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Golden Knights promote McCrimmon to general manager

Will assume new role effective Sept. 1; McPhee to remain president of hockey operations @NHLdotcom

Kelly McCrimmon was promoted to general manager of the Vegas Golden Knights, effective Sept. 1.

McCrimmon will report to current GM George McPhee, who will remain in his role as president of hockey operations.

"What was important for me was that there were no disruptions to our staff," McPhee said on Thursday. "We worked so hard three years ago for an entire year to put this great staff together that now we're only 2 years old and we've got organizations 25, 50, 75, 100 years old that are coming to talk to our employees. We'd rather keep the band together, and in this instance, it was easy because Kelly is more than ready to be an acceptable general manager. There's no doubt in my mind that, had he interviewed, Kelly would have been a manager someplace else. So, why not do it here?

"I thought it was the right thing to do for the Vegas Golden Knights. I thought it was the right thing to do for Kelly McCrimmon. I thought it was the right thing to do for me because Kelly and I are both going to grow more because of this. He's going to grow more in his role. I've done this for 20 years. I can be really supportive of him, but I wouldn't mind getting out to some tournaments and scouting some players. It wasn't a difficult decision. It was the right thing to do. I'm really proud to do this. It feels good. Kelly's going to be terrific at it. We just keep rolling along here."

Vegas hired McCrimmon as assistant GM on Aug. 2, 2016. He played a key role in scouting, preparation and player evaluation leading up to the expansion draft and 2017 NHL Draft. He has helped McPhee oversee the day-to-day operations of the Golden Knights, who won 51 games, an NHL record for an expansion team, in 2017-18 and advanced to the Stanley Cup Final, where they lost in five games to the Washington Capitals.

The Golden Knights finished third in the Pacific Division this season and were eliminated in the Western Conference First Round in seven games by the San Jose Sharks after holding a 3-1 lead in the best-of-7 series.

Video: McCrimmon becomes the Golden Knights General Manager

"It's amazing everything that's happened in three years," McCrimmon said. "The growth of our team, the success of our team … is something I'm very grateful to have that opportunity. ... The thing that's special about our organization is the collaboration. When we started, we had 30 teams we needed to learn ... inside and out. From Day One, we made every decision together. It's completely transparent and collaborative, and I believe that brings you to good decisions.

"If I went into a new opportunity, and I did my job well, I would try to do exactly what we've done here. We've got great people. We use them. They contribute and we make good decisions. It's never unilateral. Never how insignificant a move we may have made, it's never been someone overruling the other. I'm satisfied working in that environment based on the quality of people that have the input. I wouldn't want it any other way."

McCrimmon joined the Golden Knights after he was owner, governor, GM and coach of Brandon of the Western Hockey League since 1988-89. He helped Brandon to five Memorial Cup appearances, once as a player (1979), three times as GM (1995, 1996, 2016) and twice as coach and GM (2010, 2016). He was named WHL executive of the year three times (1994-95, 2009-10 and 2014-15).

"It's the best working relationship I've had in this business," McPhee said. "It didn't take long for the trust to be there. He's as straight an arrow as there is. It's worked out really well. We were meeting with the coaches the other day and we were finishing each other's sentences like a married couple. This works for all kinds of reasons.

"I don't know if there's a guy more well-equipped to do this. He's owned, he's coached, he's managed, he's scouted. He's well-read and a deep thinker. You're not going to outwork him. He's as straight as they come. Very well-liked as a guy. He's the whole package for me." correspondent Danny Webster contributed to this report

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