The Vegas Golden Knights have promoted Kelly McCrimmon to the post of general manager, effective the first of September.
McCrimmon will replace George McPhee, who will remain the president of hockey operations.
“Working with the Golden Knights has been an incredibly rewarding experience, and I am very grateful for this new opportunity,” McCrimmon said. “I would like to thank Bill, George and the entire Golden Knights organization for their support and commitment. We are proud of the foundation we have built and are excited for the future.”
The Golden Knights have been a pleasant surprise since entering the league as an expansion franchise in 2017-2018. They won an expansion-record 51 games in their debut season and made it all the way to the Stanley Cup Final, losing in five to the Washington Capitals.
This season, they slipped a touch and were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs in seven games by the San Jose Sharks.
McCrimmon was hired by the Golden Knights to serve as assistant general manager in August of 2012. He worked alongside McPhee to put the team together, participating in scouting and evaluation ahead of the expansion draft.
Prior to his tenure with Vegas, McCrimmon was the general manager of the Brandon Wheat Kings in the WHL since 1988-1989. He aided in reaching five Memorial Cup appearances and sometimes served as coach and general manager. Before the NHL came calling, McCrimmon had been named the WHL Executive of the Year three times.
McCrimmon’s name had been in the rumoured running for the general manager post in Edmonton, but that’s obviously not to be. It seems likely that he put the Oilers’ interest on the table as part of his negotiations with Vegas and that’s not a bad tactic.
It should be noted that Edmonton was never granted formal permission by Vegas to speak with McCrimmon, something that seems the result of a rather protracted process by the Oilers.
(Photo credit: NHL.com)