Praise Be To Foley, Las Vegas NHL Hockey Website

First Vegas: Inaugural Trip Memories For Vegas Staff Members

The first time in Vegas is unlike any other experience in one’s life. It’s better than getting the first promotion (still never happened for me), it’s better than having kids (I wouldn’t know), and it’s definitely better than getting married (overrated, Miss Abby is gonna kill me). The virgin trip to Vegas is one of the most memorable moments in the life of everyone.

That fact is why I’m questioning the merit of one of the first hires on the Las Vegas front office staff. Check this out…

How many times have you been to Las Vegas? –Matt Cauz, TSN Radio Host

Never. -David Conte, Las Vegas Special Advisor to Hockey Operations

WTF? Never been to Las Vegas!?! Dude is 68 years old, what’s he waiting for?

So it got me thinking, is everyone on this staff this weird?

I’ve only ever been there for WHL governors meetings. We have our semi-annual meeting there and that’s only been a couple of days. I’ve never been off the strip. –Kelly McCrimmon, Assistant GM

Eh, semi-weird. Moving on.

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Second Former Florida Panther Scout Hired, Scott Luce Named Director of Amateur Scouting

From Florida Panthers Media Guide

From Florida Panthers Media Guide

Remember when we discussed the Florida Panthers situation in this article, well Las Vegas has scooped up the second of the three people fired in May of this year during the Panthers move to analytics.

Scott Luce, the former Director of Amateur Scouting in Florida has been hired to the same job here.

It really seems like a steal for Las Vegas as they’ve now been able to scoop up two top flight scouts from a team that’s had great success recently identifying young players. One has to wonder if the third person, Mike Dixon, will be next to come on board here.

Luce had been with the Panthers since 2002 and spent time with the Senators and Lightning prior to that. His father Don Luce is also a long time NHL executive spending over 20 years with the Sabres and Flyers.

Yet again, George McPhee adds another highly touted name to his staff, and further proving the point that the loose expansion rules will not only allow Las Vegas to put together a good team, but also a high quality front office.


NHL Watchdog Could Negatively Effect Las Vegas

Everyone likes to be prepared. Couples prepare for children, students prepare for tests, and the NHL prepares for the future. The league took its first step towards accepting legalized sports wagering ahead of the 2017-18 season. Possibly a move that could impact Las Vegas and the future of sports betting.

Gambling Watchdog Sportsradar AG was contracted by the NHL this week to monitor suspicious gambling activity. Sportsradar is already contracted by other sports, maintaining the integrity of leagues. The NHL isn’t nervous about Las Vegas corruption, but tracking activity is a good way to be transparent.

The real question of impact could be on Las Vegas’ economy. Sportsradar’s recent contracts with the NHL and other pro leagues is a clear indication sports betting is starting to be more accepted. If pro leagues can prove to their owners, fans, and authorities that sports wagering will not affect the outcomes of games, sports wagering could open up in states across the US. Which would hurt the bottom line of Nevada. However, hockey isn’t really the concern to sportsbooks. The NHL brings in only a collective $300+ million a year, football brings in a whopping $1.8 BILLION a season for Las Vegas casinos.

Hiring a gambling watchdog isn’t necessarily because of Las Vegas entering the league. Sure, Sportsradar will make sure everything is kosher, but the NHL is more concerned with the future. Gambling sites and casinos have a lot of money. Legalizing sports betting would bring in another revenue for sports leagues. Sadly, it would effect the city the league is expanding to.

The NHL giveth, and taketh away.

Erin Ginnell, Former Top Scout With Florida Hired As Scout In Vegas

The man who was referred to as the top amateur scout during the time the Florida Panthers selected Jonathan Huberdeau, Aleksander Barkov, Aaron Ekblad, Vincent Trocheck, Mike Matheson, just to name a few, is now headed to Las Vegas.

From Florida Panthers Media Guide

From Florida Panthers Media Guide

Erin Ginnell, who was with the Panthers from 2003 to 2015 has joined George McPhee’s rapidly growing scouting staff. Ginnell was let go from the Panthers organization when Dale Tallon was removed as GM in Florida and “promoted” to President of Hockey Operations.

The move was fueled by the organization’s desire to be more mathematically and analytically focused. Tallon moved “up,” Tom Rowe became GM, and Ginnell, Head of Amateur Scouting Scott Luce, and Director of Hockey Operations Mike Dixon were all let go. This indicates Ginnell did not fit the analytical approach the Panthers were looking for, but the results speak for themselves, so their trash becomes our treasure.

There’s also a pretty strong connection to Murray Craven with Ginnell. He was born in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada in 1968, four years before Craven. Also born in Medicine Hat was Ginnell’s brother Dan, who is currently a scout with the St. Louis Blues. Medicine Hat is a town of just about 70,000 in 2016, so odds are the Ginnell and Craven families are pretty familiar.

Ginnell becomes the fourth member of the organization whose primary title is as a scout. (Mike Levine, Bruno Campese, David Conte)

Las Vegas Will Have AHL Affiliate By Christmas, Share ECHL Team

Now that Murray Craven is on the staff for real we are starting to get a little more clarity on how the minor league system will look for the Las Vegas franchise.

The AHL affiliate will be announced relatively soon.

We’ll know by Christmas where we are going to be. It’s a process, it’s a little bit tricky. The AHL is such a good league now, probably the second best league in the world. It’s such a big part of what teams are now. -Murray Craven

Where? That’s still yet to be seen. The leading candidates are still probably Salt Lake City, Reno, and Fresno.

As for ECHL, Vegas won’t have a full affiliate straight out of the gate.

Read More Podcast #35: Murray Craven

The new Senior Vice President, Murray Craven joins us in studio to talk about virtually everything there is surrounding Las Vegas hockey. Hosted by Ken Boehlke.

  •  How does it feel to be the Senior VP of the NHL’s newest franchise and how did we get to this point?
  • An update on the team name process including the concern that the name may not be well received.
  • Where are we on the practice facility is Downtown Summerlin?
  • What are the plans for the minor league system?
  • The involvement of The Creator prior to the team, since getting the team, and the expectation moving forward.
  • On building a team. From players attitudes to contracts to minor leagues to the draw of Las Vegas.
  • Please come to the Shirt Off Your Back event!

And much more…

We are on iTunes as well as Stitcher. Subscribe now!

itunes                 stitcher-icon-100x100’ Shirt Off Your Back Event, August 31st, Toshiba Plaza


Please join us at the first ever charity event being held on Wednesday, August 31st from 6-9 PM at Toshiba Plaza out in front of T-Mobile Arena.

At The Shirt Off Your Back event we hope to gather as much old NHL gear as we can in preparation of Las Vegas releasing the team name, logo, colors and jerseys. So, we invite you to come out and bring us anything you would like to donate.

Obviously giving up something from your “old team” is going to be tough, we get it, that’s why we canceled the bonfire, but it’s time we start turning that page and truly supporting our new team. So let me bribe you a little bit to come out and give us that old jersey, hat, shirt, or whatever else you’ve got.

First, everyone who donates will be entered into a raffle to win some awesome prizes. We’ve partnered with MGM Resorts, T-Mobile Arena, Uniform Sports, and Popularity Popcorn to offer a vast array of prizes from a night stay at an MGM resort to gift cards for Vegas hockey gear to big bags of the most delicious popcorn on the planet. T-Mobile Arena is also giving the chance for one lucky winner to get an exclusive behind the scenes tour of the home of Las Vegas hockey. See the locker rooms, the sticks and skates rooms, the bunker suites, and anything else you would like to see in the arena.

But the raffle is just the beginning. The T-Mobile Arena Zamboni will be out on Toshiba Plaza for fans to take pictures with. It’s a rare chance to get an up close look at the coolest machine in all of sports and talk to the guy who’ll be driving it around at every home game.

Also, sign the “Thank You Bill Foley” banner that will be presented to him as part of the city proclaimed Bill Foley Day which will take place at the team’s name/logo unveil party. It’s a great opportunity to offer thanks to the man who made this all happen, because without him, Las Vegas hockey would still be a dream. (There’s a reason he’s referred to as The Creator on this site.)

Finally, everyone who comes and donates any item (hockey related or not) will receive a coupon for 10% off your first hockey purchase at Uniform Sports. No limits. If you plan on buying a jersey, hat, and t-shirt, these coupons will save you about $25.

Everything we collect will be donated to the Boys and Girls Club of Las Vegas. Hopefully we can bring mounds of hockey gear to these kids and and start making hockey fans out of every child in the valley.

So come join us, August 31st from 6-9PM on Toshiba Plaza and let’s keep building our hockey community!


Please RSVP and share the event on Facebook.

Vaughn Karpan Hired As Director of Player Personnel



Vaughn Karpan, the former Director of Professional Scouting for the Montreal Canadiens has been hired as Director of Player Personnel with Las Vegas.

He also has a past as an amateur scout with the Jets/Coyotes prior to his time in Montreal.

The titles are all beginning to sound similar as we continue to see McPhee add members to his staff. So, I think it’s time for a recap of everyone who has been hired on the hockey side. (Note: Craven is kind of a liaison between The Creator, hockey ops and business ops)

General Manager – George McPhee
Senior Vice President – Murray Craven
Assistant General Manager – Kelly McCrimmon
Director of Player Development – Wil Nichol
Director of Hockey Operations – Misha Donskov
Special Advisor to Hockey Operations – David Conte
Director of Player Personnel – Vaughn Karpan
Director of Hockey Legal Affairs/Capologist – Andrew Lugerner
Director of Hockey Administration – Katy Boettinger
Director of Goaltending and NHL Goaltender Coach – Dave Prior
Director of European Scouting – Vojtech Kucera 
Amateur Scout – Bruno Campese 

Got it? Ok, good. Cause I’m not doing this again til they hire ten more people.

Vaughn Karpan will always be remembered to me as “the guy’s profile that has the recap of the whole staff.” Congrats Vaughn, you’ve been bookmarked on computers all throughout the valley.

Okanagan Hockey Academy’s Bruno Campese Hired As Amateur Scout

We’ve got some more fresh blood on board, and this time there’s absolutely no connection to the Washington Capitals. Bruno Campese has been hired as an amateur scout likely to be focused on Western Canada and the Northwest United States.

From WHL Media Guide

From WHL Media Guide

Campese, a former goalie selected in the 12th round by the Boston Bruins, was most recently the head coach at the Okanagan Hockey Academy in Penticton, British Columbia, Canada. Prior to assuming that role he was the GM and/or head coach of the Prince Albert Raiders of the WHL from 2008-2015.

We can assume this was a Kelly McCrimmon hire based on his time spent competing against Campese with the Brandon Wheat Kings, also of the WHL.

During his time with the Raiders, Campese had two players drafted in the first round of the NHL draft, Josh Morrissey (#13 in 2013) and Mark McNeill (#18 in 2011).

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Mike Levine, Brown University Assistant Coach Reportedly Hired As Scout

UPDATE (9:31 AM 8/24/16): The organization sent out a press release today confirming Levine’s role as a scout as well as in player development.

We’re still waiting to hear back from the organization, but according to the Providence Journal Mike Levine has taken a job with Las Vegas as a scout.

We’ve reached out to multiple sources trying to confirm the hire, but have yet to hear back.

Levine has been an assistant coach at Brown University since 2013. He was the head coach at Kimball Union Academy in Meriden, New Hampshire prior to that.

If the news is accurate he’ll almost certainly become an amateur scout focusing on college players in the Northeast area of the U.S. We will update this story the moment we hear back confirming or denying this report.

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