Yesterday proved to be a relatively newsworthy day for Seattle hockey fans.
After the Vegas Golden Knights were eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs last week, the Seattle fan base was keeping an eye on Vegas Assistant General Manager Kelly McCrimmon’s next move. McCrimmon had been widely speculated as one of the top candidates to be the first General Manager for the Seattle NHL franchise.
Yesterday the Vegas Golden Knights announced that McCrimmon would be promoted to General Manager while current General Manager, George McPhee, moves to a President of Hockey Operations role with the club.
Vegas with big news in its hockey ops department. Kelly McCrimmon taking over as the Golden Knights GM and George McPhee is staying on as the president of hockey operations. Obviously, Vegas didn’t want to lose McCrimmon and McPhee in this role will still be heavily involved.
— Dan Rosen (@drosennhl) May 2, 2019
The next logical question is who else is on our list? No one really knows for sure but another candidate who seems to be getting a lot of attention is Ken Holland. Holland was recently “moved upstairs”, as they say, to make room for Steve Yzerman to be the new General Manager in Detroit after serving in the same role with Tampa for eight years.
As much as Ken Holland would have been a high quality option for the Oilers GM job, it’s believed he’s withdrawn his name from consideration. Seattle is intriguing for sure.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) April 19, 2019
A couple names have been thrown around: Mike Gillis, Ron Francis, and Ron Hextall. None of them have been mentioned consistently enough to think there is any smoke coming from that fire….just yet.
Don’t be surprised if no one is announced this summer. NHL Seattle group has said several times that they aren’t looking for just any General Manager, they are looking for the right one. Note that Vegas hired its first General Manager, McPhee, about 15 months before the first game. We are currently 30 months out from taking the ice. If the right General Manager is not available, they can afford to wait.
Another part of the Seattle franchise that is expected to be landed this calendar year is the location and plan for the Seattle’s AHL affiliate. On Monday, the AHL Board of Governors is expected to discuss that topic. The leading locations have been reported as Boise and Palm Springs.
AHL Board of Governors meets Monday. Items of potential interest on agenda:
– Location of Seattle AHL affiliate (rumoured to be current ECHL Idaho Steelheads)
– Current AHL CBA expires in AUG. Will need to negotiate a new one with PHPA.
– Any changes to schedule and relocations.
— Andrew Zadarnowski (@AZadarski) May 2, 2019
Andrew Zadarnowski’s tweet implies that Boise is the leading candidate and seems like the easiest location from a plug and play perspective, but I wouldn’t count out Palm Springs just yet.
The WHL held its annual Bantam draft on Thursday. Seattle Thunderbirds made headlines with some major trades right before the draft. Check out articles from Josh Horton (Silvertips) and Andy Eide (Thunderbirds) for the breakdown.