The Vegas Golden Knights are open for business.
On the day of the 2017 NHL Trade Deadline, the league’s newest team gained official standing Wednesday. That means the Golden Knights could begin making trades and signing free agents for next season, according to The Associated Press.
TSN’s Bob McKenzie also tweeted the news Wednesday afternoon.
This news doesn’t mean the Golden Knights were eligible to start bringing in superstars leading up to Wednesday’s 3 p.m. ET trade deadline. It simply meant the Golden Knights — if they wanted — could start agreeing to trades for draft picks or unsigned prospects in exchange for not pursuing or taking certain players in the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft on June 21.
It doesn’t appear Vegas made any notable moves Wednesday, but several teams likely approached the trade deadline with an eye toward the expansion draft, as there only are so many players each team can protect. Golden Knights general manager George McPhee even acknowledged to The AP recently that he already had some conversations regarding potential moves.
“We’ve been talking with teams here for a few weeks now,” McPhee told The AP last week. “Teams are looking for some certainty with their rosters and obviously trying to improve their rosters before the trading deadline, and they want to talk to us to see if there’s a player that we could agree upon that for a couple months from now to claim, which would make their life easier.”
The Golden Knights have a lot to iron out in their infancy, but at least they’re officially in the door now that the NHL has received the final installment of team owner Bill Foley’s $500 million expansion fee.
Welcome to the NHL (officially), Las Vegas.
Thumbnail photo via Brad Rempel/USA TODAY Sports Images
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