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McPhee Likes What He Sees As Rookie Camp Continues

Golden Knights rookies will enter the fourth day of Rookie Camp on Sunday

by Gary Lawless @GoldenKnights /

If you didn't know them as people, George McPhee and Kelly McCrimmon might be mistaken for Statler and Waldorf, the two grumpy old men in the balcony from the Muppets.

First, they're not old. Second, they're not grumpy. But they are all seeing and all powerful from their perch high above the ice at City National Arena.

The duo can be seen during sessions at Golden Knights rookie camp sitting in an enclosed office high above the ice surface watching their coaching staff put their prospects through their paces.

The whispers between GM and assistant GM, respectively, carry the ultimate within the organization and will determine the course of the Vegas Golden Knights as a hockey entity.

Right now, they're watching everything. The players, coaches, communications group, medical and equipment staffs. They're buttoned down guys. Everything has a way to be done right which in their view is the only way to complete a task. 

Video: George McPhee on the start of Rookie Camp


If the water bottles and towels aren't properly arranged on the bench, someone will get a note. If the ice gets too snowy too fast, it will be noticed and adjustments will follow.

The details are everything. And for two men who thrive on preparation - no detail is too small.

A book on every prospect is beginning to take shape as rookie camp unfolds and the top minds in the Golden Knights organization make plans which stretch out well beyond this season.

RELATED: Brannstrom missing Rookie Camp to play in Sweden

They're watching for fundamentals such as skating, passing and shooting. But they're also looking for leadership. How a player interacts with others is key to building a team and McPhee and McCrimmon are watching for the smallest of moments to see how their prospects interact.

Smiling Glass: Top selection Cody Glass began to loosen up on Saturday during his second session at rookie camp. Glass began to smile during breaks from drills or while waiting in line to take his turn. He also began to encourage his teammates when they did something well or needed a little pick me up.

"He's a leader and he's a great kid too," said Rocky Thompson, head coach of the Chicago Wolves (top affiliate to the Golden Knights. Thompson is running the on ice sessions at rookie camp. "He wants to learn. I spoke to him about a few things and he was eager to listen and absorb. He's having fun out there too. It's hockey. You're supposed to have fun and when you do you perform better."

RELATED: Guide to Rookie Camp roster

Take that draw: Thompson pulled Glass and fellow first-rounder Nick Suzuki out of the fray and took them to the sideboards for a tutorial on faceoffs.

"Just some little things I've picked up along the way from working with really good centers," said Thompson. "There's instinct and skill but there are fundamentals. They've been away from that part of the game for most of the summer, so getting the rust off is good for them."

Top nine: Thompson had Glass between Tomas Hyka and Alex Barre-Boulet, Reid Duke centered Alex Tuch and Tyler Wong while Nick Suzuki skated between Keegan Kolesar and Patrick Bajkov. 

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