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Golden Knights officially promote Kelly McCrimmon to general manager

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Well it’s official.

By drawing outside interest, Kelly McCrimmon was able to secure himself a bigger role within the Golden Knights organization.

The team confirmed Thursday that they have promoted assistant GM Kelly McCrimmon to the general manager role while keeping previous GM George McPhee on as the President of Hockey Operations. The switch in roles will officially begin on June 1st.

“What was important for me was that there were no disruptions to our staff” said McPhee about the promotion.

“I thought it was the right thing to do for the Vegas Golden Knights. I thought it was the right thing to do for Kelly McCrimmon. I thought it was the right thing to do for me because Kelly and I are both going to grow more because of this. He’s going to grow more in his role. I’ve done this for 20 years. I can be really supportive of him, but I wouldn’t mind getting out to some tournaments and scouting some players. It wasn’t a difficult decision. It was the right thing to do. I’m really proud to do this. It feels good. Kelly’s going to be terrific at it. We just keep rolling along here.”

The 58-year old has been with the Golden Knights since leaving his longtime role as General Manager of the WHL’s Brandon Wheat Kings for a chance with the league’s newest team in 2016.

Hockey

Ovechkin will serve as NHL Ambassador in China next month

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A big name NHL star is going to be the face of hockey in China.

The league announced Thursday that Washington Capitals great Alex Ovechkin will serve as an international ambassador for the NHL when he visits Beijing, China during the week of August 4 next month

“It is a huge honour for me to be an ambassador for the entire Washington Capitals organization and the National Hockey League for this special trip to China,” said Ovechkin.

“I think it is very important to spend time to help make people all over the world see how great a game hockey is. I can’t wait to spend time with all the hockey fans there and I hope to meet young kids who will be future NHL players. I can’t wait for this trip!”

Among the things Ovechkin will do when in the country is do a full on media tour, attend business meetings, and participate in various youth hockey clinics.

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Hockey

Former Nashville Predators captain Greg Johnson’s death most likely a suicide

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Some more sobering information has been revealed about the tragic death of former Nashville Predators captain Greg Johnson.

According to the Detroit News, Rochester police documents confirm that his death was more likely than not a suicide after a gun and a single bullet were near his body when he was discovered by his wife in the morning on July 7.

No further details of the autopsy have been made public.

Johnson, who was 48 at the time of his passing, spent 12 seasons in the NHL from 1993-2006.

The second round pick in the 1989 NHL Draft amassed 145 goals, 224 assists and 345 penalty minutes over a span of 785 games split between the Predators, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins and Chicago Blackhawks.

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Hockey

Capitals ink Jakub Vrana to two-year extension

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Another restricted free agent is off the market.

The Washington Capitals announced Tuesday that they have signed forward Jakub Vrana to a two-year, $6.7 million contract extension.

“Jakub is a highly skilled player with a tremendous upside and is a big part of our future” said Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan.

“We are pleased with his development the past two seasons and are looking forward for him to continue to develop and reach his full potential with our organization.”

The 23-year old, who was selected 13th overall in the 2014 NHL Draft, posted a career-best 47 points (24 goals, 23 assists) and a plus-20 rating in 82 games last season.

He will be entering his fourth NHL season in 2019/2020.

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