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Praise Be To Foley, Vegas Golden Knights Hockey Website

The Creator Opens Up On His Involvement In Trades, Coaching Changes, And More On A St. Louis Based Podcast

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The Golden Knights are fortunate when it comes to ownership. Unlike many NHL cities (see Arizona), the owner in Vegas wants to win and he’ll spare no expense in a pursuit to make it happen.

He said he wanted to make the playoffs by year three and win the Stanley Cup by year six and he’s committed to making that second part happen, seemingly by any means necessary.

He’s constantly around. Watching over practices, sitting in his suite at the games, or hanging out in his office on his fancy computer scouting players on other teams.

The first couple of years I really just listened because I didn’t know the business. Now I’ve learned a little bit more so I’m a little more involved. –The Creator on Cam & Strick Podcast

Appearing on a podcast out of St. Louis, hosted by former NHLer Cam Janssen and local media guy Andy Strickland, The Creator went fairly in-depth not only on his involvement in the Golden Knights but also in his other businesses.

My office is next to Kelly, it’s one down from George. I go to almost all of the amateur scout meetings and all of the pro scout meetings. I’m there for the four or five days before the trade deadline. –The Creator on Cam & Strick Podcast

He continued explaining how his input really ramps up when it comes to trades.

They come to me with their proposals on who to trade, what to do, what we’re going to get, what we’re not going to get. But I try and let the guys in charge, they’ve been delegated the authority and the responsibility to make the decisions. It’s only on maybe trades that I start having some input and I try to be careful about it. If I particularly don’t like one of their ideas I say, ‘I don’t think I can do that, I just don’t know that works for me.’ That’s how I get involved on the hockey side. –The Creator on Cam & Strick Podcast

The Nate Schmidt trade was one he took particularly hard.

I was really worried about (how it would affect the locker room). That was a very difficult decision. Kelly and George convinced me that Petro was going to be a difference-maker for us on our team. Schmidty ended up being the odd-man-out, which really bothered me. –The Creator on Cam & Strick Podcast

Another place he said he’s involved is with the decision on coaching. When asked about the firing of Gerard Gallant, he let out a few interesting nuggets.

It was a collective decision that was made over a period of time. Turk is a great guy. He wasn’t what our particular situation needed to get us to the promised land and it became clear that he was not going to do that for us. He may do that for somebody else though, easily could, cause he’s a genuine person. He’s real basic, a great hockey player, player’s love him, but in our system, what we were trying to create, after about a year and a half or whatever period of time we all knew he wasn’t the right fit. –The Creator on Cam & Strick Podcast

Whether you liked the decision or not, it’s hard to question the commitment to winning the Stanley Cup. He’s not here to sit idly by, which is exactly what any fan should want out of the owner of their favorite team.

When asked about many of his non-hockey businesses, The Creator explained a strategy that we can safely assume relates to hockey as well.

I make mistakes and if I make a mistake I try and understand it, figure it out, and make a change. We don’t allow mediocre performance to persist. We make changes. That’s how I run all of these businesses. –The Creator on Cam & Strick Podcast

I don’t often learn new facts about The Creator. I’ve interviewed him myself on multiple occasions, I haven’t missed an interview he’s done in the last five years, and I’ve dug deep into his background on numerous occasions for stories on this site. But this interview was incredibly enlightening and I learned quite a bit about his upbringing and his life away from the rink.

It’s well worth a listen, as it truly gives a feel for what type of owner the Golden Knights have. One I’m still convinced is as good as it gets in professional sports.

**Here’s the link to the full interview on the Cam & Strick Podcast.**

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46 Comments

  1. Daryl

    I still don’t understand the PDB hiring. It’s not that he’s a bad coach but has he done to make this organization think he can win a Cup for them? He did a decent job at SJS but then again they are in the weakest Division in the NHL. He did good in his first year at other organizations but then declined each year after that. I guess only time will tell but where I sit right now it doesn’t look like a great move.

    There are several other moves that make absolutely no sense. I do believe they will try to do anything and everything to win right now but I think they are somewhat blinded by that as well

    • Julie

      For sure. My question for Foley is if they don’t allow mediocre performance to persist, at what point does he look at Kelly and McPhee and hold them accountable for putting Vegas in a position where they can’t do much else right now in terms of acquiring a strong center, getting a better backup goalie, or strong defenseman? Their hands are tied for the most part.

      Overall, I am happy Foley is the owner. I’m also glad he spoke about possibly trading Fleury and shutting that down. He didn’t say anything about Lehner or Petro though, so maybe something bends there.

      • Rod

        I don’t get your point on strong backup goalie, we have 2 of the best netminders in the league hence the $12 mill cap hit, strong defenseman, we just signed one of the top 5 dmen in the NHL???
        I do agree that we lack a really top quality centre though, but to get one we are going to have to sacrifice either Fluery or Lehner & possibly someone else to free up the cap space to make a trade.

        • Julie

          Foley said Fleury will retire as a Knight, so Fleury isn’t going anywhere. Lehner cost 25m and struggled before leaving with a mysterious injury, not even available as a backup now, no sign of him coming back in the near future. Petro has not lived up to his 65m price tag or reputation. So, something has to give in the cap, a bunch of little changes or perhaps one big one, if the plan is to sustain Fleury and/or get to the cup.

        • Daryl

          We gave up 3 players (technically 4) to get Petra. He is a great defenseman but is he really worth that many quality players??? As far as a solid backup goalie, right now, Lehner is out and for who knows how long. VGK would have been just fine, actually better, if they didn’t have both goalies and signed a quality backup.

          • He’s a great defenseman homeboy has a negative in the ol +/- category because he’s too worried about driving pucks at the net that never go in instead of DEFENDING

      • EK

        “A better backup goalie”? Are you reading what you are typing or just typing?

        • Julie

          Are you following what’s going on or just looking for help? Lehner is out with a mysterious injury, no sign of when he comes back. Until then, unless Dansk plays, Fleury will be run ragged. If they won’t let Dansk play and Lehner struggled before he went absent with no word on returning, how do you propose letting Fleury rest, covid-19? That’s your freebie. Next time, be polite or don’t bother me.

      • sb

        Management is mediocre? Let’s set the record straight about the performance of this Management. In three plus years, they went to the Stanley Cup Finals in Year 1 and fell short of winning the Cup by 3 games. FIRST YEAR! Made the Playoffs three straight years. Are in First Place this season. Have won more games in three plus years than any inaugural team in the history of North American sports – NHL, NBA, NFL, MLB. Management’s record of success is unparalleled in professional sports history. Management is mediocre? No. This Management has accomplished what has never been done before. And Owner? The guy wants to win and will knock down walls to bring the Stanley Cup home to Las Vegas. In three years, this guy has built a hockey empire in the Desert where the ?experts? said hockey would never survive. We must not be talking about the same Team.

        • Daryl

          I get that VGK was predicted to finish last in their first year and MGT did a great, no an amazing, job of getting the players they got, but don’t kid yourself that they weren’t given an advantage over EVERY other inaugural sports team. The MGT has made some really good trades/acquisitions, but they’ve also made some horrible ones…. ones that the team is still paying for. They have put VGK in a bind and if it wasn’t for the Covid and the Taxi Squad, they would really be hurting right now

        • Julie

          It’s just a question. Here is another – Isn’t hockey all about how well you are doing this season? Player, coach, manager…all judged by that rule every year. This year, something went a little awry, perhaps the notion that spending $100m on players gets a cup this year and what to do when that ROI is DOA. Pretty sure the team and coach had a lot to do with getting to the cup first year etc as well. Regarding Foley, never had an issue with him. He has stood up when many didn’t.

    • Pistol Pete

      They needed somebody more analytical, systems oriented. He was a gifted athlete himself btw, good enough to be drafted into the juniors and NHL. Had a really decent IHL (equal to AHL at the time) career, averaging 50 points/season. He retired as a player age 23, perhaps feeling it would be a long grind to make the NHL and had other callings. He holds two law degrees. Smart guy who has the acumen and methods to build a Cup winner.

      • Daryl

        Having two law degrees and playing in the NHL doesn’t make him a gifted coach. There are a lot of former players in all sports who have made horrible coaches. And you can say he was an NHL player when you retire at the age of 23??? I have nothing against him personally, I don’t know him, I’m basing my observations of his previous teams and what he has done in VGK. I understand he is winning here at VGK, but I take into account everything, which includes the competition and the Division. I have just not been impressed with him anywhere.

        • Pistol Pete

          He did not play in the NHL, I was pointing to his blend of brains and brawn. He has the ability to develop five player systems and motivate players to play the two way game. FYI he brought the Devils and the Sharks to the Cup final his first season coaching them. In each case things quickly deteriorated and he was fired. As in many professions, hockey coaches learn from mistakes so hopefully he’s arriving at a point in his career where he can manage a sustained run. Knights could be his chance given the overall depth and quality of the organization.

      • sb

        Just look at the Team he built in Washington and their Stanley Cup. This guy is as good as it gets.

    • Merilee Memmott

      I hated DeBoer just as much as anyone, but SJS wasn’t always the weakest in the division under DeBoer. Management tied up too much cap space in Erik Karlsson, forcing them to give up good players. DeBoer didn’t have enough to work with and felt like he was having to teach players how to play NHL hockey. Then, when they couldn’t win, DeBoer took the blame, and they fired him. Sharks haven’t fared any better without DeBoer.

      • Daryl

        You mean like VGK put too much money into Petra and Lehner??? When PDB took over for SJS, they had Thornton, Pavelski, Burns, Marleau, Hertl, Vlasic, Couture and Jones in net. SJS had stud players that any coach should be able to win with. Again, I’m not saying he is a bad coach, I just don’t think he’s as good as some try to make him out to be.

  2. Tim

    Were lucky to have an owner like Bill Foley a lot of cities aren’t as fortunate. Mistakes have been made but overall George and Kelly have done a good job. Were in the mix as long as Flower holds up because it looks like Lehner may be MIA.

  3. Jake

    The playoffs are all that matter. Come playoff time, the decisions will be shown for what they are.

    These games simply get Vegas into the dance. Then it is show time.

    I think Schmidt was gone after the phantom drug test.

    I like the trades and moves to this point. The Lehner move has been a resurrection event for Fleury!

    Petro is a talent Vegas did not have. He eats minutes and is just starting to feel comfortable. He also put Tuch on the top line for speed. Courageous move and overdue.

    I like PDB, but, then, I am Dutch.

  4. Mike StG

    On PDB –
    If you’re not impressed that his teams made the playoffs the last 5 years, once to the SC Final, twice to the WC Final then I don’t think any other coach would either. What do you want – Q? Julien won the cup for BOS and he just got canned by the Habs. Torts is a nightmare to play for. Sullivan won twice but he had Sid, Geno & LeTang.

    Seems like the negativity and high expectations are unwarranted for a team just in its 4th year of existence that has been the most successful expansion franchise in league history.

    • Julie

      I thought we got to the WC, SC cup first year etc with Gallant. So, there’s one coach. Since he’s gone, and we’ve got PDB, I am certainly hopeful, however, I recall how PDB handled the playoffs just last year. As a personal preference, it would be great if PDB had some kind of personality. I will probably get slammed for saying that, but geez he is quite monotone in his interviews.

      • Mike StG

        PDB = Milquetoast. 🙂
        Perspective: The last 2 cup winners had been in the NHL 40+ years and never won the cup. SJS prior to DeBoer made it to playoffs 17 of 23 seasons, but never to the cup final (until PDB’s 1st yr coaching SJ). It’s the most difficult championship to win in sports. I for one am really happy that we don’t suck like everyone predicted. We gotta hope they pull it off this year or in the near future, but either way we have a really competitive team that is fun to watch and cheer for.

    • Daryl

      If you take his record out o context it doesn’t look that bad. He was hired by Florida and finished 8th his first year and dead last his next two. He was then hired by NJD and made it to the Cup finals his first year. The very next year they finished last and the 6th the following. Then he goes to SJS where he makes it to the Cup. While with the SJS, he finished 3rd in the Pacific his first 3 years. He finished 2nd his last year there. Keep in mind, the Pacific is considered the worst conference in the NHL from top to bottom. He’s made the playoffs just as many times as he has missed the playoffs.

      Let’s not forget that NJD team was stacked with great players like Kovalchuk, Elias, Paviso, Clarkson, Hedberg and Brodeur. SJS also had some very talented players under PDB. That in itself really worries me. As bad as the the Pacific is and as good as the players at SJS, he was not able to do better than 3rd.

      So, in my opinion, when you look at everything, no I do not think PDB is a great coach. I’m not saying he is a bad coach, don’t get me wrong, but I do think VGK could have done better

    • Torts is a nightmare to play for? Why because he holds players accountable? Poor millionaires! Because he hates media persons asking stupid questions? They don’t play for him. Face it, he is gruff and you don’t like it, however I’ve done my research and by all accounts players say they love playing for the guy because he provides structure and no free rides.

      • Daryl

        I don’t like Torts because I’m a Pens fan and Torts was the coach for the Rangers and I hated the way he acted. Some don’t like him because he told the media that nobody that plays for him would be allowed to take a knee during the NA. He caught hell for that but it only made me actually like him. I heard he is great to play for and he will stick up for his players. He gets a little animated at times. With PDB, you don’t know if he’s happy, sad, mad, what????

  5. Mike StG

    Ken – did you take Foley’s comment that Fleury would retire as a Knight back in the expansion draft as his current position? Also very interesting: Dave Prior had a heart attack. Is that why he left the team for Canada? Fascinating and fun interview by a couple of crazy hockey dudes. Thanks for the heads up!

  6. Pistol Pete

    Brendon Brisson is off to a decent start as a freshman at Michigan 8 goals/10 assists in 18 games. A very good start indeed. It’s a ways from NCAA to the NHL but still. A six footer 185 maybe another year at Michigan another 10-15 pounds and we’ll see him in Henderson.

    https://www.eliteprospects.com/player/299642/brendan-brisson

  7. Pistol Pete

    If he can maintain a point per game at Michigan and adds some pounds, see him in Henderson as early as next season? Turns 20 in October.

    https://thehockeywriters.com/brendan-brisson-2020-nhl-draft-prospect-profile/

  8. Pistol Pete

    Updates:

    Wild and Kings climb in the standings beating the Avs and the Blues….Wild vs. Avs 6-2!!!

    Dugan gets three pts tonight for the Silver Knights. 7 points in 7 games. 6’2″ 209. Could be approaching 4th line ready.

  9. Pistol Pete

    Including with the assistance of Ken, I thought I had achieved a pretty complete understanding of the AHL agreement that forbids players from exiting the Juniors to the AHL before the age of twenty. Again, a player can be called up directly from the Juniors to the NHL, however this is not commonplace.

    Krebs and Korczak are both 20 with January birthdates. Krebs is actually three days younger and he had to go back to the Winnipeg Ice yet Korczak gets to stay on the Silver Knights vs. returning to the Kelowna Rockets.

    I get the fact that if a player is under 20 at the normal start of the WHL season (in this instance Krebs and Korczak both were) the rules bind them to not being AHL eligible. This season they both turned 20 ahead of the resumption of the WHL season which I had reasoned could be grounds for an exception ie. they were 20 when the season actually started. Krebs goes to the Juniors and Korczak doesn’t. I’m not quite getting that.

    https://www.eliteprospects.com/player/322178/peyton-krebs

    https://www.eliteprospects.com/player/295911/kaedan-korczak

  10. Pistol Pete

    Excuse me, I meant Krebs is actually 3 days older than Korczak.

  11. Pistol Pete

    My layperson Top Four VGK prospects. Nice work by VGK scouting staff imo.

    Krebs, Morosov, Korczak, Dugan

  12. Pistol Pete

    Daryl, with all due respect, NHL insiders would be inclined to rate DeBoer above average. How can they not with his regular season 441-338-114, playoffs 46-38 and two conference titles? A good blend of brains and brawn and not yet at the peak of his powers.

    • Daryl

      Everyone has their opinions…. as I showed above, he doesn’t really get better with each passing year. He’s made the playoffs as many times as he’s missed them. He was the coach for the Sharks in the weakest Division in the NHL and continued to finish 3rd. Again, I didn’t say he was a bad coach, I just don’t think he is a good coach.

      • Pistol Pete

        I think he’s a good coach, very cerebral. If he coaches another 10-15 years he’ll make top 10 wins easy. He’s not that old. There’s also some luck factors that go into getting a high win % like how good your rosters and scouting are. In any case if he can maintain anything close to the pace he has so far with the Knights, this discussion is moot because it’s 26-9-3 (68.42%).

    • sb

      Deboer is a good coach. Period. The numbers don’t lie. There are some in Las Vegas whose expectations are out of whack. They need to do 20 years in Buffalo, Fort Lauderdale or Phx.

      • Daryl

        That’s your opinion…. He hasn’t proven anything yet in VGK. And as I stated above, his numbers have gone down every year he’s coached. But I guess making it to the playoffs in the Pacific is a huge accomplishment. This VGK team could make it to the playoffs with their AHL goalie, that’s how bad this Division is

        • Pistol Pete

          We guess 26-9-3 is not proving anything lol. In any case we look forward to winning you over…we know how that can happen!

          • Daryl

            For the record, this is his first full year…. if going by his past, he would have a good season this year then drop off next. The fact we have played bottom feeders (minus the Avs series) doesn’t hurt our win percentage. As I stated though, the regular season doesn’t mean much, it’s all about the playoffs. Just ask the Caps, who, until finally winning the Cup, who’s only fame was winning the most games every season before losing in the playoffs

            But yes, if VGK wins the Cup this year I would be willing to admit I was wrong

  13. Pistol Pete

    You may have to concede if he does just decent in the playoffs and follows up with another trip to the playoffs! We get your point about the perennial bad next season, that is true!

    Did you score tickets to a game this month?

    • Daryl

      Maybe if he does good in these playoffs and next. Just getting to the playoffs in the Pacific is not a great feat.

      As for tickets, I live in NC now (used to live up near Burgh) so I haven’t even looked at tickets. Since no fans have been able to attend games, my plan was to attend the Chuck Norris (UFAF) seminar in Vegas in July. I wouldn’t attending a game but I’ve heard the tickets are really expensive. I probably wouldn’t be able to do both. More than likely I won’t be at a game until next season

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