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McCrimmon casting wide net for Golden Knights coaching candidates

Kelly McCrimmon, right, new general manager of the Vegas Golden Knights hockey team, listens as...
Kelly McCrimmon, right, new general manager of the Vegas Golden Knights hockey team, listens as President of Hockey Operations George McPhee, left, speaks at a news conference Thursday, May 2, 2019, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)(John Locher | AP)
Published: May. 18, 2022 at 4:13 PM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - When the puck drops in the fall on season six of the Golden Knights, they will do so with their third head coach in franchise history. After missing out on the postseason for the first time, Golden Knights General Manager Kelly McCrimmon is back in the coaching market for the second time in less than three years.

When the organization relieved Gerard Gallant of his duties back in January of 2020, McCrimmon said the team needed a change. This time around, the VGK GM says the current roster need a new voice. Now unlike, the first coaching change, this one will not happen overnight.

“It will be lengthier, that is what the offseason allows you to do,” explained McCrimmon. “We’ll be thorough, we’ll look at all the candidates we want to identify.”

The next big dates on the NHL calendar are the Draft and Free Agency, though neither will dictate or rush the coaching search.

“You need to be reasonable, person needs to move their family, hire a staff, get setup, but in terms of preparation for the amateur draft, free agency, any of those things, it’s not essential. It may well be, but we’re not bound by any dates in the short term.”

The Golden Knights front office say they hope this change will allow the roster to head into the next season with a chip on their shoulder and an attitude of something to prove. Finding a new voice to guide that mentality is crucial, but other than that, all ideas are on the table.

“We’ll see. We’re not pigeon-holing ourselves in one category; head coach, former player, there is good coaches that have varying backgrounds. We’ve had two good coaches, one guy was a former player, one guy wasn’t, both were effective in delivering their message. We’ll look at the candidates, I don’t know at this point.”

There has been a lot of talk over the last year about how the Golden Knights have lost the identity they created from the get-go in year one. McCrimmon says getting back to that will be a focal point for the new staff.

“I think without going into the weeds of it, you guys have watched, you know what we look like when we play well. That’s what we hope to try and get back to, we’re not here to re-invent the wheel there is a style of game that works for us and looks good on us. It’s not unlike what you see from some of the other top teams. I think in the NHL there is a lot of similarities, sometimes it’s not what you do, but how you do it.”