Vegas Team may be Nameless, but it’s Still Coming Together
Posted by: Charlie Smith
If you’re a sportsbook user who likes to bet on NHL games then by now you’re fully aware of the Las Vegas expansion team that will be joining the league in the upcoming season. The franchise has yet to elect a name, but that hasn’t stopped them from piecing together their management. Kelly McCrimmon, brother of former NHL player Brad McCrimmon, has accepted the assistant general manager position for the NHL’s new Vegas club. McCrimmon is most well known in the Western Hockey League (WHL) – a major junior ice hockey league located in Western Canada – where he has been a part of the Brandon Wheat Kings organization for quite some time.
“It was a real tough decision based on how much I enjoy the Brandon Wheat Kings,” McCrimmon said in regards to his new position. “I had the best job in hockey for many many years.”
McCrimmon had been both the head coach and the general manager for the WHL club, a monument to both his commitment and hockey expertise. McCrimmon first bought the Wheat Kings back in 1992, but had been serving as general manager since 1989. He decided to actually coach the Kings from the years of 2004 to 2011 and took a three year break before resuming his position in the year 2014 and continued until 2016 where he will no long be able to continue, due to his new position. During his tenure with the organization McCrimmon oversaw four Memorial Cup appearances and two WHL Championships in 1996 and 2016. On top of winning championships McCrimmon’s Kings have won more games than any other Canadian Hockey League (the WHL is one of the three leagues that make up the Canadian Hockey League [CHL]) since 1992.
But McCrimmon’s experience isn’t just managerial, he’s spent his fair share of time on the ice. He actually played for the Wheat Kings from 1978 to 1980 alongside his brother Brad. While he never made it into the NHL like his sibling, he still played for the University of Michigan Wolverines from 1980 to 1984. The McCrimmons definitely come from a hockey family; their father Byron spent a considerable amount of time as a senior player. Byron even coached the Red Wings, from Rosetown not Detroit, located in Saskatchewan. McCrimmon will be serving alongside George McPhee who is the general manager of the nameless Vegas team.
“Kelly is an outstanding hockey man and we are delighted to have him join us.” McPhee said in regards to the new acquisition. “His extensive experience and consistently high level of performance in the game will help build a strong and successful organization and team.”
Negotiations between the two parties had begun roughly two weeks ago. While McCrimmon has found success in the WHL, you can bet on NHL’s clubs to give him a much harder time. In fact McCrimmon had been reluctant to join the NHL in the past, turning down offers from the Toronto Maple Leafs. Perhaps McCrimmon was waiting on a brand new team to decide to hop leagues. Whatever the reason, those who bet on NHL games will be watching intently waiting to see how this new team will perform. The Vegas team is expected to announce its name in September and be fully up and running by the beginning of next season.