Vegas Golden Knights can start acquiring players around March 1

LOS ANGELES – There are many questions about what the NHL expansion Golden Knights will look like when they hit the ice for the first time in 2017-18. One mystery NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly was happy to solve: That despite trademark issues, the team will actually be called the Golden Knights.

“There’s zero chance” the name will change, Daly said at the NHL All-Star Game in Los Angeles, although he admitted the tangled trademark process is “going to take a long time” to sort out.

Another question about the team could start gaining clarity around March 1, when it’s expected that Bill Foley’s purchase of the franchise will officially close: Who is going to play for the Golden Knights?

According to Daly, GM George McPhee can begin making trades as soon as that sale closes. “After the transaction closes, he will be able to make player-related transactions, within some parameters,” said Daly.

“He can’t acquire players who are still playing in the 2016-17 season. But he can acquire draft picks, unsigned draft choices … and he can start making deals related to the expansion draft.”

That opens up the possibility for McPhee to acquire a previously drafted player for a pick in the 2017 draft – a known commodity for a mystery.

This also means he can start making side deals to ensure he doesn’t snag certain players in the expansion draft – something the Anaheim Ducks might want to look into, considering their defensive situation.

There’s also been some clarity about the NHL Draft for the Knights, as Sportsnet reported over the weekend:

Yes, that means Nolan Patrick and Nico Hischier will be in play for the Knights.

“Because we’re brand new, because we need players, we need depth, we need to develop our future stars, the draft is very important,” Assistant GM Kelly McCrimmon told Sportsnet.

Greg Wyshynski is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at or find him on Twitter. His book, TAKE YOUR EYE OFF THE PUCK, is available on Amazon and wherever books are sold.