Trade deadline busier than anticipated for Golden Knights GM McPhee

George McPhee talks about the challenges of putting together a team from scratch and a busier NHL trade deadline than he expected.

Last week’s NHL trade deadline was busier and more intense than anticipated for Vegas Golden Knights general manager George McPhee.

In an exclusive interview with Sportsnet’s David Amber on Monday, McPhee said that his new club had a lot of discussions over the deadline.

“We talked to a number of clubs, probably half a dozen a lot, and we’ll pick it up here again when their seasons are over and see where it leads,” McPhee said.

McPhee is in Boca Raton, Fla., for the NHL GM meetings — the first time doing so since being fired as GM of the Washington Capitals in April 2014.

Although he’s been away from the meetings of late, McPhee says that not much has changed.

“It’s like meeting an old friend and realizing 15 seconds later that nothing’s changed between you,” he said.


The NHL’s 31st GM says that his biggest challenge to date was putting a staff together, but that the operation has been pretty smooth since doing so.

McPhee says that he doesn’t want to stray too far from what his Capitals teams looked like while building the Golden Knights.

“I’d like to have a club like the one we built in Washington that’s got a little bit of everything. Lots of skill, can score, can defend well, got size, people that can compete,” McPhee said.

“I think if you want to win it all, you’ve got to be able to do a lot of things but certainly if you look at Chicago and Pittsburgh, the Detroit teams in the past, they won on skill and goal-scoring and I’d like to do the same thing.”

Vegas made its first signing in franchise history on Monday by inking Brandon Wheat Kings forward Reid Duke to an entry-level deal.

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