Sportsnet’s Gare Joyce, noted friend of Vegas GM George McPhee, launched a new series on Canadian giant’s website today called What To Expect When You’re Expanding. The idea of the series, much like the baby books, is to gather stories from former Expansion GM’s so McPhee can see “how good he and his team have it.”
The first in the series was a set of stories from former Atlanta Flames general manager Cliff Fletcher. His story includes whining about being hired too late, not having a staff, competing with another team, competing with another league, being forced to take bad players, wanting to trade all his players, and much more. Sounds like a lot of bitching, and it is, but it’s a good read, trust me.
At the end of the story Fletcher, who went on to win a Stanley Cup in 1989 and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2004, offers up a paragraph of advice for McPhee. Once you sort through the parts where he complains about the Flames situation, you end up with one strong piece of wisdom.
Still, the key things are the fact that there’s fewer players teams can protect [and that] Vegas is coming in alone. He has an opportunity to make all kinds of deals with clubs. -Cliff Fletcher, Atlanta Flames founding GM
Deals, deals, and more deals! And we’re going to win!
But seriously, Fletcher’s point is spot on. Once the NHL’s protection lists are submitted, George McPhee has rights to every single exposed player in the Expansion Draft. 50+ goalies, hundreds of defenseman, pushing 1,000 skaters, McPhee owns every last one of them… for three days.