On Tuesday, the newly created Las Vegas National Hockey League franchise hired Kelly McCrimmon as assistant general manager of the club. McCrimmon will be leaving his roles of general manager and coach of the highly successful Western Hockey League’s Brandon Wheat Kings. He calls his new role “the chance of a lifetime,” and states that he is “excited for this unique opportunity.” He will continue to be the owner of the Wheat Kings, but will direct all of his attention to the newly formed Las Vegas franchise.
— Guy Flaming (@TPS_Guy) July 27, 2016
Las Vegas Hires Kelly McCrimmon as Asst. GM
“I just think that these kinds of hockey men are hard to find, and I was delighted that he wanted to come with us,” general manager George McPhee said in a phone interview. “I like that he’s a hockey man through and through. He lives it, he breathes it, he’s always out watching players, understands the game, likes the game.” (Sportsnet.ca) “He’s earned the right to come to the NHL, “He’s as good a hockey man as there is out there.”
What McCrimmon Brings
Kelly McCrimmon is indeed a “hockey man,” having coached the Wheat Kings to the WHL Playoffs ten out of his twelve seasons as head coach. He’s won executive of the year three times and has scouted and helped many players into getting to the National Hockey League, including Philadelphia Flyers forward Brayden Schenn, Ottawa Senators winger Mark Stone, and New York Islanders defenseman Ryan Pulock. McCrimmon is eager to begin his work as assistant GM now and when the Vegas team first takes to the ice in the 2017-2018 NHL season. The 55-year old is known for his ability to scout out, coach and develop young junior players into elite players in the league.
Though he has no NHL experience, it is highly anticipated that McCrimmon will make a huge impact to the currently unnamed Vegas team in the front office. Las Vegas as a good chance to win the draft lottery at the end of the 2016-2017 season and McCrimmon’s main role will be to find talent to bring to the team. It can also be noted that he has coached Nolan Patrick, who is at the top of the list of names to be potentially drafted Number 1 in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft.
“It’s just a tremendous acquisition for our franchise,” McPhee said. “It’s a great start.”