LAS VEGAS (FOX5/AP) -- The Golden Knights announced Thursday that Assistant General Manager Kelly McCrimmon was promoted to General Manager of the team.
George McPhee will retain his title as President of Hockey Operations. McCrimmon will officially take the post Sept. 1.
Golden Knights owner Bill Foley said in a release:
This is a very exciting announcement for our club and Vegas Golden Knights fans around the world. George and Kelly are a fantastic team. From the mock draft exercises and preparation leading up to the Expansion Draft, building out our coaching staff, and continually improving our team through the draft, trades, signings and free agency, 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.
McCrimmon was previously being considered for the General Manager job with the Edmonton Oilers, according to multiple reports.
“Working with the Golden Knights has been an incredibly rewarding experience and I am very grateful for this new opportunity,” McCrimmon said in a statement. “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.”
McPhee and owner Bill Foley announced the unexpected move Thursday amid speculation about other NHL teams being interested in McCrimmon. He had served as McPhee's top assistant since August 2016, a year before the franchise made its on-ice debut.
Although McPhee will remain in charge of hockey operations, McCrimmon takes over as the day-to-day contact for trades and other moves. Under McPhee and McCrimmon's direction, Vegas made NHL history by reaching the Stanley Cup Final in its first season and made the playoffs in its second.
The team held a press conference on the promotion Thursday at noon.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.