George McPhee has his lists. Now it’s time to stock up.
The general manager of the Vegas Golden Knights will choose the players who will suit up first for the NHL’s 31st team, and they will be revealed during the NHL Awards ceremony on Wednesday in Las Vegas.
“This has been a fascinating experience to date. There has been a certain intensity to the last two or three days … ” McPhee said Sunday. “It certainly changed today; it’s a different phase. We have some control over what’s happening now — but now we’re on the clock.”
The pool of players from which the Golden Knights can choose was unveiled Sunday. Las Vegas, which has until 10 a.m. ET Wednesday to hand over its selections, must take at least 14 forwards, nine defensemen and three goalies from those players left unprotected by the league’s 30 other teams.
At least 20 players must be under contract for the coming season. Also, the salaries of players selected must total at least 60 percent of the salary cap ($43.8 million) for the season that just ended. The 2017-18 salary cap is $75 million, an increase of about 2.75 percent over last season.
Teams went one of two routes when compiling who would be protected — either pulling aside seven forwards, three defensemen and one goaltender or eight skaters and one netminder. McPhee is willing to be flexible, but made clear that Vegas is in the driver’s seat.
“We are still talking…