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Kelly McCrimmon named general manager of Golden Knights

George McPhee will retain role of president of hockey operations.

Brandon Wheat Kings v Kelowna Rockets Photo by Marissa Baecker/Getty Images

The Vegas Golden Knights announced Thursday that Kelly McCrimmon has been promoted to general manager, effective Sept. 1.

George McPhee will retain his role as president of hockey operations.

McCrimmon, who has served as Vegas’ assistant GM, will continue to report to McPhee; McCrimmon will represent Vegas at GM meetings and will be the point of contact for other teams.

The move likely will not affect day-to-day operations, however.

“Every organization has its own structure, and our command structure has been perfect, I believe,” McPhee said. “I told Kelly when I was trying to hire him that he would be involved in every single thing we do here. ... We’ve shared everything and basically co-managed for three years, and that will continue.”

McCrimmon was considered a top candidate for vacant general manager positions with other clubs, particularly the Edmonton Oilers. While McPhee declined to discuss specific teams that may have expressed interest, he explained, “There’s no doubt in my mind that, if interviewed, Kelly would have been a manager someplace else. So why not do it here? He deserves this and is ready for it.”

“What was important for me was that there were no disruptions to our staff,” McPhee said. “We would rather keep the band together, and in this instance it was easy because Kelly is more than ready to be an outstanding general manager.”

“George and Kelly are a fantastic team,” Golden Knights Chairman and CEO Bill Foley said. “The work they have done over the last three years has been remarkable. Together they have constructed a championship-caliber team in a very short time. This personnel move ensures that our hockey operations group stays intact and positions our organization for long-term success.”

McPhee was named GM of the Vegas franchise back in July, 2016, and McCrimmon was added to the fold in August of that year. The two have contributed to Vegas’ early success, which includes a trip to the Stanley Cup Final after a record-setting inaugural campaign as well as playoff appearances in each of the team’s first two seasons.

Since the move will not be in effect until Sept. 1, McPhee presumably will act as GM during the NHL Entry Draft and free agency period this summer.

“Working with the Golden Knights has been an incredibly rewarding experience, and I am very grateful for this new opportunity,” McCrimmon said. “I would like to thank Bill, George, and the entire Golden Knights organization for their support and commitment. We are proud of the foundation we have built and are excited for the future.”