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Praise Be To Foley, Vegas Golden Knights Hockey Website

Author: Ken Boehlke (Page 1 of 55)

Expansion Draft Protection Lists Will Be Made Public

And just like that, the Expansion Draft protection list saga is over, and the good guys win.

Those lists are set to be submitted to the NHL by 2:00 P.M. PT on Saturday, June 17th. Vegas then has three days to get their 30 selections in, and they will then be revealed in a nationally televised, free to attend event at T-Mobile Arena on Wednesday June 21st.

The general managers spoke out against the lists being made public, and The Creator even said he prefers they remain secret until the reveal on the 21st.

After a lot of internal discussion following the General Managers meeting, we determined it would be best to disclose those lists publicly. One of our guiding principles from the start of this process was to prioritize transparency, and certainly here, keeping the lists private would not have promoted that particular objective. –Bill Daly, NHL Deputy Commissioner to NHL.com

But cooler heads prevailed and the world will get to play “armchair McPhee” and pick their 30 from the list of available players right along with the Vegas GM.

Man, June is going to be fun.

The Creator Wants Protection Lists Kept Secret, He’s Wrong And Here’s Why

The visibility of the Expansion Draft protections lists is shaping up to be quite the war between the public and the powers that be in the NHL. The GMs made it rather clear at their meetings in Boca Raton, FL a few weeks ago that they had no interest in allowing the world to see what’s going on behind the scenes of their organization, and more importantly open them up to criticism on Expansion Draft errors.

That’s all makes sense, but as a member of the working hockey media, it’s rather difficult to feel too bad for 31 gentleman who each hold one of the most envious positions in the NHL and are compensated handsomely to do the job.

But now, our own front man has come out against making the lists public, and his reasoning is completely different than that of his top employee and McPhee’s 30 colleagues.

I’d rather not have them be public. I’d rather we know what each team has left unprotected and we make our picks and it’s a big surprise. I think there’s going to be a lot of leaks though. I found one thing about the NHL that … everyone talks. So what we do is we don’t tell anybody anything. I think the impact of us announcing the people we pick from our expansion draft picks – particularly if the list of unprotected people is not made public is more dramatic, it’ll be more of a surprise. –The Creator to Puck Daddy

Now he does have a point, there’s definitely a level of interest that could be gained by having the Expansion Draft reveal be this massive surprise, but it’s a short sighted way of looking at the situation.

If the lists are made public, there will be at least three full days of speculation in which the words ‘Golden Knights’ will be at the center of. The surprise may be bigger (I disagree, and will address that in a second), but it’s also shorter.

If we learned anything from the recent Presidential election it’s that being in the news is a good thing. Every day it was something else and you couldn’t surf a website, scroll a timeline, or watch a television program without hearing the word Trump. He dominated the talk and eventually parlayed it into becoming the most powerful man in the world.

Every media member, every blogger, every fan of the sport will toy with the lists with their mind constantly on one thing, “which of these guys is going to be a Golden Knight.” VGK will be trending for a week rather than an hour.

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SinBin.vegas Podcast #59: Tony Cordasco

Back in the studio after a short hiatus, we are joined by Las Vegas local legend, Tony Cordasco. Hosted by Ken Boehlke and Jason Pothier.

  • Tony explains his involvement in Dark 4 Tark.
  • The Raiders are coming.
  • Golden Knights marketing plan with the Raiders in play.
  • Voice memo from Matt.
  • Tony’s interesting way of landmarking Las Vegas locations.
  • How should the Golden Knights treat the Raiders publicly?

And much more…

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

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**Thanks again to Tony Cordasco for joining us. You can find his company at Dasco Events and catch him on Sports Adrenaline every Thursday.

Sabres GM Recalls A Favor From McPhee; Expansion Deal Coming?

The club of NHL general managers is a small fraternity. A group of 31 that are active and no more than 150 or so in the century long history of the league. (Someone count em for me, seemed like a lot of work.)

This small group leads to a familiarity and at times an understanding that what goes around comes around. Scratch my back now, and I’ll scratch your back later. Well it appears Buffalo GM Tim Murray scratched the back of George McPhee while with the Capitals, and the Sabres may be ready to cash in on a favor from 2014.

I’ve had a conversation or two with George on who I wouldn’t like to lose and how we can make that happen. Maybe I’ve done a deal with George in the past that was considered somewhat of a favor. Maybe I’ve had a conversation with him reminding him of that, and he remembered the wordage of that deal word-for-word, which I was very happy to hear. –Tim Murray, Buffalo Sabres GM to WGR-AM 550

That deal he’s talking about went like this.

Washington receives: Jaroslav Halak & 2015 3rd round pick
Buffalo receives: Michal Neuvirth & Rostislav Klesla

The favor was in Buffalo taking Klesla, who never even stepped foot in Buffalo. He and his $3 million contract went back home to the Czech Republic, and came off McPhee’s cap.

You only do a favor when it suits you. You do a favor for somebody when you can afford to do that favor now, knowing that you might need something down the road. That’s what favors are. -Murray

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Raiders Coming To Vegas, Creator Not Exactly Enthused

Today was dubbed by most as a historic day as the NFL approved the Raiders move from Oakland to Las Vegas. The Raiders are set to begin playing in Las Vegas in 2020. The Vegas Golden Knights, Vegas’ major first professional sports franchise, put out a statement shortly after the news went public.

“On behalf of the entire Vegas Golden Knights family, I would like to welcome and congratulate Mark Davis and the Oakland Raiders on their relocation to the great city of Las Vegas. It truly is an exciting time to be from Las Vegas. There is only a select group of cities in North America that are home to both an NHL and an NFL franchise and Vegas is now one of them. This alone should be a great source of pride for our community and our fans. Las Vegas has always been one of the most popular destination cities in the world and it is now emerging as a premier location for major league professional sports. -The Creator

That’s the politically correct version. Let’s just put it this way, The Creator was a bit more honest and forthcoming on a must-hear interview with The Vegas Hockey Hotline on KSHP 1400 (embedded below).

And that was just the beginning.

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McCrimmon Downplays Final Payment Importance

In the early afternoon on March 1st, the day of the NHL Trade Deadline, The Creator’s money cleared and the Vegas Golden Knights officially became the 31st franchise in the NHL.

They were free to make moves, George McPhee could attend the GM meetings in Boca, and the Golden Knights were to be treated like any of the Original 30 teams. Big deal, right? Not so much apparently.

There’s so much interest and attention and coverage of our team, so when we became official on March 1st there was an expectation that it significantly changed things for us when in reality our day to day didn’t change at all. -Kelly McCrimmon, Assistant General Manager

Speaking on The Vegas Hockey Hotline (begins at 31:20), the AGM said the only importance it really had was that it was a nice moment for the owner.

He wouldn’t talk about deals that were made and didn’t seem to believe the Reid Duke signing was affected by the timing of the final payment either.

In terms of our discussions with other teams those had been ongoing, I think what we are finding is that as we get later in the calendar year, teams are going to be more and more interested in having discussions with us. -McCrimmon

There’s really no reason to doubt McCrimmon and McPhee on their description of the final payment, but there’s still a part of me that wonders why The Creator specifically said it would not get done in time for the deadline, then magically made it happen just minutes before the league closed trading for the year.

If there was truly no significance, why would the league have taken time out of arguably the busiest day on the calendar to deal with paperwork with a team not playing a game until October?

There has to be a reason it happened, unfortunately, I doubt we’ll ever know.

Drone Footage Of Practice Facility

The Practice Facility in Downtown Summerlin is continuing it’s almost ridiculous pace and now appears as if it might actually be operational ahead of schedule.

Friend of the site and Las Vegas sports broadcasting legend Ron Futrell and his team at Avisight sent the drone up over the facility and came back with some pretty sweet images.

If you missed my exclusive (at the time) (now they seem to be letting all the other media folks in, another in the long line of people copying us months later and then saying on TV they were first, so then people actually think they were first, which they weren’t, obviously. Sorry. It bugs me.) tour of the practice facility, it’s here.

This is the first we’ve seen it with the final roofing structure beginning to take shape. The plan still is to have the place open, at least a portion of it, in mid August in time for the rookie training camp.

I’d expect it to be skate-able for the public in October or so, and the restaurant will likely be my go-to spot for pizza and Foley Pinot Noir in early 2017.

Vegas To Control All Hockey Operation At AHL Level; Likely Affiliated With Chicago Wolves

Remember about a month ago when we were discussing the Chicago Wolves organization and how they may not be the perfect fit for the Golden Knights? Well after a little further digging, it appears the information that led us to that conclusion is a bit out-dated, and the concerns we had aren’t going to be an issue at all.

Vegas will have full control over hockey operations of it’s minor league affiliate. They will be the primary NHL team to be affiliated with their minor league team, and the Chicago Wolves are still the likely destination which will be announced when the AHL season concludes in late April to mid May (depending on the Wolves success in the playoffs).

Let me back up a minute and show my work here, cause this is quite a bit different from what I said a little more than a month ago.

The first report of an affiliation with the Wolves was posted by Steve Carp of the RJ on January 1st. At that time it was reported as “in discussions” with Chicago.

Since then, sources have assured with me on multiple occasions that unless something changes, it’ll be Chicago. I even got a pretty strong hint of that yesterday as well.

So that’s when I went into dig mode on what an affiliation with the Wolves would look like. Historically, the Wolves are one of the most independently run AHL franchises even making comments like this.

They are in no way defined by their NHL parent. Affiliation, for (Wolves GM Wendell Young), is just another league rule. –Danny Ecker, Crain’s Chicago Business

That quote was from 2013, but Ecker doubled down on that in an article written in June 2016 about the Blues extending their affiliation with the Wolves.

Then yesterday, in a special Q&A with season ticket holders, George McPhee was asked about the minor league affiliation and exactly how that will process will work.

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Listen Up VGK, Honesty’s The Best Policy, So Says MLB’s Best Executive

When it comes to building a winning franchise from the ground up, no one in the history of sports is better than current Chicago Cubs President and General Manager, Theo Epstein. He’s the mastermind behind ending not one, but two, of the longest championship droughts in the history of sports.

Epstein began his tenure with the Boston Red Sox in 2002. In 2007 they won the World Series for the first time in 86 years. Epstein then resigned and took the same job in Chicago with the Cubs in 2012. In 2017, the Cubs won the World Series for the first time in 108 years.

In short, this guy knows what he’s doing.

It started with trying to be really transparent with the players. The more you do that, it’s kind of like a drug. You realize it’s just easier when you’re transparent. You don’t have to worry about remembering your lies or your slants or your coverups. Then you realize it works with everyone. It works managing up, it works with the media, it works with agents, it works with your fans. It’s kind of the best way to do things if you can pull it off. Something as simple as transparency is really scalable, because it quickly impacts the culture. And the culture is something everyone feels. –Theo Epstein, Chicago Cubs GM, President

Be honest with players. Be honest with staff. Be honest with agents. Be honest with the media. Be honest with the fans.

It’s something we here at SinBin.vegas have been harping on for a long time and are often met with resistance with people telling us, “it just doesn’t work that way.” Well Theo disagrees.

If upper management is really transparent with everyone, that has this amplifying effect. Then you tend to attract players who operate that way, on the same wavelength, coaches and fans. -Epstein

Now I’m not here to say the Vegas Golden Knights aren’t being transparent and open. Much the opposite in most cases. The Creator himself is one of the most honest sports owners out there. But there have been some hints from this budding franchise of wanting to go the Belichick route at times rather than the Epstein one.

It’s kind of the best way to do things if you can pull it off. -Epstein

When you can’t pull it off is when you are making decisions that are not in the best interest of your paying customers. Remember when MGM instituted their parking fees. This is how they sold it.

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No One But McPhee May Be Able To See Protection Lists, Even Other GMs

This strange saga keeps getting stranger. We’ve long expected the NHL Expansion Draft protections lists to be made public the day the Golden Knights 72 hour draft period begins allowing speculation to dominate the world of sports talk. Then recently we found out the NHL may keep the lists private from the media and the pubic in what would be a giant mistake.

Now, it looks like they may even take it one step further. It’s possible no one but the Golden Knights will get to see the full lists.

The managers have expressed a preference for maintaining the confidentiality of that information. We will make a final decision in due time. There is no rush here. -Bill Daly, NHL Deputy Commissioner

The issue here, I think, is that some GMs are hesitant to let everyone else in the league see how they are ranking or otherwise valuing their own players. I would argue that they already do show their cards when they reveal how they compensate the players in terms of salary. But I suppose that, if lower-paid players end up getting protected over higher-paid players in some cases, teams might not want that kind of naked truth being blatantly blasted out there for posterity. –Pierre LeBrun, ESPN

Before you go nuts about how ridiculous this is, let me take a moment to explain why this is the only way as a Golden Knights fan you should be okay with them not making the lists available to the public.

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