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Category: News (Page 1 of 11)

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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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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NHL Will Televise Expansion Draft Unveil

After this pesky 30 team hockey season going on right now comes to a close, the eyes of the hockey universe will all be focused on Las Vegas.

The Expansion Draft takes place from June 18th to the 20th with the unveiling of the rosters on the 21st. The NHL Awards show is expected to be the same day, and finally we’ve got some clarity on how the NHL plans on showing the world the 30 players George McPhee selected in the Expansion Draft.

In a conversation with Puck Daddy at the league general managers meetings about the upcoming NHL Awards, chief content officer Steve Mayer mentioned that the NHL will look to televise both the awards and the announcement of the expansion roster of the Vegas Golden Knights around same timeframe Las Vegas. It’s currently unclear, which television partner the NHL will use for the expansion draft. –Josh Cooper, Puck Daddy

Before you jump down anyone’s throat saying, “they should televise the draft itself!” read this, then come back and finish this article.

It is a step in the right direction that the league has confirmed it will indeed show the reveal of the picks, hopefully on NBC or at least NBCSN.

The Creator has said on multiple occasions that the Expansion Draft reveal will be at T-Mobile Arena, will be open to the public, and he wants to announce a pick once every five minutes. With the event being on TV, they’ll likely have to speed it up a bit, but it should be a memorable event no matter how it actually goes down. The Creator has even gone as far as saying he expects the building to be at max capacity, which would be amazing.

The Golden Knights are expected to unveil their jerseys at the Expansion Draft reveal as well.

As for the NHL Awards Show, we have multiple sources who have told us the preliminary plans are to hold it at The Park Theater right next door to T-Mobile Arena. Previous Awards shows have been at the Hard Rock, Wynn, and Palms, but there’s no denying now that MGM has a theatre the correct size (around 4,000), they’ll want to keep the NHL’s events all in the family.

The news of televising the reveal isn’t surprising in the least, but with the recent revelations of the league considering not making the protection lists public during the Expansion Draft, we’ve learned not to take anything for granted.

So, good job NHL on televising the reveal. For sure change your mind on the protection lists though, and also let’s try and put the reveal on TV somewhere people will actually watch it, and by that I mean not NHL Network.

First Golden Knight Ever! Reid Duke Signs With Vegas

Told you we wouldn’t have to wait until the Expansion Draft to learn the identity of the first player in Golden Knights history. The organization announced via press release they have signed 21-year-old Reid Duke to a three year entry level contract.

Reid Duke with AGM Kelly McCrimmon (Courtesy of Vegas Golden Knights)

Duke is currently playing on the Brandon Wheat Kings, the team still owned and formerly managed and coached by Vegas Assistant GM Kelly McCrimmon.

Duke is a goal scorer racking up 35 goals this season in the WHL to lead the Wheaties. He’s also tallied 32 assists to lead the team as well. Last year he scored 33 goals which was good enough for third on the Wheat Kings behind Nolan Patrick (likely the first pick in this year’s draft) and Jace Hawryluk (drafted #32 by Florida in 2014).

He’s a highly skilled kid, and he always has been. He just has to play the game the right way in order to earn some of those opportunities. -Brad Bombardir, Minnesota Wild Director of Player Development

He’s 6’0″ 190 pounds and has been described as sound in all areas.

Duke is quickly developing into an ‘all-round’, responsible player in all three zones. The forward is responsible in the defensive end while still showing some creativity in the opponent’s end. He continues to show flashes of an elite skill set but hasn’t been able to display them consistently. –EliteProspects.com

Duke spends quite a bit of time in the box. 71 PIM in 54 games this season with the Wheat Kings, with a career high of 91 in 62 games with the Lethbridge Hurricanes in 2013-14.

He’ll finish out the season up in Brandon before heading to Vegas to take part in the team’s first Development Camp this Summer.

A joint press phone call with Duke and McPhee is scheduled for this afternoon, we’ll have more after the call. But for now, I’ll leave you with this…

Oh, and this.

Here’s a pretty nice highlight package courtesy of the Brandon Wheat Kings.

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.

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 T-Mobile Arena Open House On February 21

In an effort to launch the 11-game and 22-game season ticket packages the Vegas Golden Knights are opening up T-Mobile Arena for a 24 hour extravaganza.

The event is free, open to the public, and begins at 8:00 AM on Tuesday, February 21st.

During the open house, current season ticket members and prospective season ticket members are welcome to view the arena from their respective seats, tour the facility and participate in a variety of interactive programming. -Press Release

The biggest news here though is that the team is giving away a pair of tickets every hour to the home opener.

Plus there will be team staff on hand throughout the entire 24-hour period talking hockey with fans.

Hockey Operations personnel including Senior Vice President Murray Craven, Hockey Operations Assistant Keith Veronesi and other members of the Golden Knights staff will lead educational hockey discussions/demonstrations throughout the 24 hours, and fun interactives for fans of all ages will be set up on the arena floor including a shooting cage, street hockey and more. -Press Release

CBS Radio Las Vegas is broadcasting a total of eight shows over five different networks live from T-Mobile Arena on the 21st. (Radio partnership hint?)

Our city is open 24 hours a day so it is only appropriate we hold a 24-hour event of our own, especially for our fans who may work in the three-shift hospitality industry. This open house will give all Las Vegans the opportunity to tour our incredible arena and will give our current season ticket members a chance to see their actual seats for the first time since our name unveil. It is sure to be an exciting, unique 24-hours at T-Mobile Arena. -Kerry Bubolz, President

They’ve also promised hockey discussions every half hour with members of the staff.

The event was described to SinBin.vegas as “24 hours of zaniness.” Which we can only imagine means, lots and lots of free stuff. Or at least we can hope, my dumbass only took one pin on Thursday. See ya Tuesday people, and please wear SinBin gear, make us look good.

Click “read more” for the full press release from the team.

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Creator Confirms Golden Knights Will Have Two Mascots

The name and logo are all good and well, but now it’s time for them to come to life in the form of a mascot, or as The Creator shared with SinBin.vegas, two mascots.

We’re going to have two mascots. One fan-friendly, kid-friendly mascot and there’s going to be one awesome, mean mother… the guy you don’t want to meet in the woods. -The Creator

First off, describing one mascot as a “mean mother…” might be the greatest thing that’s ever come out of The Creator’s mouth. It’s a shame he didn’t realize he was in the R-Rated space of talking to SinBin.vegas and finished off the thought with what he really wanted to say.

He went on to speak about his dream, which I heard for the first time in April of 2016 and have heard many times since, of the mascot skating in his full suit of armor and pulling Excalibur from the ice to kick off the season. Expect that mascot to be a true to form human knight plucked right out of the medieval days.

The other mascot is a bit more of a mystery. The only description we got was “kid-friendly” which leads me to believe he (or she) will be your classic fluffy oversized bobblehead looking mascot. Think this, or this, even something like this.

A female/male combo? -SinBin.vegas

Nah, I think we’ll go… Well the male is going to be the Golden Knight, and I’ve got a lot of ideas for him, then we have another idea but I can’t tell you about it yet. -The Creator

My guess would be an apprentice-type, or even the son of the Golden Knight.

Hopefully holding a sword from the Sword Star logo, wearing an oversized VGK helmet that doesn’t yet fit, and acting like a child trying to be like his father, but doesn’t yet have the skills, but no one asked me, so who knows.

Either way, not one but two mascots will be roaming the rows of T-Mobile Arena come October when the team finally hits the ice for the first time. As for when we’ll get to meet the literal faces of the franchise? That’s still unknown. Could be any time between next week and east July.

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