The Las Vegas National Hockey League team announced on Wednesday afternoon, that George McPhee will become the organization’s first general manager.
McPhee, 58, had been serving as a special adviser to New York Islanders general manager Garth Snow since he was let go by the Washington Capitals following the 2014 season. He will get to work immediately, putting together a staff that will help to build a successful franchise as quickly as possible.
McPhee served as the general manager of the Capitals from 1997 through 2014, leading them the Stanley Cup Final in his first season. The Capitals were eventually swept by the Detroit Red Wings in four games.
Under his reign, Washington won seven Southeast Division Championships, had eight seasons of at least 40 wins and won the President’s Trophy with the best record in the NHL during 2009-2010 season, with 121 points in the standings.
Before joining the Capitals, he served as Vice President and Director of Hockey Operations for the Vancouver Canuks from 1992-1997. The Canuks won the Smythe Division during the 1992-1993 season and the 1994 Stanley Cup Final, where they lost to the New York Rangers in seven games.
McPhee’s playing days began at Bowling Green State University, where he won the Hobey Baker Award for best National Collegiate Athletic Association player, in 1981-1982. That season he put up 28 goals and 52 assists in 40 games for Bowling Green.
The Rangers signed him as an undrafted free agent during the 1983 Stanley Cup Playoffs, as he scored three goals and three assists in six games. In 115 regular season games for the Rangers and New Jersey Devils, between 1983 and 1988, he scored 24 goals and 25 assists, with 257 penalty minutes.
At the press conference McPhee said, “Our mission here is clear, we are going to build an organization and a team that people in Nevada and Las Vegas are going to be proud of. We are going to do it quickly and we are aiming at the Stanley Cup.”
McPhee feels that the city of Las Vegas and the new T-Mobile Arena located on the Las Vegas Strip, will help make an attractive landing spot for players to want to play for the expansion team.
He added, “I think a lot of people are going to want to play here. There is a lot to offer. The arena is fabulous. I have seen where the practice facility is going to be and it is a great place for players to develop. Obviously, the climate is fantastic in state income tax matters. We are going to build a treasured team. People are going to want to be here, and that starts tonight.”
Snow said, “George brought knowledge, experience and tremendous insight to our organization. We are thrilled for him and his family to get this opportunity. His ability to evaluate players and his managerial skills are assets that will serve the new Las Vegas franchise well. It was a pleasure working with him and wish him nothing but the best in Las Vegas.”
Team owner, Bill Foley said, “George McPhee is our guy. He is a former hockey player, lawyer and was general manager of the Capitals for 17 years, a very well-managed and successful organization. I am proud to introduce him today.”
During the 1983 Stanley Cup Playoffs, McPhee, along with Edmonton Oilers forward Ray Cote, became the first two players in NHL history to score three goals in the postseason before ever playing in a regular season game.
McPhee’s son, Graham, was drafted by the Oilers during the 2016 NHL Draft. Graham will play for Boston College next season, under coach Jerry York, who coached the elder McPhee at Bowling Green.
During the 2015 Spengler Cup, McPhee served as the general manger for Team Canada as they won the tournament. He and Calgary Flames general manager served as the co-general managers for Canada during the 2016 International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship.