That building, bought 14 months earlier to house one of billionaire businessman
The team will debut at
McPhee, who spent 17 years with the
"Oh, shoot," McPhee said, realizing he locked himself out of the office. He dialed Boettinger's cell. "Katy, I left the thing -- the key card -- on my desk."
It had been a busy weekend for McPhee. Two days earlier, he bought a house, a car, two beds, checked out a church and toured two schools for one of his three children -- 11-year-old
After two years of speculation that the
"It hit me when I was filling out my change-of-license form for the DMV," McPhee said. "I was writing down my address, '
"Most managers would probably fantasize getting an expansion team one day and being able to build it from the bottom up, and I certainly did. But when I arrived here and I saw the arena, not only the great location, but the arena itself, I couldn't believe it.
"We have it all here. It's easy to get around, it's a beautiful place to live, no state income tax. My first news conference in
Team name, logo to come
McPhee has 35 employees -- and counting -- on the hockey side, including more than a dozen scouts. Because so much can change in the
"I literally walked upstairs from my introductory news conference and started making phone calls, and it hasn't stopped," McPhee said. "The first couple weeks were incredibly overwhelming the number of people that called, texted and e-mailed. I couldn't keep up."
But back on
"Tomorrow's going to be a historic day for us," McPhee said, smiling. He was preparing for the first scouting meetings. which started with a team photo, included a swanky dinner at the Bellagio and a bonding outing to TopGolf.
Scouts received laptops, iPads, instructions on how to work the franchise's customized scouting program, decided on the best way to do expenses and received initial coverage schedules.
But most importantly, they talked culture and the type of player McPhee wants to play in the entertainment capital of the world.
"Hockey's a great game and it should never be boring," McPhee said. "We'll never be a team that sits back and doesn't challenge. Teams that can score goals are fun to watch."
Expansion draft key
Las Vegas will begin fielding a roster with the aid of an expansion draft. Teams must submit their protected lists
The franchise must select one player from each club, including 14 forwards, nine defensemen and three goalies and have a minimum of 20 players under contract for 2017-18 at an aggregate value of at least 60 percent (
McPhee also will be permitted to sign pending unrestricted and restricted free agents who are left unprotected.
"So are we doing mock drafts every month?" McPhee said. "I'd like to. Even though I know it'll be a total guess and things will change constantly as to who may be available to us, it'll also allow us to become familiar with all the rules and really understand what kind of team we can start with."
Vegas pro scouts
Even though the expansion draft rules will make Las Vegas better equipped to succeed faster than past expansion teams, McPhee says the amateur draft is key to long-term success.
Las Vegas will be given the same odds in the 2017 draft lottery as the team finishing with the third-fewest points this season. As a result, Las Vegas will be guaranteed no lower than the sixth overall selection.
"We have to do really well in the draft," McPhee said. "We're going to have to have some lottery picks initially the first few years, but we don't want to be doing that a long time."
The final of Foley's three installments to meet the
"I almost feel the same way today that I do the night before training camp, like a kid a couple of days before Christmas," McPhee said. "It's nice, I guess, at 58 years of age to feel that way. But I also feel there's a tremendous amount of responsibility here. A lot of people are counting on us.
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