”
- On Twitter, the team released that they’ve hired Andrew Lugerner as Director of Hockey Legal Affairs, but gave no information on what his responsibilities will be. Lugerner was formerly an associate at Latham & Watkins in New York.
- When the NHL released their preseason schedule on Wednesday, they included two games that will be played in Las Vegas on October 7th and 8th. Los Angeles will play in both games. Perhaps these will line up with a breaking ground ceremony for the practice facility, or a reveal of the name and logo for the team.