The final payment for the Vegas Golden Knights to give them team full entry into the NHL will reportedly not clear before the upcoming trade deadline.
Owner Bill Foley told KXNT radio in Las Vegas that there was no worry that the final payment of the NHL’s $500 million entrance fee will make it to the league, but the large amount of paperwork involved won’t make it possible for the money to be approved until after March 1 – the day of the trade deadline. If the money was approved before then, they would reportedly have been allowed to make smaller trades and transactions at the deadline, when a lot of the league’s in-season deals take place. The trade deadline is the last time teams can add players to their rosters that could be eligible for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
At the NHL’s All-Star Break it was reported that Foley’s purchase of the franchise would officially close around March 1.
“We won’t make it before the trade deadline. The documentation is unbelievable. I have documentation with the league on a franchise agreement. I have documentation on a loan we are taking out with CitiBank. I’ve got my personal stuff, which all has to get in and get approved. If you saw the stack of documents you’d say it’s not a pretty picture,” Foley said according to Sin Bin Vegas.
Not having the ability to make some deals at the deadline may impact the team to some degree in the short-term, since so much activity occurs around that time.
“It allows us, again, to do some transactions with clubs that are looking to do some business and we can also talk to college free agents, junior free agents – we should be allowed to do that to be competitive with everyone else because we are playing in October,” Vegas general manager George McPhee said in a recent interview with Puck Daddy about the importance of getting a start on transactions earlier rather than later. “There’s going to be plenty for us to do in June. It would sure be nice if we can get some other things out of the way in March.”
Foley indicated that McPhee was still doing his due diligence by checking with other general managers about deals.
“George is having informal calls informal talks with various GMs,” Foley said. “Other teams want to do more than we want to do. They want to lock up some of their players for the playoff run and after the playoff run. We aren’t going to get ahead of ourselves. George is going to make good deals. George is a deal maker especially in hockey. If we give up the right to draft a good player we are going to get something good for it.”
The league’s general managers meetings will take place in Boca Raton, Fla. From March 6-8 and McPhee has said he would like for the Golden Knights to be represented at the event. Sin Bin noted it was unclear if Foley’s payment will clear before that date.
“Well we just feel the sooner the better,” McPhee said of the GM’s meetings. “We’d like to start doing some business. We’re ready to go and it’s important for us to be involved. It’s important for us to be at the table at the GM’s meetings because there are important decisions regarding the league and all of hockey in general are being made there and Las Vegas should be heard.”
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