• Now that the expansion Vegas Golden Knights are locked and loaded, they can begin trading for assets (no living, breathing pro players yet) and sign college, junior and European free agents.
GM George McPhee is also searching for his first coach. He has talked with Gerard Gallant, Jack Capuano and Ralph Krueger.
McPhee said Vegas has converted 16,000 deposits into 14,000 season-ticket holders.
“Local fans, small groups, families, small businesses,” McPhee said. “No big blocks of tickets purchased by shopping malls or a casino. All local, two to eight tickets per sale.”
• Many around the NHL were stunned that Joe Sakic, who runs the worst team in the league — the Colorado Avalanche — didn’t trade Matt Duchene or Gabriel Landeskog at the deadline. But, frankly, it made little sense to do it now when he can wait until the draft and get more teams involved because the expansion process will be over and teams will have full knowledge of their rosters and cap situations going forward.
“As you saw, everybody is looking at expansion. You have to get ready for it,” Sakic said. “You have to have your protection figured out. Obviously, it’s a unique year and different year.”
• Philadelphia Flyers forward Jakub Voracek felt so badly that 396 Flyers fans threw their hats on the ice thinking Wayne Simmonds had completed a hat trick last week when the final goal actually belonged to him, he plans to purchase 396 hats and donate them to local hospitals for kids fighting cancer. “Well, hopefully that’s the last time I get booed after I scored,” Voracek said, jokingly.