After being confirmed last night by The Creator, the hire of Kelly McCrimmon will be made official today with an announcement from the still yet to be named organization.
This news was floated around almost a week ago when Guy Flaming tweeted about a source saying McCrimmon was coming to Vegas. We received a few messages from The Creator over the past week basically saying the hire was coming but that he was unable to confirm it. That changed last night when we got a one word email saying, “Confirmed.” The Brandon Wheat Kings then sent out a press release at 2:08 PM.
The winningest coach in franchise history, who has spent the better part of the last three decades as the driving force behind the Wheat Kings, has confirmed that he will be joining the new National Hockey League franchise in Las Vegas as the team’s new Assistant General Manager. -Brandon Wheat Kings
McCrimmon was previously the owner, general manager, and coach of the Brandon Wheat Kings of the Western Hockey League in Canada. His teams were wildly successful both in tallying wins but also in developing NHL level players. Nolan Patrick, the consensus #1 pick in the next Entry Draft, has been with the Wheat Kings since 2013 and will play one final year before heading to the NHL next season.
He will remain the owner of the Wheat Kings during his time in Las Vegas.
This is a dream job for any hockey executive and one I feel very fortunate to have been offered. The chance to build a team, an organization from the ground up, the chance to develop an identity and establish a culture will be challenging, invigorating and rewarding. -Kelly McCrimmon
Since Wednesday when we first got wind of the McCrimmon hire I’ve been reading news articles, message boards, tweets, and the like trying to get a feel for what fans think of the new Vegas AGM, and it’s almost astounding that you cannot find a single negative word about the guy.
He’s been described as an excellent talent evaluator, a winner, and an incredibly smart man. He’s got an MBA from Queen’s University in Ontario.
It’s obviously a huge step up going from a junior league to the NHL, but there’s not a more qualified guy to do it than one who was the owner, GM, and coach all at the same time.
“Kelly is an outstanding hockey man and we are delighted to have him join us. His extensive experience and consistently high level of performance in the game will help us build a strong and successful organization and team. His hockey acumen, character and work ethic are perfect for us. -George McPhee
Vegas released their own press release 12 minutes after the one from Brandon.
Bringing Kelly on board is another positive step as we build our hockey organization. -The Creator
I’ll go ahead and just jump on the bandwagon claiming this is an excellent hire cause honestly, aside from the lack of major league experience, there’s really not a negative attached to him.
So, welcome aboard Kelly, I think you’ll enjoy our weather.
Here’s the press release from the Wheat Kings. And here’s the one from Las Vegas.
Also, here’s a video of McCrimmon discussing the opportunity to join the Las Vegas NHL team.
Later tonight we’re scheduled to have an interview with Perry Bergson, beat reporter covering the Wheat Kings for the Brandon Sun. It’ll be posted here as well as uploaded to our podcast tonight.