Way back on May 2, 2019 Kelly McCrimmon, then Assistant General Managet, was promoted to the position of General Manager, effective September 1st. Well, today's the day for McCrimmon. He is officially the General Manager of the Vegas Golden Knights with George McPhee transitioning fully to his title of President of Hockey Operations.
MOVING UP: @GoldenKnights announce Kelly McCrimmon has been promoted to GM; George McPhee stays as President of Hockey Operations https://t.co/jxpetuUl2Y #TSNHockey
What Does This Mean?
This move means a few things:
1. McCrimmon will attend the GM Meetings, as opposed to McPhee.
2. McCrimmon is the de facto point of contact for opposing GMs.
3. McCrimmon was retained so he wouldn't leave.
Naturally, the last snippet is the most intriguing. McCrimmon's name was a popular one whenever there was a GM vacancy. Since the start of the 2018 calendar year, the Edmonton Oilers, New York Islanders, Anaheim Ducks, Minnesota Wild (twice), Carolina Hurricanes, Philadelphia Flyers, Tampa Bay Lightning, and Toronto Maple Leafs have all had GM changes. McCrimmon's name came up in just about every GM search.
In addition to that extensive list, the incoming Seattle Whatchamacallits needed a General Manager. Their GM search may have been the most intriguing one to McCrimmon and surely caught the attention of the Golden Knights brass. Before losing a good hockey mind to another club, McPhee and Bill Foley decided to promote the man, keeping the winning equation intact.
McPhee was complimentary of his assistant and very straightforward in his discription of the move.
“I told Kelly when I was trying to hire him that he would be involved in every single thing we do here."
"We’ve shared everything and basically co-managed for three years, and that will continue.”
"I'm personally very, very happy to be able to do this. I'm proud to be able to give this (GM position) to Kelly because he is more than ready to do this and do it well."
"I don't know if I would have done this for anyone else."
Those are some pretty telling quotes. The club clearly values McCrimmon and did what they needed to do to keep him around. Hearing the men in charge describe the management set-up, it's obvious why a change would be detrimental to the club's operations.
McPhee and McCrimmon have split the league down the middle, 15 teams apiece, and essentially act as the Golden Knights' GM for their 15 teams. McCrimmon's promotion is not going to change internal operations according to McPhee. They will still work as a team moving forward.
For now, McCrimmon got his much deserved promotion and his connection to a wide array of players in the league will continue to benefit the Golden Knights organization. His first order of business will be addressing RFA Jimmy Schuldt, the team's only remaining NHL-level free agent. Aside from that, the team will be gearing up for the start of Rookie Camp on Thursday and the preseason on September 15.
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