Chad DeDominici on the Buffalo Sabres

On the latest episode of the Vegas Hockey Podcast , Chad, Lead Sabres contributor at the Hockey Writers and Host of the Beyond the Blade Sabres Podcast, jumps in the box to talk about the Buffalo Sabres up and down season. We talk about

  • Robin Lehner: Is he the right netminder for the Sabres
  • Is there hope for the playoffs?
  • Buyers or sellers at the trade deadline?
  • Who might be exposed for the Golden Knights in the expansion draft.
  • The Sabres top 4 defense men. Area of concern or needs improvement?

Also, in Dana Lane’s weekly segment, “The Vegas Lane”, he breaks down all the Las Vegas hockey news, including:

  • The UNLV Rebels back to back losses against NAU. 
  • How these losses might affect the post season seedlings.
  • What’s on tap for the end of the regular season? 
  • Coaching options piling up for the Vegas Golden Knights.
  • VGK mock expansion drafts.
  • Possible involvement in the trade deadline?

Lots to dig into in this episode of the podcast, so dig in and enjoy!

Questions or comments:

MarkWarner@VegasHockeyPodcast.com

Twitter @vegashockeypod

Listen in here. Chad Dedominicis

Advertisements

One Las Vegas Hockey Fan’s Love For The Game In Her Own Words

Growing up in Russian household, hockey’s always been in my blood. I grew up with stories of Vladislav Tretiak and the Olympics. Valeri Kharlamov and the Sumit Series. I was raised to be a hockey fan. I came to the Bay Area when I was about 10 years old and quickly became a diehard fan of the San Jose Sharks.Then, when I was 12, my mother took me on vacation to Las Vegas.

I loved everything about the city. The sights, the sounds, the shows, the Bellagio fountains, how the whole city lit up like miles and miles of fire. I loved the pools at the Golden Nugget and I loved the moving statues at Caesar’s Palace. But something was missing. Why doesn’t Las Vegas have a hockey team? I thought. This city is meant to entertain, and what’s more entertaining than a group of men with knives strapped to their feet chasing a small rubber disc? Sure, Vegas may not seem like the typical hockey market. But look at California. Until Gretzky was traded to the Kings, the state didn’t know the difference between a blue line and a clothesline.

​So what could a 12-year-old girl do? Call the NHL front office and be on hold for hours? I tried starting a petition and got about 5 signatures, 2 being my parents. There was nothing I could do…except wait. I first heard the news back in 2011 that there was a possibility of expanding to Las Vegas. Was this it? Were my years of waiting finally over? Names like Bill Foley and George Maloof were thrown around. I knew they were wealthy enough guys. But how much power did they have to bring the NHL to Vegas?

And, finally, on June 22, 2016…it happened. Las Vegas got a hockey team. After 12 years of waiting….it’s finally happened. And I couldn’t be more excited.

George McPhee On The Vegas Hockey Podcast

In this episode of the podcast, we welcome George McPhee into the box, the first General Manager for the new Las Vegas NHL franchise.
We talk about:
* Where he is at building his staff
* The importance of the expansion draft vs. the amateur draft
* His time playing for Herb Brooks and working with Pat Quinn
* His thoughts on the state of the Islanders
Plus a whole lot more. Don’t miss this episode of the Vegas Hockey Podcast!

George McPhee Ready To Add First Members To His Staff

Mark Warner

July 24, 2016

 

Speaking exclusively to the Vegas Hockey Podcast, McPhee said he would start adding to his staff by the end of this coming week.

“I talked to a lot of people this past week, and I expect some things will come to a head this week.” McPhee told us, “We’ve had a lot of conversations for the first round of what we want to do, and next week we have to start signing a few of them up.”

One of those conversations may have been between Las Vegas and Washington Capitals Assistant GM  Ross Mahoney. As reported by Elliote Friedman, the new team has asked for permission to speak with him.

With the upcoming junior tournaments showcasing the top players available in next year’s entry draft, McPhee looks at putting the right people into the scouting department as the biggest challenge he faces. “That process, I’d like it all done now,” McPhee said, “I know what I want, and I know what I’d like to do, but it takes time to go through this process.”

While the full contingent of Pro and Amateur Scouts for the newly minted NHL franchise won’t be in place for some time, the first round of hirings will begin later this week.

 

Look for our full conversation with George McPhee on iTunes, Soundcloud and TheHockeyWriters.com

 

Former NHL and Las Vegas Thunder Goalie Clint Malarchuk 

For our 50th episode of The Vegas Hockey Podcast we welcome back Clint Malarchuk to talk about Las Vegas Hockey. We cover all the bases including:

  • Clint’s thoughts on the recent George McPhee hiring.
  • The depth of the talent pool in North America and international
  • His very unorthodox idea to increase scoring in the NHL.. ( we LOVE this idea)
  • The challenge of picking the first coach in franchise history
  • Is there anywhere for players to live there?
  • Best shot he faced in the NHL (it’s not who you think)

Just like last time we had a great conversation with Clint, so dial it in and listen up, it’s a great show!

George McPhee, First General Manager of the Vegas Golden Knights meets Las Vegas for the First Time

July 13 2016

Bill Foley introduced George McPhee as the first General Manager in franchise history today at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, saying simply, “You’re the GM.”

After a “pretty exhausting search” where Foley and assistant Murray Craven interviewed seven candidates, they spent roughly two days each with three finalists. Foley said he was looking for “a guy who was dedicated, focused and with a take no prisoners attitude… and I found that person… George McPhee is our guy.”

Opening with a round of thanks to his former employers in New York, Tom Renney with Hockey Canada, and to Bill and Carol Foley “who have done the unimaginable in delivering an NHL franchise to Las Vegas,” his tenure had officially begun.

Expressing his vision for the team McPhee made it crystal clear. “Our mission here is clear, we are going to build an organization and a team that the people here in Nevada and Las Vegas will be very, very proud of. We’re going to do it quickly and we’re aiming at the Stanley Cup. It’s that simple.” He made it very obvious throughout the day his passion for the game and for the job in front of him was at full capacity.

When looking ahead to the expansion draft next June, he seemed optimistic that there would be some quality players available to him. “We have an opportunity that expansion teams in the past haven’t had, to get better players.” He plans to build an exciting, fast roster from day one. “We will play a brand of hockey that people will like, I’ve never enjoyed that sitting back style of hockey. We’ll be a team that’s attacking all the time and pressuring the puck all over the ice.” McPhee said. “You have to have talent, size, leadership and depth to win and players who want to show up and compete every day to win. It’s a process. You have to develop that culture and if you do, the results will be there.” This blueprint sounds taylor made for Las Vegas.

We asked McPhee whether he had thought about the challenges in building that culture in a non traditional market when it is tough to do in the traditional markets he said  “The buzz here has been phenomenal. They’re going to love this game and they’re going to love these players… I’ve learned a lot over the years about culture, vision, and the process and it’s about having the right roots and letting them grow deep. When you do that, you’ll get rewarded.”

In a moment that showcased his desire to win and a sense of humor, George was asked by Sin Bin’s Ken Boehlke about his son being drafted into the Pacific Division in last months entry draft. McPhee said simply “Keep your head up son.”

After a 17 year run with the Washington Capitals, McPhee is eyeing  a fresh start here in Las Vegas. With a clean slate in front of him, the fire that obviously still burns inside of him, and 23 years of front office  experience in the NHL behind him, the future just got brighter in Las Vegas.
 

Las Vegas to Name George McPhee GM 

Mark Warner. July 12th, 2016

The new NHL franchise in Las Vegas will name its first General Manager on  Wednesday July 13th, and according to numerous reports, it will be George McPhee.
McPhee was the General Manager of the Washington Capitals from 1997 to 2014. Prior to joining the Capitals, he was the Assistant General Manager under Hall of Famer Pat Quinn in Vancouver. 

His teams have made 14 playoff appearances, won eight division titles, and one Presidents Trophy. He has two appearances in the Stanley Cup Final, one in 1994 with the Canucks and in his first year in Washington D.C.

In what may be indicative of the fire he will bring to the new team, he was suspended in 1999 for one month and fined $20,000 for punching Chicago Blackhawks Head Coach Lorne Molleken outside the locker rooms. McPhee was upset over unnecessary rough play by the Hawks, according to the New York Times report on October 1, 1999.

Other rumored candidates include Scott Mellanby and Jason Botterill, but it seems that Mr. Foley has decided to hire the man with the proven track record instead of the up and comers. Previous expansion teams who hired General Managers with prior experience in the NHL made the playoffs faster and went farther than teams who hired inexperienced GMs.

McPhee has been acting as Special Assistant to the General Manager of the New York Islanders since September, 2015.