The Golden Knights have officially made their first big move of the offseason. Firing head coach Pete DeBoer is a clear sign that despite the consistent injury excuse Vegas found 2021-22 unacceptable.
Following the year, The Creator went on record saying he was going to be more vocal and proactive in helping his team regain their identity.
I’ve always been invited to all the meetings. They take my input, but I try and stand aside when everyone is convinced something needs to be done. This time, after all these years, I’ve got a few specific ideas of things that I believe need to be accomplished. If I’m being very transparent, I’m going to be active. –The Creator to LVRJ
In the same interview, he took one type of adjustment to the team off the table.
Foley said he met this past week with general manager Kelly McCrimmon, who will return for his fourth season in that role, and does not anticipate dramatic changes to the roster. –Dave Schoen, Las Vegas Review Journal
The biggest move a team can make from a non-player perspective is removing the head coach. Vegas did that, so naturally, it makes sense that it came from the big man himself. Those suspicions were confirmed in a recent article from The Athletic.
Several external sources suggested the main impetus for the coaching change came from owner Bill Foley. –Eric Duhatschek, The Athletic
But then there was the press conference with Kelly McCrimmon explaining the move. And in his words, it didn’t go that way at all.
I mentioned at year-end availability that there would be meetings with myself and Pete that would follow over the next couple of weeks. That’s exactly what happened. Also, I had discussions with George McPhee. We deliberated on this long and hard. We did not make this decision quickly. Once George and I were aligned in terms of what we thought the best course of action would be, we met with our owner Bill Foley late last week. Bill offered his support for the decision. -Kelly McCrimmon
He doubled down on it later when asked specifically about The Creator’s more vocal role this summer.
He’s included in everything we do. This decision is a real good example where after George and I made a final decision we went to Bill and Bill is supportive. So that to me will continue. -McCrimmon
This is almost identical to what was said following the firing of Gerard Gallant too.
Bill Foley’s been a great owner. This decision went from George McPhee and myself up to Bill Foley, not the other way around as has been suggested by some. –McCrimmon in February 2020
Historically, The Creator has been consistent when describing his role in day-to-day operations of the organization. Like McCrimmon detailed, he’s always said that while he’s around and is willing to offer up his opinions, he rarely steps in and tells anyone what to do.
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 in February 2021
Ownership’s more proactive role will have an impact on the organization moving forward. Maybe it happened here, maybe it didn’t. Maybe it will happen with the decision on who is hired next.
We haven’t put any work into who those candidates are yet. These are independent decisions which the offseason allows you to do. -McCrimmon
Either way, no matter who is running the show, or how exactly the choices are made, only one thing counts going forward. Getting it right.