Mike Halford

George McPhee, Troy Brouwer

Vegas to name GM tomorrow — will it be George McPhee? (Updated)


Las Vegas owner Bill Foley has scheduled a press conference for 1 p.m. PST on Wednesday, to announce the first-ever GM in franchise history.

So who’s it going to be?

TSN’s Bob McKenzie, while not “officially” reporting anything, said he would put his money on ex-Caps GM George McPhee being the guy. And based on what was said yesterday, McPhee would fit within the parameters of Foley’s ideal candidate.

“I can tell you the people we talked to are all well-known in the hockey community and are well-respected,” Foley said Monday, per the Review-Journal. “They’re all very smart and they’ve done different things for different teams.

“Some are strong on the (salary) cap. Some are strong when it comes to assessing talent. But they all have strong backgrounds.”

McPhee, 58, is currently serving as Garth Snow’s advisor with the Isles. Prior to taking that gig, McPhee was the longtime GM in Washington and, prior to that, served as Pat Quinn’s assistant with the Canucks.

McPhee also served alongside Calgary GM Brad Treliving as part of the managerial squad for Canada’s gold medal-winning entry at the world championship.

That vast experience alone would seemingly put McPhee in the conversation — only we don’t know what that conversation has entailed thus far. Foley has been pretty tight-lipped about candidates for Vegas’ GM gig, and most reports have only identified executives that weren’t in the running.

Two of those would be current Florida Panthers president Dale Tallon and current Blackhawks assistant GM Norm Maciver. Tallon, who was “promoted” from the GM role in Florida this offseason, was allowed to speak with the Vegas group after Foley was granted permission by Panthers owner Vincent Viola.

But Foley never reached out.

As for Maciver — “considered one of the top hockey minds in the league,” per the Review-Journal — he wasn’t contacted by Foley either.

Maciver, who appeared in over 500 games as a player, has been Stan Bowman’s assistant in Chicago since 2012 and reportedly interviewed with Pens CEO David Morehouse about Pittsburgh’s GM gig three years ago — a job that eventually went to Jim Rutherford.

Update: Per multiple sources, including ESPN, McPhee will indeed be announced as Vegas’ GM tomorrow.

Boston College standout Sanford turns pro, signs with Caps

BOSTON, MA - FEBRUARY 08:  Zach Sanford #24 of Boston College reacts after Alex Tuch #12 scored a game winning goal in overtime to defeat Boston University in the Beanpot Tournament championship game at TD Garden on February 8, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images)

Zach Sanford, taken 61st overall by Washington at the 2013 draft, is forgoing his final years at Boston College and turning pro.

The Caps signed Sanford to his entry-level deal on Monday, shortly after the big forward participated in the club’s annual prospects development camp. The 6-foot-4, 191-pounder was a key piece of BC’s success last year, scoring 13 goals and 39 points in 41 games, helping the Eagles reach the Frozen Four.

Sanford, 21, has spent the last two years at Boston College. More on where he’ll possibly fit in with Washington, per CSN Mid Atlantic:

He has played both center and wing in college and was thought to be a future NHL center. Washington’s recent push, however, may suggest the Caps have other plans.

With Nicklas Backstrom, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Lars Eller and Jay Beagle, the Caps look set at center. The departure of Jason Chimera, however, has left an opening at left wing. While Sanford’s signing could be an attempt to shore up depth, it seems unlikely the Caps would have pushed so hard to sign a player just so he can spend the season in the AHL. 

The Caps traded up three spots to take Sanford at the ’13 draft, so they’re clearly high on his potential. Washington was also very quiet in free agency — Brad Malone and Brett Connolly were the biggest additions up front — so it stands to reason that GM Brian MacLellan is looking for internal competition for spots at forward, which could play into Sanford’s favor.

Kings sign Campbell, Dowd and Forbort

OSTRAVA, CZECH REPUBLIC - MAY 04:  Jack Campbell, goalkeeper of USA, in action during the IIHF World Championship group B match between Russia and USA at CEZ Arena on May 4, 2015 in Ostrava, Czech Republic.  (Photo by Matej Divizna/Getty Images)
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EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) The Los Angeles Kings have signed goalie Jack Campbell and re-signed center Nic Dowd and defenseman Derek Forbort.

The Kings announced the moves Monday.

Los Angeles traded defenseman Nick Ebert to Dallas last month for Campbell, the 11th overall pick in the 2010 draft. Campbell played just one NHL game for the Stars in October 2013, spending most of his career in the AHL.

Goalie Jeff Zatkoff signed with the Kings last week to compete for the backup job behind Jonathan Quick.

Dowd and Forbort were restricted free agents who made their NHL debuts last season. Dowd played five games for the Kings, while Forbort scored two points in 14 games.

Prosecutor says case against O’Reilly ‘completely over,’ confirms he initiated dismissal

Ryan O'Reilly, Nikita Kucherov

An Ontario Crown Attorney has confirmed the criminal case against Buffalo All-Star Ryan O'Reilly is “completely over,” following a trial that took place more than one year after O’Reilly was arrested on an impaired driving charge.

But George Christakos, the Crown Attorney — in Canada, the government prosecutor in criminal cases — would not divulge any additional details about the case, other than confirming to the Buffalo News he was the one that initiated the dismissal of charges.


“We heard from the first witness, and after that, I invited the court to dismiss the charges against Mr. O’Reilly,” Christakos told The News. Justice Thomas McKay then agreed to dismiss those charges.

When asked why the case dragged on for more than a year with apparently no eyewitness identification, Christakos declined comment.

He also wouldn’t discuss why the prosecution couldn’t have relied on other evidence, such as the damage to the truck.

O’Reilly was initially charged with impaired driving last July following an incident in Ontario — an incident in which he allegedly crashed his vintage 1951 Chevrolet pickup into a Tim Horton’s restaurant, and fled the scene.

The case had seven adjournments before a trial date finally was set in late December. O’Reilly, 25, pleaded not guilty to impaired driving and a related blood-alcohol charge earlier in today’s courtroom proceedings.

Flyers, Weal avoid arbitration with one-year deal

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 25: Jordan Weal #19 of the Philadelphia Flyers skates against the Boston Bruins during the second period at Wells Fargo Center on January 25, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
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Jordan Weal had filed for salary arbitration with the Flyers, and was scheduled to have his hearing on July 29.

Well, scratch that.

On Monday, both parties avoided that unpleasant piece of business by agreeing to a one-year deal worth a reported $650,000 at the NHL level (per CBC). It’s also believed to be a two-way contract.

More, from the Flyers:

Weal, 24, was acquired from the Los Angeles Kings on January 6, 2016. He saw the first NHL action of his career last year, making his debut for the Kings and appearing in 10 games before coming to Philadelphia, where he appeared in four contests.

Weal has been a really good scorer at the AHL level, and captured Calder Cup MVP honors in 2015. He’s definitely got some talent, but had a tough time finding minutes with the Flyers last season (he was the lone roster player acquired in the deal that sent Luke Schenn and Vincent Lecavalier to L.A.)

The knock on Weal is that he isn’t very big — listed at 5-foot-10, 179 pounds — and will probably be hard pressed to see a ton of ice time in Philly next year. Of course, he could stick around the parent club and avoid the AHL because he’s waiver eligible, and the Flyers won’t want to lose him for nothing.