When the NHL officially announced that Las Vegas would be receiving an NHL franchise, some major questions were still left unanswered. The general manager, coach, expansion draft players, and otherwise were all left in the air, but at least one of those questions has finally been answered. It was reported on Tuesday that George McPhee would be the inaugural general manager of the Las Vegas franchise. The club made the signing official on Wednesday.
BREAKING: We have officially named George McPhee was our first general manager in team history! pic.twitter.com/Lirkzla6BM
— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) July 13, 2016
McPhee was most recently the general manager of the Washington Capitals from 1997 until 2014, bringing the team to one Stanley Cup Finals appearance in 1998. He had a successful run as the Capitals general manager, winning seven division titles, and achieving eight 40-or-more win seasons. More recently, McPhee has been working with the New York Islanders with the title of “Special Advisor to the General Manager”.
Vegas’ Franchise Owner Bill Foley had this to say prior to announcing the franchise’s first general manager:
“We’ve got two primary candidates and we’re trying to get this done. We need to get a scouting staff hired and whoever we hire as our GM will be responsible for putting the (scouting) staff together.” – Bill Foley
McPhee will be tasked with putting together a scouting team that will not only do a good job at evaluating amateur talent but also NHL talent as the upcoming expansion draft looms. There will be many quality players available at that time, and the Las Vegas franchise will have an opportunity to be fairly competitive right out of the gate in their first season. It’s a tall task to ask of anybody, but McPhee looks ready and able to take the reigns of the franchise.
Brandon Share-Cohen has covered the NHL and various professional sports for six years. Working with The Hockey Writers, Brandon works extensively on covering the Boston Bruins in addition to his role as the News Team Lead.