Golden Knights GM Kelly McCrimmon coaches team while staff is absent due to ‘abundance of caution’

Vegas Golden Knights general manager Kelly McCrimmon's responsibilities mostly pertain to roster construction and management. The impetus for preparing and coaching the players rests with the staff. 

Except, with no staff available, McCrimmon found himself behind the bench. 

The Golden Knights' coaches —  head coach Peter DeBoer, assistants Steve Spott, Ryan Craig and Ryan McGill, and goaltending coach Mike Rosati — isolated "out of an abundance of caution" Tuesday night during the team's 5-4 shootout loss to the St. Louis Blues. 

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One of the coaches had tested positive, McCrimmon revealed, but no players. 

McCrimmon has spent his life around hockey but has never coached above the junior leagues, most recently leading the Brandon Wheat Kings to the Western Hockey League title in 2016. Coaches from Vegas' AHL affiliate in nearby Henderson, Nevada joined him —  including head coach Manny Viveiros and assistants Jamie Heward and Joel Ward. 

Vegas Golden Knights general manager Kelly McCrimmon, back left, coaches against the St. Louis Blues. (Photo: John Locher, AP)

The situation caught the Vegas players off guard but didn't alter anything much, forward Alex Pietrangelo said. 

"It was news to us when we arrived," he said, via ESPN. "(McCrimmon has) coached before, we had the (coaches) from Henderson come up, they know what they're doing, too. So we didn't know what the plan was originally, but it worked out fine.''

It is unknown whether any members of the Golden Knights' staff will be available for their game Thursday, also against the Blues. 

"We’re assuming we’re going to be back on the bench (Thursday),” Viveiros told reporters Wednesday.

Contributing: Associated Press

Follow Chris Bumbaca on Twitter @BOOMbaca.

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