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George McPhee Speaks On What He'll Value In A Coach

The Golden Knights' GM said he hopes for a progressive coach who can grow with the team

by Dan Marrazza @GoldenKnights /

It's part of being an expansion franchise.

As soon as an NHL coach is fired, he's rumored to be joining the Golden Knights.

Young Eastern Conference coach finds himself out of a job? Rumors start that he'll be hired by the Golden Knights.

Veteran Western Conference coach is dismissed from his former team? It's speculated if Vegas will be his next destination.

These sort of rumors are an expected part of being an expansion franchise. Especially as general manager George McPhee hasn't done much to tip his hand as to who, and when, he'll hire a coach for the Golden Knights.

McPhee did, however, recently provide some clarity of what he'll be looking for when hiring the team's bench boss. 

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In short, he said that a coach who has the ability to adapt, especially as the manner in which NHL game play has evolved in recent seasons, will be of the utmost importance.


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"We want someone who is very current on the game, who is progressive on how the game should be played," McPhee said in a recent phone call with season ticket holders. "This game really changes in a year or two's time.

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"There are new ways of checking, news ways of attacking. New ways of lining up in your own zone, believe it or not. It's amazing how quickly coaches can change things, and how quickly other coaches adapt to it."

Another detail that McPhee provided was that he's looking for a coach that will have the opportunity to grow with the team.

Where some have speculated that maybe the Golden Knights will hire one coach to help get the team started and them move in a different direction once the team becomes a contender, McPhee says he wants someone who can 1) build the team from scratch and 2) help the team get to that next level as its roster develops.


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This means that instead of being a team - and some find tremendous success with this philosophy - that routinely changes coaches, he wants the Golden Knights' first coach to have tenure.

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"We're looking for that progressive guy that can really help us through the early years and help develop our team and our players," McPhee said. "And be the same guy that's there with us when we're competing for a championship.

"I've had the opportunity to work with lots of coaches in the NHL. I've had great experiences in the World Championships, working with several NHL coaches. And so, we know who's out there.

"We decided way back in August that we're going to take our time, interview people along the way and then pick the guy sometime in the spring that we feel is right for this hockey club. That plan hasn't changed." 

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