New GM George McPhee has been doing the rounds, and this time in the center of the hockey universe. McPhee was interviewed by former NHL’er and friend Dave Poulin for TSN Toronto. It’s easy to hear McPhee’s excited to take this job and can’t wait to get started. He plans on coming back to Vegas this Monday to start the crunch. McPhee is clearly ready to build out his staff, and start examining players for next season. As he put it, the eleven months from now until the expansion draft will fly by.
However, Poulin was more interested in Las Vegas and if McPhee was optimistic about the culture. Flat out, McPhee said he was looking forward to moving to Las Vegas. He’s been told about some great suburbs where he intends to buy a home. He’s researched the local education and has some schools in mind for his kids to attend. He said it to me the other day, and reiterated to Poulin that the weather is great. Starting to gather McPhee isn’t much a fan of humidity. The GM also mentioned how easy it is to get around, and plenty to do for his wife and kids. He believes the hockey culture will grow, and the arena will be filled every night. McPhee stated Las Vegas was explained to him as a great place to live, and he’s hoping that’s the case for him and his family.
McPhee seems like an honest, easy going man who wants to get involved with the Las Vegas community. He is aware Vegas is an unconventional market, but he’s looking forward to educating local fans. He did it in Washington, and he enjoys discussing the game he loves. Talking to fans is something he really likes to do, and was asked that as part of his interview with The Creator.
It was one of the questions that I had to answer in the interview process. Are you willing to take a couple nights out every month from scouting in the first year to meet with our fans? Of course, of course. I’d love to talk to them. We got an obligation to try and really grow grassroots hockey. -George McPhee
In Washington, McPhee built teams that were fast, skilled, big, and entertaining. It filled up the arena, and expects the same at the T-Mobile Arena. With the new expansion draft (or waiver draft as the Canadians call it) rules, McPhee intends on building a better expansion team than in years past. The organization and league are expecting a competitive team early on. Due to that McPhee said he’ll employ a bigger pro scout staff than he did in Washington. He has 11 months to go, but he already has names for Head Scout, Scouts, Trainers, and Head Coach. It’s only day three and McPhee seems ahead of the game. Holding the same job for 17 years is a testament to McPhee and his ability to lead a club.
If he’s here in Vegas for 17 years, he’ll get his own legendary street name. Just like past Vegas legends Frank Sinatra, Jerry Tarkanian, and Bugsy Segal.