Golden Knights GM George McPhee made his first splash earlier today with the signing of undrafted free agent Reid Duke to an entry level contract. However, the biggest question around the team for the last few months has been the head coaching situation. Earlier in the year, owner Bill Foley suggested that the team could look to hire their inaugural bench boss by the end of the season. However, speaking with NHL.com’s Nick Cotsonika, McPhee suggested that’s not likely to be the case.
When asked about the status of their shortlist of coaching options, McPhee noted they’ve yet to speak to everyone on it just yet.
“We’re not going to add to the list. Just want to make sure we talk to every person on the list, and we haven’t had a chance to do that yet.”
The fact that they’ve yet to speak to everyone suggests that there’s at least one coach that the team has interest in that’s currently under contract to another franchise at the moment which is likely a reason why this search is now expected to last past the end of the regular season. The GM certainly seems content with the opportunity to conduct a longer search than most organizations have the ability to do:
“We’re trying to take our time. You don’t get this kind of time very often. So we’re trying to use it as best we can.”
In past months, former Florida head coach Gerard Gallant and ex-Islanders boss Jack Capuano are a pair of names that have been linked to Vegas as strong candidates to get the position as things currently stand.
While there’s no firm timeline in place for the coach to be hired, it’s likely that the Golden Knights won’t want to let this process go past May. With the expansion draft set to occur from June 18th to the 20th (with picks being announced on the 21st), they’ll undoubtedly want their new coach in place to help shape the framework for their inaugural roster.