Everybody’s got their own ideas on how to build the Golden Knights, how good to make them out of the gate, and how long it should take to bring Lord Stanley’s Cup to The Valley of Hockey (not letting that nickname die…yet).
However, there’s only one man who really controls the answers to those three questions, George McPhee. The problem is, I’m not so sure he and his boss are on the exact same page.
I have never said I’m going to be patient about winning (laughter). I think that our General Manager has maybe expressed that he wants to build from the ground up and he wants to build from the draft forward, I’ve always said my goal is playoffs in three and Stanley Cup in six. –The Creator on The Vegas Hockey Hotline
Read that how you may, but before you make up your mind, let me throw in another straw to stir up the drink.
When George McPhee was hired on July 13th no contract details were made available. No dollar amount, no term length, nothing. Maybe it’s because no one asked, right?
So, three weeks ago I sent in an inquiry to the Golden Knights asking for the information. I was quickly told that most NHL GM’s salaries are not made public, which is true. But term length is a different story, that’s made public by many organizations. See Pittsburgh, Montreal, and Chicago to name a few. So how long is McPhee’s contract?
We will not be disclosing the term length -Eric Tosi, VP of Communications
Despite my examples of team’s disclosing the information, this is by no means unprecedented in the NHL, a league that still allows an amputated foot to be called a “lower body injury.” The Arizona Coyotes are infamous for including the phrase “as per Club policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed,” in every press release they send out.
But it does beg the question, why go down that road? What is there to hide about how long McPhee is under contract in Vegas?
The Creator wants to see a Stanley Cup in six years, he wants his franchise in the playoffs in three. McPhee’s been a bit more vague on his timeline.
There’s always going to be pressure on a GM no matter the length of his deal. McPhee himself was once quoted saying, “in this job, you’re 24 hours away from being fired almost any time.” But in reality, a contract that runs through 2020 (year three) looks a lot different than one that runs through 2023 (year six).
What happens if the Golden Knights aren’t in the playoffs in the 2019-2020 season? What if they haven’t even won a playoff series by 2023, the year they are supposed to be hoisting the Cup?
McPhee’s patience may very well hinge on the length of his deal. His quotes about building through the Entry Draft, and doing it the right way may be all fine and well when Reid Duke is the only player on the roster, and the first game is still six months away. But the end date on that contract will undoubtably impact the style of management he takes in building the Golden Knights.
Unless they change their minds, we’ll never know how long that initial McPhee contract lasts, but odds are, his actions in year three will give us all the clues we need to figure it out.