Superstar reporter, and quite possible the winner of the award “National Media Member Who Cares Most About The Goings On In Vegas,” Josh Cooper from Puck Daddy had a chance to catch up with our new Assistant General Manager Kelly McCrimmon.
In the interview Kelly talks about all sorts of different topics from living in Vegas to analytics to running a business. One thing in particular struck me though.
I didn’t have a relationship with anyone in the organization. -Kelly McCrimmon, AGM
It’s so simple, yet so important. Every hire the team has had to this point, and every hire they make over the next few months, media everywhere will try to connect the dots to any prior relationships the new guy has to the people already on board.
With McCrimmon, the only connection we could find was that both were linked to the job in Toronto last year.
Since the beginning, there’s always been a bit of concern over what people refer to as the “Boys Club” where guys hire friends and other guys they know. In the rare case of having the chance to build a full organization, that’s not a great way to fill out a staff. The hiring of McCrimmon shows McPhee, The Creator, and anyone else involved are trying to hire only the best, even when it hurts other’s feelings.
(The lowest part is) When you have to tell someone they are not a fit, sometimes that’s a friend you have to tell that to, sometimes it’s somebody you’ve know for a long time in the business. But if I’m doing my job right it’s not about friendship, it’s about finding the right people. -George McPhee
GMGM said that to Brian Blessing on Sportsbook Radio earlier this week. With McCrimmon, he proved it.
Then there’s Wil Nichol, the new Director of Player Development, who was announced yesterday. There’s an obvious connection to McPhee through the Capitals, but there were many people more connected to McPhee than Nichol.
Remember the name Ross Mahoney? The rumors were that Vegas asked for permission to interview the current AGM of the Caps and McPhee’s former right hand man. A week later, McCrimmon had the job.
Heck, we can even go as far back as McPhee himself. Neither The Creator nor Murray Craven had any tangible connection to the new GM. Yet he’s the one who got the job.
It’s one thing to say things, it’s another to act upon them. From all accounts, Las Vegas is putting together a dream team front office. There are still a lot of people who need to be added to the staff, but thus far, it does appear it’s about competence not kinship.
**Be sure to read the full McCrimmon interview with Puck Daddy. Lot’s of great stuff in there.**
The Arizona Coyotes went through a terrible period where Wayne Gretzky was hired.. brought his manager in as GM.. then went through a revolving door of ex-oilers who basically just cashed checks. Example Paul Coffey as a power play advisor. Even players where brought in like Brett Hall who didn’t train at all during lock out and just sat at end of bench… The point being.. buddies and yes men are not good ingredients for success.. so thumbs up and I like it.