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Tag: Trade Deadline

McCrimmon Downplays Final Payment Importance

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.

McPhee Likes Deadline Deals, Expect To See Plenty Of Them Next Year

Last week on with our friends at The Vegas Hockey Hotline, George McPhee discussed his thoughts on the trade deadline. At the time the payment wasn’t official so McPhee couldn’t get into specifics but Brian asked him a question about motivation to make a trade. McPhee seemed to be a strong advocate of making deadline moves even if the general manager didn’t necessarily think a deal was needed.

Sometimes you may not feel like you need anything else for your club but your players are expecting something to happen. So psychologically, you’re trying to help them. So you might add something just so they feel like you have even more ammunition. George McPhee, Vegas Hockey Hotline

It makes complete sense with the length, body stress, and travel of a 82 game season, players seemingly assume extra help to push them towards the finish line. Other teams need to break up the trending slide of a disappointing season. Montreal forward Brendan Gallagher joined TSN Montreal this week to explain the emotions players go through during the deadline period. Gally told TSN the trade deadline can be fun to pay attention to.

Probably follow it, just kinda see what goes on around the league and our team. It’s kinda exciting to watch from a different perspective. It’s definitely something that’s on our minds. -Brendan Gallagher, TSN 690

The pesty Canadian sounded like a fan sitting around on the couch all day watching NHL Network. He was excited his team made deals to bring Steve Ott and Brendan Davidson to Montreal.

The good side of that is we don’t lose a roster player we’re just adding guys to our group. You know, that’s always exciting when you get ready for a playoff push. – Brendan Gallagher, TSN 690

Clearly, McPhee and Gallagher are on the same page. The GM is aware players are expecting something to get done. It sounds like a good way to motivate a team late in the season. Which is why we should expect deadline deals annually in Las Vegas. In Washington, McPhee engineered 15 deadline trades, and two midseason deals. That’s 17 straight years McPhee added players to his roster during the season via trade. I can only assume he’ll use that same strategy with the Golden Knights roster. We can expect McPhee to make deals regardless of Vegas’ standings in the Western Conference playoff race. Next year especially, when they likely aren’t headed to the Cup Finals, building for the future will include assets McPhee accrues making trades with contenders.

So, don’t get too attached to the players on the opening night roster. McPhee will find value in each player he acquires to build the Golden Knights roster long term. That means, any of them could be trade bait next season. Maybe, tell your kid to wait a year or two before putting a players name on the back of that new VGK jersey. Or better yet, let’s just fill the stadium with #17 Foley jerseys. (Sorry Ken, The Creator is just too long to put on a sweater)

Deadline Moves Directly Affecting Expansion Lists

The old fax machine that receives official trade paperwork has officially thrown in the towel. Hopefully, the 90’s Brother fax machines have been donated and the NHL is fully state-of-the-art. Maybe it’s so modern, that a hologram Gary Bettman accepts each deal with team GMs. If that’s the case, poor hologram Bettman must be tired from filing deadline trades. Some moves are headline grabbing like the Capitals going all in on Kevin Shattenkirk, while most of the others are page fillers. Some trades could’ve confused hologram Bettman, even Vlade Divac wouldn’t have traded a highly rated prospect like Jonathan Dahlen for Alex Burrows. Questionable trades or not the league still has to confirm the transactions.

Also, over the past few days the Vegas Golden Knights have effected some minor moves that don’t get headlines. Small deals and extensions that only Vegas GM George McPhee would react to. Here are two expansion impacted moves that might have gone under the radar.

The first move was a rare player for player deal. Montreal shipped underwhelming center David Desharnais to Edmonton for 25 year-old defenseman Brandon Davidson. Desharnais could be the only guy who gets booed more than Bettman at the Bell Centre. The 30 year-old center has disappointed Habs fans since he signed a $14M deal. Davidson was an underused blue liner that was on his way out of Edmonton anyways. Many believed Davidson would draw attention from the Golden Knights which could’ve forced Edmonton’s hand. The move worked well for Montreal, in fact they were willing to retain 20% of Desharnais’ contract to trade for Davidson. Former QMJHL scout and analyst Simon Boisvert praised Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin but didn’t understand Edmonton’s rush.

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Final Payment Won’t Be Made By Trade Deadline, No Deals For VGK

On an interview on KXNT Radio with Alan Stock (and me), The Creator confirmed that the final payment, which allows the team “full entry” into the league will not clear in time for the trade deadline on March 1st.

We won’t make it before the trade deadline. The documentation is unbelievable. I have documentation with the league on a franchise agreement. I have documentation on a loan we are taking out with CitiBank. I’ve got my personal stuff, which all has to get in and get approved. If you saw the stack of documents you’d say it’s not a pretty picture. -The Creator

What it means is the Vegas Golden Knights cannot be officially active at this trade deadline. Deals can be agreed to in principal but cannot be signed off on by the league.

George is having informal calls informal talks with various GMs. Other teams want to do more than we want to do. They want to lock up some of their players for the playoff run and after the playoff run. We aren’t going to get ahead of ourselves. George is going to make good deals. George is a deal maker especially in hockey. If we give up the right to draft a good player we are going to get something good for it. -The Creator

The next question is whether or not the payment will clear in time for George McPhee to attend the GM meetings beginning on March 6th.

In the end, the significance of this will always be unknown. Would deals have actually gotten done? Would McPhee have been willing to sign the dotted line on not selecting a player with four months still to go before the Expansion Draft? We’ll never know.

This also delays the ability to sign college free agents and undrafted players.

Well we just feel the sooner the better. We’d like to start doing some business. We’re ready to go and it’s important for us to be involved. It’s important for us to be at the table at the GM’s meetings because there are important decisions regarding the league and all of hockey in general are being made there and Las Vegas should be heard. –George McPhee to Puck Daddy on February 9th

But the fact of the matter is now we know for sure, the 2017 trade deadline will not involve the Vegas Golden Knights.


Six To Eight Teams Have Already Called Vegas To Talk Trades

We are just over a week away from the NHL Trade Deadline and it appears the Golden Knights and George McPhee are already the talk of the town. As mentioned previously on the Expansion Draft is causing teams to hesitate a bit on pulling off deals, but one thing they haven’t waited to do is to reach out to Vegas.

We’ve been taking calls from teams already that are interested in doing something to bolster their team for the playoffs, but they’ve also got us to worry about and they don’t want to go and add some players that they are going to lose right away to us. -Geroge McPhee, GM

That nugget was dropped on a recent interview with Tyler Bischoff and Jim Bola on the Coaches Corner. (Interview starts at 25:30)

They’re interested in talking to us about some sort of deal. What can they give us to lay off of certain people and our answer so far is, we’re not sure yet. It’s got to be something good, it’s gotta be better than the player we are looking at. You want that player now we’ll take something for the future and it’s got to be pretty darn good. -McPhee

The question that now needs to be answered is whether McPhee and his crack staff will know exactly what they’re willing to take before the clock strikes noon on March 1st.

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Golden Knights Causing Conservative Approach At Deadline

As we’ve realized throughout this entire process, expansion is confusing. This week TSN/ESPN’s Pierre Lebrun broke open a future scenario involving the Golden Knights and the Blue Jackets. On TSN Montreal, LeBrun reported Columbus is internally debating on how to protect themselves against expansion. He gives a theoretical sequence of events.

Take the Columbus Blue Jackets. Let’s just pretend they trade for Matt Duchene (again, this is purely to make a point, folks) in exchange for Prospect X, Player X and Draft Pick X. Then, obviously, they would want to protect Duchene as one of their seven forwards for the expansion draft. That means a guy such as William Karlsson or Josh Anderson gets exposed. So that means the cost of the Duchene trade becomes what was traded for him, plus Anderson or Karlsson (who would go to Vegas). For a young team such as the Blue Jackets, that’s what they are thinking about. Which is why a rental player makes more sense for a team like that; a pending unrestricted free agent doesn’t affect protection plans for the expansion draft. –Pierre LeBrun, TSN/ESPN

Just the threat of the Golden Knights have GMs second-guessing moves that could impact their postseason. Some teams cannot afford to take on a contracted player. There’s an excellent piece from friend of the site, James Mirtle, on this same topic, but it’s behind a paywall now, so we can’t grab quotes.

It’s unique, because it’s not an issue of money but limited space to protect players. Like LeBrun said, if teams are giving up three assets for a deadline player, it could end up being four. Teams are working tirelessly at player protection lists and some have no room as it is.

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Don’t Get Too Pumped About The Trade Deadline

There’s no debate in the minds of everyone who follows the sport of hockey closely that this trade deadline is going to be a busy one. Every one of the Original 30 (yeah, that’s what I’m calling them from now on) understand they are in line to lose one player to the Expansion Draft in June, and they are going to want to utilize the deadline to begin their preparations.

However, the powers that be in Las Vegas aren’t so sure the deadline has quite the significance many, including myself, have made it out to have.

The deadline isn’t the deadline. After the deadline teams can still make trades. Once they are out of the playoffs they are free to move players around. So, wouldn’t it be great if on trade deadline day that’s when the rosters froze, yes boy would it ever. The trade deadline is more relevant for other teams in the league because they’re going to have to make their proper moves to get ready for the expansion draft because that’s gonna be their first step. But after the trade deadline to the middle of June, they still have the opportunity to move guys. -Murray Craven, Senior VP

That’s how Muz characterized it on the Vegas Hockey Hotline, and GM George McPhee didn’t sound like he was all that excited about the deadline either during his appearance on the same show last week.

**Craven interview begins at 1:19:00 of the first link, McPhee at 1:14:45 of the second**

We don’t know what’s going to happen at this trade deadline. I’d imagine some teams will reach out to us, but there will be lots of activity amongst the teams, but what it produces is anyone’s guess. I would imagine the teams that are pushing to win, some of them are going to reach out to us because they would like to put some things in place with us. If they are going to be adding players they wouldn’t mind knowing what we are up to and what we would like to do with them before they make those moves. -George McPhee, GM

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Final Payment Strikes Again

The ghost of John Spano just doesn’t seem to want to stop haunting the Vegas Golden Knights franchise. (If you haven’t read that story, or watched the 30 for 30, do it now.) First it was The Creator not being invited to the most recent Board of Governors meeting. Then, George McPhee found himself without an RSVP to the GM meetings. Lastly, or so we thought, it was Vegas not having the ability to sign undrafted college free agents. Well now you can add another one to the list.

The league hasn’t officially set the date on which Vegas can start making trades, but a source said that once Vegas has made its final expansion-fee payment, the team could get the green light to start trading. –Pierre LeBrun, ESPN

The Creator is expecting to “accelerate” that payment up to late February or early March, which would give McPhee the chance to participate in the trade deadline this season.

I doubt we will trade for any current players prior to the expansion draft because we really won’t have a team. We are getting clarification on the situation wherein a team would like to give us a draft pick so we would give up our right to a player in the expansion draft and similar activities but we believe all of those machinations will occur during the 72 hour window prior to our completing the list of players we would receive in the expansion draft. -The Creator

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Vegas Can Learn From Deadline Strategies In Chicago And Toronto

Right now in the NHL two organizations are giving The Creator great examples on how to attack the trade deadline. Both teams have been aggressive for two very different reasons but ultimately one grand prize. Sure, the Maple Leafs won’t be in the playoffs for the foreseeable future, but what they’re doing right now should impact their future. While the future is now for the reigning Stanley Cup Champion Blackhawks who continue to be aggressive. Lets face it they’re greedy. What NHL fan wouldn’t want their team to be Cup greedy?

Let’s start with Chicago, the King of the Hill. Whatever Stan Bowman drinks, The Creator’s people should drink too. Whatever Stan Bowman drinks, eats, sings, dances, whatever… Vegas peeps should do the same. As GM for the Blackhawks, Stan Bowman has created a dynasty in Chicago and it doesn’t look like it’s going away anytime soon. After acquiring Andrew Ladd, the ‘Crown Jewel’ of this year’s deadline, Bowman put his team in the position to win back to back Cups. Most of Bowman’s aggressive moves have worked out, like the Johnny Oduya trade in 2012 or the Antoine Vermette deal made last trade deadline. Let’s not forget his brilliant move of plucking current Calder Trophy leader Artemi Panarin out of thin air. Bowman has been as impressive off the ice as his team has played on the ice. Without financial flexibility teams can’t be aggressive, and that’s another key element of Bowman’s success. You can’t go out and get Andrew Ladd midseason without cap room, but Chicago had the room and made it happen. Sure it’s easy to go and say mimic Stan Bowman, but it’s not a bad idea to take notes. When The Creator makes up his cabinet, he’ll have to find cap wizards, master scouts, and hockey whisperers to be successful. I know Stan Bowman is not available, but that doesn’t mean you can’t hire his Assistant to the Traveling Secretary.

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For Fairness Sake, NHL Expansion Announcement Must Come Before Draft

We are usually much more concerned about how everything going on in the expansion process will effect our future team here in Vegas. But the eventual decision, and it’s timing, will have a radical effect on every one of the other 30 teams currently in the NHL.

This idea was first brought to us on the most recent Podcast by the great Brian Blessing (#Attribution). General managers across the league have to know if and when a new team is coming in to the league before the NHL Entry Draft so they can properly plan for changes in salary cap, the expansion draft, and any other roster implications going forward.

We could even take it a step further in saying teams deserve the right to know before the trade deadline coming up in a few days on the 29th of February.

Any trade, waiver addition, or draft pick must be made with an eye toward the future. Adding aging veterans to take a shot at the Cup this year may expose younger players in the expansion draft. Dumping salary might be unnecessary as the expansion team may be forced to take some of it on through the draft. Trading picks cannot reasonably be done without the understanding of where a new team may select in the Entry Draft.

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