Published Thursday, May 2, 2019 | 9:18 a.m.
Updated Thursday, May 2, 2019 | 1:24 p.m.
Suitors came for Vegas Assistant General Manager Kelly McCrimmon, and the Golden Knights decided he was too valuable to let go.
McCrimmon was named Golden Knights general manager effective Sept. 1, the team announced today. He will report to George McPhee, who is the current general manager and will remain as president of hockey operations.
“It’s just a fabulous organization,” McCrimmon said. “I don’t think that’s news to anybody in this room, but when you’re living and breathing it every day and you’re proud of it as we are and the people that work and play for us, it’s pretty damn special.”
Not much is expected to change on a day-to-day basis. McPhee is still the last call on all hockey decisions, though McCrimmon will represent the Golden Knights at the league’s general manager meetings and be the liaison between Vegas and other teams.
McPhee confirmed other teams called the Golden Knights about McCrimmon. McPhee first talked to McCrimmon about the promotion on Friday and then brought the idea to owner Bill Foley over the weekend. He made the decision Wednesday.
“I think we made a really good decision three years ago to hire Kelly McCrimmon and I think we made another very good decision today to promote him to the general manager’s position,” McPhee said. “He is more than ready to do this and do it well.”
McCrimmon said he was not actively seeking a job with another team, though he knew they may become available. They declined to offer contract details, but said the move ensures McCrimmon remains with the Golden Knights for the long haul.
Both McCrimmon and McPhee got choked up when discussing McCrimmon’s late brother. Brad McCrimmon was a former NHL player and coach who died in a 2011 plane crash in Russia.
“If I were to describe it, he would be the proudest and least surprised,” McCrimmon said. “I think about him every day, always fondly, and there are occasions like this where it grabs you.”
McCrimmon was named assistant general manager on Aug. 2, 2016, and was key in building the team from the ground up. His name has been connected to some general manager openings, most notably in Edmonton and for the new Seattle franchise.
Now, he’ll be in Vegas for the foreseeable future.
“It wasn’t a difficult decision,” McPhee said. “It was the right thing to do.”