Shortly before 1 PM, Michelle Kersch, the appointed PR person for the new hockey organization, stepped up on stage and announced to the gathering of media that in a few short moments The Creator and a guest would be taking the stage. They will share a few short remarks, open questions to the room, to the people joining on the phone, and then after the press conference is over there will be a photo opportunity and a chance for individual on camera interviews.
Textbook. Like every press conference I’ve ever been to before. Then, we strayed from the regular every day press conference, and we entered into the world of Las Vegas hockey. Just follow along, I’ll explain what I mean later.
The Creator and George McPhee walked in to the room together. Bill jumped up on stage first followed by the man he was about to formally announce as the first general manager in franchise history. McPhee says softly, “where you want me (to sit).” The Creator responds, “Well I don’t know, you’re the GM.”
And there you had it. The official announcement of the most important hire in team history had been made. As an off the cuff remark… about chairs.
It was a small short moment, but a telling one. A moment in which most in the room probably didn’t even understand the significance. A moment that will forever be etched in the history of Las Vegas hockey, and years down the road, hopefully on a night when we watch our team hoist the Stanley Cup, we’ll all sit back and have good laugh about.
It was a microcosm of the organization as a whole. Rather than this…
George McPhee is our guy. He’s a former hockey player, he’s a lawyer, he was the general manager of the Capitals for 17 years, a very well managed and successful organization, and I am proud to introduce him today as the new general manager of our hockey club in Las Vegas. -The Creator
Which came two minutes later. The sound byte and quote formally introducing the GM was “Well I don’t know, you’re the GM.”
And in a way, it was perfect. It’s exactly what we’ve come to know from this organization and it’s beautiful. It’s like watching a person go from infant to toddler to a child to an adult. They don’t know better because they’ve never done it before, and we are here to live it with them every step of the way.
I also want to thank Steve Carp (LVRJ) for calling me on the phone and saying Foley you really better have a press conference to announce this because it’s kind of a big deal. -The Creator
They are quite literally, figuratively, learning how to walk. Willing to take assistance from just about anyone who is there to offer it to them.
With the hires of guys like George McPhee, eventually Murray Craven, and every other hockey lifer that’s brought on board, the organization will grow closer and closer to resembling what we’ve all come to expect from a professional sports franchise. Guys who have been there, done that, seen it all, and know what’s right from wrong when it comes to forming public perception about this franchise.
In the meantime, we have the opportunity to sit back and watch something incredibly rare in sports. An organization that’s so innocent it’s actually malleable. Suggestions are seriously taken to heart, and if they are good enough, they’ll be put to action.
The team is a ball of clay right now, and I for one am having so much fun watching it as it molds into a masterpiece.
So what’s next for this franchise?
“Well I don’t know, you’re the GM.”
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