LAS VEGAS -- The Vegas Golden Knights are not expecting to make the final expansion payment and complete the required paperwork before the NHL Trade Deadline on March 1, owner Bill Foley said Tuesday.
Foley said the delay is because of paperwork but the documents would be signed in time for general manager George McPhee to attend the GM meetings March 6-8 in Boca Raton, Florida.
"The money is not the problem," Foley said Tuesday during an open house at T-Mobile Arena. "We have the money. It's just documentation."
Foley said the final payment of the $500 million expansion fee is not due until April 5. The goal in moving up the process was so McPhee could attend the GM meetings.
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If the paperwork cleared, the Golden Knights would be allowed to acquire amateur draft picks or make trades tied to the NHL Expansion Draft. They couldn't acquire players prior to the deadline, so Foley downplayed its importance.
"George is not going to be too anxious to do a transaction and give up our flexibility on certain players," Foley said.
After the final payment is made, Vegas will be able to sign eligible college players once their season ends, junior players 20 and older, and free agents from European leagues.
After several NHL coaches were fired during this season, Foley suggested the Golden Knights might speed up the plan and hire theirs before the end of the regular season. Candidates include Jack Capuano, fired by the New York Islanders, and Gerard Gallant, fired by the Florida Panthers. Ken Hitchcock, fired by the St. Louis Blues, could also get in the mix.
"We have a couple of really good candidates," Foley said. "We believe there may be a few other candidates that we would take a look at before the end of the season. So that's kind of our game plan. But it's in George's hands."