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)
Just got text from Bill Foley. Deal done. Golden Knights officially full-fledged members of NHL. Still time for GMGM to swing a deal.
— Steve Carp (@stevecarprj) March 1, 2017
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.
Vegas Golden Knights will officially be in the hockey business this afternoon. I’s dotted…T’s crossed…George McPhee can start dealing.
— John Shannon (@JSportsnet) March 1, 2017
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.