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Golden Knights will name first coach on Thursday

Vegas preparing to begin play next season

NHL.com @NHL

The Vegas Golden Knights will announce their first coach on Thursday.

Owner Bill Foley said the coach for the NHL expansion team will be revealed around noon PDT, KVVU-TV reported. The Golden Knights begin play next season.

Candidates included Gerard Gallant, who was fired as coach of the Florida Panthers on Nov. 27, and Jack Capuano, who was fired by the New York Islanders on Jan. 17.

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

"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."

Vegas will participate in the NHL Expansion Draft from June 18-20, with their selections revealed June 21. It must select one player from each team to fill a roster of at least 14 forwards, nine defensemen and three goalies, with a minimum of 20 players under contract for the 2017-18 season. The value of the salaries must be at least 60 percent of this season's NHL salary cap (about $43.8 million).

Vegas also can sign any restricted or unrestricted free agent left unprotected by his team from June 18-20. These free agents would not otherwise be allowed to sign with a team different than the one they played for this season until July 1.

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