We’ve been trying to piece together what the front office of the new Las Vegas NHL franchise might look like and the one name keeps popping up as a candidate for a high ranking hockey ops position is currently the special adviser to the New York Islanders, George McPhee.
If you don’t know that name, you should, because
we’ve mentioned him before and you need to pay more attention to the site you could argue he’s the man responsible for the Washington Capitals success this season. After all McPhee drafted Alexander Ovechkin, Braden Holtby, EDIT: Peter Bondra, Nicklas Backstrom and had the insight to give Bruce Boudreau his first coaching job.
So, is there a connection between Las Vegas, The Creator, and McPhee? By themselves no, but when you throw current advisor Murray Craven into the mix, we have a connection.
In 1992 McPhee landed his first big time management job with the Vancouver Canucks. He assisted General Manager Pat Quinn and was a Board of Governors Alternate. Here’s the tie in, Craven was traded to the Vancouver Canucks in 1992 from the Hartford Whalers at the trade deadline, a deal in which McPhee played a instrumental role.
The two have met on the ice as well when they participated in a bench clearing brawl when Craven played for the Philadelphia Flyers against McPhee’s New York Rangers. Apparently a couple of punches found their way to Craven’s head which I’m sure isn’t the version Murray would tell you.
In spite of their brawl, there’s a certain amount of affection towards McPhee, who stands at 5-9, 180, when Craven speaks of him now. “Pound for pound he was one of the toughest players in his time,” said Craven.
Former Coyote General Manager, Don Maloney, said of McPhee that he may not have had all the talent in the world but no one questioned his intelligence.
Another league insider described McPhee to me as “an animal.” I assume that means he’s a pretty good negotiator. He went on to say McPhee is free and clear to accept an offer from Las Vegas which apparently he wants to do. When I told him it’s tough to decipher which piece of information is accurate and which piece is not he replied that, “his source is never wrong.” Pretty strong statement from a guy who used to work for the league.
We’ll have to wait and see if McPhee is indeed and interested and/or if he ends up being the guy, but this leads me to believe that even though the league is still dragging their feet in the dessert, the The Creator and his team are quietly and ethically putting out some feelers.
In my opinion the more I know and learn about McPhee the more I’m convinced he would be a Vegas-type guy.
Nice post. I enjoyed GMGM’s time in D.C., but will he learn that at some point he will be to be more aggressive with moves? He stayed pat when some of his draftees should have been moved out.
Another key question: Can he patch up harsh feelings with player agents? Washington Post wrote about those issues here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/capitals/washington-capitals-problems-began-long-before-their-playoff-streak-ended/2014/04/11/3fc8ede6-c0f5-11e3-b195-dd0c1174052c_story.html
One correction to your post: McPhee didn’t draft Peter Bondra. That was David Poile.
Thanks for the correction on Bondra. It’s been crossed out in the article.
You caught that sir. Silly mistake. Bondra was part of the fire sale but Backstrom should have been part of the written examples.