In the early afternoon on March 1st, the day of the NHL Trade Deadline, The Creator’s money cleared and the Vegas Golden Knights officially became the 31st franchise in the NHL.
They were free to make moves, George McPhee could attend the GM meetings in Boca, and the Golden Knights were to be treated like any of the Original 30 teams. Big deal, right? Not so much apparently.
There’s so much interest and attention and coverage of our team, so when we became official on March 1st there was an expectation that it significantly changed things for us when in reality our day to day didn’t change at all. -Kelly McCrimmon, Assistant General Manager
Speaking on The Vegas Hockey Hotline (begins at 31:20), the AGM said the only importance it really had was that it was a nice moment for the owner.
He wouldn’t talk about deals that were made and didn’t seem to believe the Reid Duke signing was affected by the timing of the final payment either.
In terms of our discussions with other teams those had been ongoing, I think what we are finding is that as we get later in the calendar year, teams are going to be more and more interested in having discussions with us. -McCrimmon
There’s really no reason to doubt McCrimmon and McPhee on their description of the final payment, but there’s still a part of me that wonders why The Creator specifically said it would not get done in time for the deadline, then magically made it happen just minutes before the league closed trading for the year.
If there was truly no significance, why would the league have taken time out of arguably the busiest day on the calendar to deal with paperwork with a team not playing a game until October?
There has to be a reason it happened, unfortunately, I doubt we’ll ever know.