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Las Vegas GM Expected to Be George McPhee, Islanders' Special Advisor

The special advisor looks ready to flee the nest.

"They told me to find a guy who knows how Garth thinks."
"They told me to find a guy who knows how Garth thinks."
Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports

George McPhee is expected to be named the general manager of Las Vegas' NHL expansion franchise.

The current special advisor to New York Islanders general manager Garth Snow has been widely rumored to be in the running for the job, which would guide the construction of a team that will begin play in 2017-18.

Renaud Lavoie reported multiple sources indicated that McPhee will be announced as GM Wednesday, and that suspicion was backed up to varying degrees by fellow NHL insiders Darren Dreger and Bob McKenzie of TSN.

Arthur Staple, who covers the Isles for Newsday, also reported the news and said Pittsburgh Penguins assistant GM Jason Botterill was believed to be runner-up for the gig.

Former NHL player Murray Craven has also been reported as a hockey advisor for Vegas owner Bill Foley, going back to the very beginning of Foley's expansion bid.

Before formally joining the Islanders in the fall of 2015 (and doing some scouting work for the team the prior winter), McPhee was general manager of the Washington Capitals for 17 seasons. If reports of his hiring are true, he'll bring lots of experience -- including navigating expansion drafts and minor league systems -- to Vegas, and he'll be doing it in the other conference.

Speaking of the expansion draft, he'd no doubt bring extra intelligence on which Islanders players to target -- the expansion draft rules require Vegas claim a player from all 30 teams -- but maybe he'll, you know, be kind to the team that gave him a place to stay connected and sharp while he was between GM jobs.

Prediction: The first question for McPhee from Canadian media will be whether the commute to Brooklyn made him leave the Isles for some place with a nicer climate.