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McPhee Savoring Once In A Lifetime Experience

The Golden Knights GM took a quick moment to reflect on the historical significance of what his staff is undertaking this week

by Dan Marrazza @GoldenKnights /

For George McPhee, Sunday was the first day of a week-long blitz that will see the franchise grow from three players to upwards of 40.

Given the manner in which what happens this week will dictate the path the franchise embarks on for perhaps the next decade, there's pressure on the 58-year-old general manager to make the correct choices.

A lot of pressure, in fact.

At the same time, he didn't fail to grasp the overall significance of the moment. That while the decisions he makes are critically important to the success of the franchise on and potentially off the ice, that what he's embarking on is still pretty darn fun.

Who wouldn't want to be an NHL GM building a franchise from scratch?

At the same time, how many hockey executives get to say they helped usher in a major league sports franchise in a city that's never had one?

 Video: Driving to work with George McPhee


McPhee shared his thoughts on being part of a city, league and career-defining set of decisions this week during a conversation with media on Sunday morning.

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"Dealing with the other GMs is similar to what we've done in the past," McPhee, who was Washington Capitals GM from 1997-2014, said. "Some of the things we've done internally out-of-the-box has been really neat for me personally to see what some of these young people that we have on our staff have created, some of the tools that we've used have been really neat. It's just a different generation and how they do things. So, that has been a neat experience.

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"Negotiating with GMs has been the same, but maybe the best way to put all of it on this whole experience, there's just a glow about it. You know? It's been such a positive experience for all of us that I'm keeping my fingers crossed, hoping it can continue to go the same way."

McPhee added that the quick chemistry that the team's hockey operations staff has found has added to the experience.


Video: George McPhee receiving other teams' protected lists


While in the process, in his opinion, set the team up to make their important decisions this week, correctly.

"Beyond the first couple of weeks when I was upstairs by myself trying to sort things out, I am amazed at how well this has gone for us and I think we did an outstanding job of hiring people," McPhee said. "Sitting in that room, we have tremendous chemistry in the room. There, that's one team we have, and then our amateur scouts, it's the same sort of thing. We have great chemistry in the room, and that has made this, again, just a wonderful experience for all of us.

"We have smart people in there, experienced people in there, and we get to a place with some healthy debate, but no arguing. Lots of understanding and it's really been a pleasure." 

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