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McPhee May Take On Big Contracts…For A Price

The Golden Knights' favorable salary cap situation provides leverage to acquire attractive assets.

by Dan Marrazza @GoldenKnights /

It's been the source of constant speculation.

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Throughout this season, as the Golden Knights have prepared to select 30 players and introduce the first roster in team history at the Expansion Draft on June 21, whom Vegas will select off other rosters has been a hot topic.

It isn't just Golden Knights fans that have had interest.

It's also the fans of other teams.

Tweet from @GoldenKnights: George McPhee provides insight into the philosophy he'll use to build our roster.


What's been especially interesting isn't only Golden Knights' fans speculating who'll be on Vegas' inaugural roster. It's also supporters of other teams discussing who the Golden Knights would take off of other teams' rosters, especially their own.

This has gone beyond choosing a valued player on their roster that they've hoped the Golden Knights won't select. It has also included less popular players that supporters of other teams have hoped to lose, perceiving that Vegas selecting these players would eliminate a problem for their team.

In the salary cap era, players receiving the latter sort of attention have mostly been players with large contracts who it's the perception is have not lived up to their salaries.

During the Golden Knights' visit to the NHL Combine last week, general manager George McPhee said he wouldn't be opposed to taking on other teams' large contracts.

Although if he does, he expects that team to offer Vegas additional, more attractive options in the transaction as well.

"We're willing to take on a couple of contracts that people would like to move," McPhee said. "We have a lot of teams that are offering us some big contracts.

"We'll take a few of those… for the right price."


What McPhee implied was that the Golden Knights have the chance to acquire attractive assets - perhaps more attractive than what would be available in the Expansion Draft - in exchange for alleviating other teams with salary cap challenges.

This is partially a product of Vegas currently having unlimited cap space, due to the team starting from scratch and, to date, only having three players under contract.

Except that McPhee isn't looking to do other teams any favors.

He'll be looking for other teams to part with impact players or high Entry Draft picks in return for alleviating their salary cap difficulties.

"I'm certainly not going to talk about who we might be interested in," McPhee said. "We might like a particular player, but there's another player on that roster we like, too, and is a better fit. Everything's related to everything else. Doing one thing with one club may change how we approach another club.

"The attention that this new franchise has garnered is amazing. It's certainly special for all of us and a stimulating and positive experience all year long. We're at that point now where we've planned and prepared a lot, and now we have to deliver."

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