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Praise Be To Foley, Vegas Golden Knights Hockey Website

Author: Ken Boehlke (Page 2 of 55)

Stagnant Salary Cap Good News For Golden Knights

The NHL GM Meetings kick off from Boca Raton today with Golden Knights GM George McPhee finally allowed to be a part. The 31 general managers will discuss things like coaches challenges, the offside rule, bye weeks, concussion protocol, among many other rules and regulations.

There’s one that’s particularly interesting to Vegas though, and it has nothing to do with the Expansion Draft. It’s the salary cap and how projections are for it to remain stagnant rather than the normal annual increase.

The NHL apparently anticipates the cap to remain flat next season, with little if any increase projected over this year’s $73 million ceiling. So the major-market franchises that drive NHL revenue and successful clubs that habitually are cap teams get hammered again in attempting to maintain — or improve — their personnel while the small market clubs go along for the ride. –Larry Brooks, New York Post

If this does indeed come true, which we should find out sometime over the next three days, it’s a win for the Golden Knights.

We’ve always known that teams are going to be looking for a way to dump contracts on McPhee, which he has a plan for.

I’m not taking on any bad contracts unless someone wants to pay us to take on a bad contract. I’m really not interested in that, we’ll claim somebody else if we have to. -George McPhee

With the cap not increasing, teams like Chicago, Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh, Detroit, and a host of others who are already up against it will have some tough decisions to make.

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If A Deal Was Done For Eric Fehr, Why And What Would Vegas Get?

The trade deadline came and went with the Golden Knights making some of the biggest news. No, they didn’t actually announce the acquisition of any players, draft picks, or expansion agreements, but they did become a “fully operational member” of the NHL.

Thus, George McPhee was effectively in the game before the clock struck midnight on the deadline. The NHL’s gibberish rules for what the Golden Knights can now do state that even if McPhee did pull off a deal, it could not be made official until every player involved has completed their 2016-17 season, which won’t happen until April at the earliest.

However, that didn’t stop the guys over at Hockey Central from speculating that deals were indeed agreed upon. Former Columbus BJ’s general manager Doug MacLean basically guaranteed the Golden Knights agreed to at least a few deals, and even went as so far as to mention one player by name. Eric Fehr.

Eric Fehr, the former Capital (hint, hint), Jet, Penguin, and now Maple Leaf just so happened to play his junior hockey with the Brandon Wheat Kings (hint, hint, hint, hint!). His contract expires at the end of the Golden Knights first season and is a reasonable $2 million for the right winger. He’s been around the league, is considered a good locker room guy, and talent wise he’s certainly going to be good enough to be on Vegas’ initial 23 man roster. The point is, the Golden Knights staff has a connection to him, he has a friendly contract, is the type of player they are looking for, and is good enough at hockey.

Now, take a look at the Maple Leafs expansion situation. Their most coveted players are all exempt due to age, Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, William Nylander and Nikita Zaitsev. There are nine players currently on the roster with expiring contracts, all but two of which for the sake of this exercise can be thrown out. That leaves them with 16 skaters that meet the requirement eligible to be protected. Bear in mind, they must expose two forwards and one defenseman that are both under contract and have played 40 games this year or 70 in the last two. The Maple Leafs currently only have seven forwards who fit both qualifications, and that’s including Fehr.

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SinBin.vegas Podcast #57: Officially Official

This super long episode goes to show that Ken and Jason have no lives and all they want to do is talk VGK all day. It’s so long it’s possible there is no podcast next week, but we’ll have to see on that. Hosted by Ken Boehlke and Jason Pothier.

  • The open, hate it?
  • The best stereotype to have.
  • Does becoming official mean the team could have been taken away?
  • Ken thinks Jason is a terrible fan of teams.
  • Can Vegas ever become a “hockey city?”
  • How and when do you judge George McPhee’s performance?

And much more…

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

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Translating NHL’s Rules And Regulations On Vegas Transactions

252 days ago the NHL announced Vegas as the league’s 31st franchise. Today, the NHL announced Vegas as officially the league’s 31st franchise. There’s a difference there, and it involved $500 million dollars of The Creator’s money, but we don’t have to worry about it anymore, thank goodness.

What we do have to worry about is what has changed between yesterday and 12:04 this afternoon when the Golden Knights sent out the press release confirming the final payment has cleared and have become a “fully operational member of the National Hockey League.”

With the announcement the league put out a list of rules and regulations about exactly what George McPhee and the Golden Knights are able to do now that they are fully operational. Unfortunately their rules are written in some sort of jibberish laywery talk which is nearly impossible for English speaking humans to understand. (Yes, I did just say lawyers aren’t humans.) Luckily, SinBin.vegas is here to translate. Here we go!

**There’s an acronym glossary at the bottom**

Bona Fide Transactions: Effective today, Vegas may now enter into Trades and Waiver Transactions or sign Players to NHL SPCs in accordance with CBA Section 50.8(d) or a Player Transfer Agreement (a “bona fide transaction”). Any bona fide transactions involving current Players must specify the identity of each and every such Player(s) at the time the transaction is entered into.

Translation – Vegas can make trades and sign players. They just can’t cheat the CBA and have to tell the league when they make trades or sign players.

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Final Payment Clears; Vegas Official And Free To Make Moves

Update 3 (12:07 PM) – Official statement from The Creator via Golden Knights press release.

Today we reached another significant milestone in our team’s history – the Vegas Golden Knights are officially a National Hockey League franchise. It is an incredibly exciting day for our organization and we would not be here without the continued support from our fans. In February of 2015 we started our season ticket drive. We asked Las Vegans to put ticket deposits down for a team that didn’t exist in an arena that hadn’t been built and they came through in a big way. The progress we have made together in these last two short years is remarkable. Now that we are official, we look forward to continuing this momentum and building a team that our fans and our community will be proud of.

Update 2 (11:29 AM)

Update (8:18 AM) – “We are aware of the reports, we would issue a formal announcement if and when it is finalized.” -Eric Tosi, VP of Communications

Apparently that mountain of paperwork holding up the Golden Knights from participating in the trade deadline this season has been signed, sealed, and delivered.
As reported by SportsNet’s John Shannon, the final payment of the $500 million expansion fee has cleared and the Vegas Golden Knights are officially a fully operational NHL franchise.

They are free to participate in the trade deadline which is at noon today. They can also sign college free agents, European players, or any other unsigned player.

Looking forward to getting into the office. –George McPhee, GM

McPhee can agree to any trade not involving Vegas actually taking on a player. In other words, Vegas can agree TO select or NOT TO select a player at the Expansion Draft in June in exchange for draft picks which will be reported as “future considerations.”

This comes as a bit of a surprise as The Creator mentioned in an interview with myself on KXNT Tuesday that the payment would not make it in time. McPhee also resigned to the fact that he’d have to deal in “gentlemen’s agreements” rather than official deals. Apparently the league woke up and realized what we’ve been saying all along, there’s really no reason to keep Vegas out any longer.

This news also means McPhee will be able to attend the general managers meetings beginning on March 6th.

Ilya Bryzgalov, Former Wrangler, Re-Opens “Distractions” Can Of Worms

Outspoken former goalie and current hockey analyst Ilya Bryzgalov has been out of the NHL since the conclusion of the 2014-15 season yet his voice is still an interesting one when it comes to Vegas Golden Knights matters.

The Russian who is “not afraid of anything… but bears,” recently lobbied for a job with the Golden Knights in an interview with SportsNet, but it was his comments on distractions that may need to be taken seriously.

The young ones with the cash? Las Vegas can provide lots of scenes, know what I mean? Not many young guys can say, ‘It’s not for me. I have things to do here.’ We’ll see how much trouble can be in Las Vegas. But! I think it can be a fun place to play. –Ilya Bryzgalov to Luke Fox of SportsNet

Bryzgalov tried out for the Wranglers in 2013 and practiced with the team for two weeks before being released. He said ECHL players don’t have the money to get themselves into trouble, but believes NHL players are a different story.

It’s tough to tell how serious he was being in the conversation, because in the previous sentence he actually said he hopes George McPhee reads the article and gives him a chance, but either way, coming from a former player it has to hold a bit of weight.

During the NHL Awards in June, Brett Burns, Jamie Benn, and Ryan Kesler all went on record saying distractions won’t be an issue in Vegas any more than any other city. However, none of them have actually lived and played in Vegas, even if for just a short period like Bryzgalov.

It’s possible Bryzgalov was just trying to have some fun, like when he pondered the size of the universe on HBO, or it’s possible he’s being serious. Either way, it’s a story that won’t go away until players make it.

SinBin.vegas Podcast #56: Open House Reax

After spending an the day in its entirety at T-Mobile Arena at the 24 hour open house, the guys are back in the studio talking all things VGK. Hosted by Ken Boehlke and Jason Pothier.

  • Racist joke on local hip hop station in Vegas.
  • The successes of the open house.
  • Getting fans of other teams to learn to love to Golden Knights.
  • Significance of the final payment.
  • Who’s fault is it?
  • Signing college free agents. Looking for a splash or a role player?

And much more…

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

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Practice Facility Tour Pictures

The Vegas Golden Knights Practice Facility in Downtown Summerlin just across from Red Rock Casino is set to open in the middle of August. Senior VP and facility project manager Murray Craven took me through the site on February 23rd. Here are all of the pictures.

First Floor Blueprint (click the images below to zoom in)

 

Second Floor Blueprint (click the images below to zoom in)

Finished product drawing

Team entrance, looking into players lounge

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Final Payment Won’t Be Made By Trade Deadline, No Deals For VGK

On an interview on KXNT Radio with Alan Stock (and me), The Creator confirmed that the final payment, which allows the team “full entry” into the league will not clear in time for the trade deadline on March 1st.

We won’t make it before the trade deadline. The documentation is unbelievable. I have documentation with the league on a franchise agreement. I have documentation on a loan we are taking out with CitiBank. I’ve got my personal stuff, which all has to get in and get approved. If you saw the stack of documents you’d say it’s not a pretty picture. -The Creator

What it means is the Vegas Golden Knights cannot be officially active at this trade deadline. Deals can be agreed to in principal but cannot be signed off on by the league.

George is having informal calls informal talks with various GMs. Other teams want to do more than we want to do. They want to lock up some of their players for the playoff run and after the playoff run. We aren’t going to get ahead of ourselves. George is going to make good deals. George is a deal maker especially in hockey. If we give up the right to draft a good player we are going to get something good for it. -The Creator

The next question is whether or not the payment will clear in time for George McPhee to attend the GM meetings beginning on March 6th.

In the end, the significance of this will always be unknown. Would deals have actually gotten done? Would McPhee have been willing to sign the dotted line on not selecting a player with four months still to go before the Expansion Draft? We’ll never know.

This also delays the ability to sign college free agents and undrafted players.

Well we just feel the sooner the better. We’d like to start doing some business. We’re ready to go and it’s important for us to be involved. It’s important for us to be at the table at the GM’s meetings because there are important decisions regarding the league and all of hockey in general are being made there and Las Vegas should be heard. –George McPhee to Puck Daddy on February 9th

But the fact of the matter is now we know for sure, the 2017 trade deadline will not involve the Vegas Golden Knights.

 

24 Hour Open House At T-Mobile Arena: Pictures and Observations

The Golden Knights have opened up their home as part of a 24-hour open house at T-Mobile Arena from 8AM this morning to 8AM tomorrow. I wrote this post last week explaining the whole thing, and I don’t really feel like explaining it again, so instead here’s a bunch of pictures and my thoughts on the event.

Observations

  • Early returns on attendance have been pretty strong. For the first few hours there’s been somewhere between 500-1000 people in the building at any point and there’s been a steady line the entire time at the “ticket information” table.
  • The ice is NOT laid despite what my friend from Channel 8 thinks who told me he expected the ice to be much more white. #NailedIt
  • They have a blow-up castle type thing to shoot pucks in, cornhole/beanbag games decked out with Golden Knights logos, both goals are in place, they have VGK Jenga (seriously, there’s a picture below), and the head equipment manager has sticks, helmets, and pads to try on.
  • There are white pieces of paper on seats throughout the arena which have information on season tickets for that seat. By rough count, there are probably about 100 of those.
  • Split season ticket information is available for the first time on 11-game and 22-game packages. The price list is in a picture below.
  • They weren’t kidding, they are literally giving away two seats to the home opener once an hour. You do not have to be present to win.
  • A very loud gong is hit every time someone purchases tickets.
  • Behind The Vegas Ice episodes are being played on the jumbotron. You better believe I filmed “the scene” on the big screen.
  • Attendance picked up significantly through the early night. I’m guessing about 1500 or so as a max in the building at one time.
  • They turned on the Blackhawks/Wild game on the big screen, with sound. I also heard that Duluth Trading Company underwear commercial about eight times on the T-Mobile sound system. Lucky them.
  • I was in the arena all the way from about 10PM until 4AM. There were people on the floor playing the games throughout the entire time. Most were recently off the late shift at the casinos or restaurants. However there were a bundle of people who were here earlier in the day and came back cause they thought it would be fun.
  • Multiple tickets were sold between the hours of midnight and 5AM.
  • I’m not going to make it the whole 24 hours. I arrived at 7AM on Tuesday and I will be leaving the arena at 6:30 AM on Wednesday. 23 and half ain’t too bad.
  • All in all, this should be viewed as a highly successful event, and I’ll have much more on it tomorrow about what we learned. At least 8,000 people were through the building during the 24 hours and the final number is likely to be pushing 9,000. Pretty darn good to come in and see a building that’s been open for 10 months.

Pictures

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