NHL Franchise Notes: McPhee Shifted Roles For Good Of VGK
USA TODAY's Kevin Allen wrote Golden Knights President of Hockey Operations George McPhee "concluded that the only acceptable way to prevent" GM Kelly McCrimmon from leaving the team was to "give up his own job" to McCrimmon, even after McPhee won NHL GM of the year in '18. If McPhee "shifted to president of hockey operations and promoted McCrimmon from assistant to general manager, he believed he could keep the hottest candidate in the managerial marketplace." McPhee said, “It didn’t feel like a big change. ... It wasn’t a difficult decision for me. It felt right. I’m happy to do it. It’s what is best for the Vegas Golden Knights.” If McPhee "hadn’t made this gesture, McCrimmon was going to end up" as GM of the Oilers or the Seattle expansion team (USA TODAY, 5/3).
END OF AN ERA? The Penguins' sellout streak stands at 574, but in Pittsburgh, Mark Madden wondered if that will "continue when the Penguins miss the playoffs." Or, will "average attendance dip closer" to the 11,877 the team averaged in the '03-04 season? What would "tangible fan backlash be to trading a popular player" like C Evgeni Malkin, D Kris Letang or RW Phil Kessel? Madden: "Probably not much." G Marc-Andre Fleury was "more popular than any of those three," but "things add up" (TRIBLIVE.com, 5/3).
TAKING IT TO THE STREETS: The Lightning and Pasco County, Fla., officials are "discussing a partnership to develop rinks on each side of the county." It is "part of the team’s Build the Thunder 2.0 effort to locate 10 street hockey rinks in the region" by the summer of '20. County officials "revealed the NHL team’s interest, but few details," during an April 30 workshop (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 5/6).