Today Lotus Sports Network’s ESPN 1100AM/100.9FM station had the pleasure and brought on Vegas Golden Knights General Manager George McPhee and talked about NHL Lottery Draft for the first time since the event that took place last Saturday during game 2 of the Washington vs. Pittsburgh Stanley Cup Playoffs series.
Reaction From Today’s Radio Session On ESPN 1100AM/100.9FM with Golden Knights GM George McPhee
Hosted by Ed Graney, Mike Pritchard and Clay Baker of ESPN 1100AM/100.9FM of the Lotus Sports Network, VGK GM George McPhee took the time out of busy day and talked about the NHL Lottery Draft, NHL Expansion Draft, the upcoming NHL Entry Draft in Chicago as well as the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Lottery Draft Results
GM George McPhee shared his thoughts about the NHL Lottery Draft.
“I don’t mind it, it precludes teams from tanking I believe, you never want that in sports, I sort have advocated for those kinds of changes over the years to make the lottery harder for the worst teams to win because some teams seem to throw in the towel in early and trade off players and get in those top positions.” Says McPhee.
McPhee also added to this about what it means for the Golden Knights to be picking 6th overall in the upcoming Entry Draft.
“I don’ think that should ever happen, I thin you go to compete all year long. So I don’t mind it, we knew at the start of the year that we would be picking somewhere in the top 6 and that’s been a real advantage for us since we gone out to scout players to focus on those players that we thought would be in the top 6, so we will be really well prepared for this.” McPhee continued.
“With this particular draft there are couple players that 1 and 2 that are I think are a lot better than the next layer of players and you can get the same player at 3, at 6, and 9 so I’m not worried about getting a good player because there are enough of them there that will be fine.” McPhee added.
NHL Expansion Draft/NHL Entry Draft
McPhee also updated the Lotus Sports Network team on where they are at with preparations to next months Expansion Draft that will be taking place at T-Mobile Arena during the Awards ceremony weekend.
“We put so much effort into both because there critical, we would love to come away from the expansion draft with a really competitive club with lots of different elements in terms of speed, size, grit, and skill.” McPhee says.
“So we put a lot of effort into that had a lot more meetings this year on the pro side for obvious reasons that I ever had and then with the same thing on the amateur side with the entry draft, the entry draft is your life blood and the amateur scouting department is the base of the spinal column for your organization and every department is linked if your not drafting well then everything is out of alignment, if your drafting well then your in good shape.” McPhee continued
The importance of a team when building from the ground up thru the traditional method and that’s thru the NHL Entry Draft. The opportunity to stock up your farm system over the years is vital in reference to his “life blood” comment he alluded to.
“I’ve put a lot of effort into both of these, I’m looking forward to the entry draft it’s going to be difficult because these are back-2-back we get three days to put the team together in the expansion draft and then two days later were right into the entry draft so a lot of the preparations has to be done in advance. ” McPhee added.
McPhee and his team are gearing to conduct another mock draft this month that will allow to continue with putting those final pieces in place of who they are getting close at going after when the NHL Expansion Draft comes next month.
Over the past several months they have done this to get a better understanding of the universe of players that will most likely be available vs the players that the 30 other hockey clubs are most definitely going to protect as their franchise cornerstones going into the next few seasons.
Stanley Cup Playoffs
When McPhee had travel difficulties that prevented him from attending the Lottery Draft in person the NHL provided him the opportunity take in the Washington Capitals vs. Pittsburgh Penguins matchup at his old stomping grounds in which shaped his NHL General Manager career at Verizon Center.
“Well I can tell you the in arena experience of being at an NHL playoff game is incredible, I’m certainly biased that it might be the best in all sports when your in that rink for an NHL Playoff game it is so intense and fun to watch, the talent in our league now is just incredible the size, the speed, the skill, the thinking, and physicality it’s really something to see.” McPhee said.
What McPhee has described about the Stanley Cup Playoff experience is something in which I have had the opportunity to see in person over the years. For at least five seasons I have had the pleasure to witness 11 playoff games in person that spans across all four rounds.
In particular last season I watched the San Jose take on the LA Kings in the round 1 where the atmosphere playing against division rival is always loud and ear wrenching at SAP Center.
Then later on in the Western Conference Finals in Game 6 where the San Jose Sharks punched their ticket into the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time in their franchises history.
The sellout crowd at “The Shark Tank” was amazing because all the elements were on full display. Their fans were able to finally celebrate a major accomplish in San Jose 25th season in the NHL.
However in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals the atmosphere was a somber one due to the Sharks being outlasted by Pittsburgh.
Nevertheless these experiences do not come around too often so for Vegas Golden Knights fans and organization will have to cherish these moments when it comes to be their turn in the Stanley Cup Playoffs down the road and McPhee echoed that sentiment.
“Projecting ahead and hoping that you have that too with your club and we are excited to get going on this it’s been a long year of building the organization and everything else we’ve got all that done, we spent recent weeks personally watching and going to pro games and going to amateur games and were ready for this.” McPhee says.
“Were going to be well prepared and were excited about it, it’s going to be a big event in Las Vegas and obviously we want to do very very well, we want to put a heck of a team on the ice.” McPhee concluded.
We are just weeks away from both the NHL Expansion and Entry Drafts so there the excitement continues to build for George McPhee and the Golden Knights organization.