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McSorley Says Vegas Will Attract Free Agents

The retired NHL player cited the region's appeal to families as Vegas' top draw for free agents

by Dan Marrazza @GoldenKnights /

Happy wife, happy life.

It's kind of an old saying, but for many, it still holds quite a bit of water.

According to Marty McSorley, a retired Stanley Cup champion and one of the toughest enforcers to ever play the game, this expression sits at the center of the Vegas Golden Knights' ability to attract free agents.

Speaking with while attending Wayne Gretzky's Fantasy Camp at the Las Vegas Ice Center last week, McSorley detailed what players' value systems are when evaluating what teams to sign with.

Which when weighing what the Golden Knights could offer that could be alluring to NHL free agents, McSorley said that Vegas' ability to appeal to their significant others may be the area's most influential draw.

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 "Well it's going to be an attractive place to play, here in Las Vegas, because it's great for the wives," McSorley said. "You know, when you're in a warm weather climate, the kids can go out and play all year round.


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"The facilities here in Las Vegas are unbelievable. The ability for a family to go out and do so many great things, from parks, to golf, to great little shows, to schools and hospitals. Everything is here in Las Vegas from that standpoint."

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McSorley, of course, had the sort of career that makes him a legitimate authority on this subject.

After growing up on a farm in Kayuga, Ont., the 53-year-old broke into the NHL with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1983-84 before making a name for himself as a noted tough guy on the Edmonton Oilers dynasty.

McSorley, who found a particular niche as one of Wayne Gretzky's most accomplished bodyguards, would later follow No. 99 from Edmonton to the Los Angeles Kings. He then enjoyed shorter, but still noteworthy tenures with the New York Rangers, San Jose Sharks and Boston Bruins.

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He currently lives just outside of Los Angeles.

The significance of McSorley's many travels, which included time in two countries, two coasts and in markets large and small, warm weather and cold weather, is that he's experienced every sort of environment the NHL has to offer.

So if he says that Las Vegas would be a place free agents would sign because of its ability to appeal to players' families, it's certainly worth considering.


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"I think another little secret is the fact that there's no state tax," McSorley said. "For players, that's another huge caveat for the Vegas Golden Knights."

McSorley added that the team's ability to build its organization from an on-ice standpoint would also become a significant aspect for players who may choose to sign here.

But in professional sports, that's a given. Elite players always want to play for elite teams.

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Although considering that the attention Las Vegas predominantly receives on a national scale is for its nightlife and party scene, a former player vouching for the region's appeal to families was interesting to hear.

And perhaps a precursor of what's to come.

"A player really looks for is you want to be in a real competitive environment," McSorley said. "You wanted to be surrounded by good people and in an environment where you can be successful.

"I think free agents are going to look to sign here."

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