weather icon Clear

What type of owner will Bill Foley be? Think late Ed Snider or Mark Cuban

It was about 45 minutes — what took so long? — after the NHL officially awarded Las Vegas an expansion franchise on Wednesday when odds began appearing for what will be the team’s first season of play in 2017-18.

To win the Stanley Cup: 100-1.

“Let’s see,” Bill Foley said when told of the projection, “what they are in Year 3.”

The man who paid an expansion fee of $500 million to deliver Las Vegas its first major league professional sports team isn’t one to sit back and wait for anything. Patience might be a virtue, but it’s hardly a central quality to Foley’s personality.

He didn’t build a billionaire empire and rise to chairman of Fidelity National Financial by not demanding those who work for him match what is an inexhaustible competitive streak, which also defines the type of owner he will be.

Think a combination of Ed Snider and Mark Cuban.

Snider died in April at age 83, the longtime owner of the Philadelphia Flyers whose franchise became the first expansion team to win a Stanley Cup in 1974 before repeating the following season.

He was loyal and generous with his players and asked only their greatest effort in return. He gave them what they needed to win and then expected them to do so.

Cuban is similar in how he runs the Dallas Mavericks of the NBA, an owner who has no problem showering his players with the biggest and best and most expensive of amenities, who treats them like family.

Who also loves and expects to win.

“I’m the nicest guy in the world,” Foley said. “I can be your best buddy. But you better get the job done. I’m demanding about accomplishing goals and staying on target and not getting distracted. We’re going to do everything for our players and their families, but I’m going to expect them to win and be involved and supportive in the community and help build youth hockey here. NHL players are great guys when it comes to those things. They’re not prima donnas. They’re the guys you want to have a beer with. They’re fun.

“Ed Snider was very involved with his franchise, and he demanded perfection and they won when he was really active with things. I’m going to be that way. I will be disappointed if we haven’t made the playoffs by the third year at the latest. We need to be at that point. I can’t be patient. I’m too old. I have to get this done.”

Foley is 68 and can’t remember how many businesses he has been part of, but believes he can, in many ways, run the NHL team as he did other investments. His toughest go of it before now might have come in the mortgage industry, specifically with title insurance, during the financial crisis. It’s an area that has no distinguished product, making it even more critical you hire the right people who can sell and keep customers happy.

You know, like with an NHL expansion team.

Fidelity National Financial operates on this philosophy: Bias For Action.

It means Foley wants those under him to analyze tasks, reach decisions and implement solutions as soon as possible. He wants them to challenge all assumptions and strive continuously for improvement. He wants them accessible, responsible and decisive.

“If you make a mistake,” he said, “reverse it and move on.”

He will begin this journey holding the titles of owner, president and CEO, meaning he will be even more involved with decisions than already believed. This will be his greatest challenge and yet the one he will have the most fun trying to execute.

Word to the wise for those interested in joining his team in some capacity: Be ready to work.

“I can be intimately involved and then I can back off when I need to,” Foley said. “As long as I have the right people, I’m great at delegating. I give people responsibilities and authority, and if they don’t do things right, I let them know. If they don’t do it right again, I let them know very strongly. If they don’t do it right again, they’re gone. I can’t put up with that. I don’t have the time.

“I don’t want to blow this. I don’t want to hire a bunch of guys who are here for three years and then gone. We are here to build for the future, but the future is now. Those on the hockey side aren’t going to have to baby-sit me. I’m a big boy. I’m a good crisis manager. When times are tough, I’m tough to beat. People we hire just need to do their job.”

He wants to win as soon as possible and will be an owner whose generosity with those under him is matched only by his demands of them succeeding.

Translation: If those Stanley Cup odds are 100-1 in Year 3, it might be best to avoid the boss for a few days.

Ed Graney can be reached at egraney@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4618. He can be a heard on “Seat and Ed” on Fox Sports 1340 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. On Twitter: @edgraney

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Golden Knights Videos
Golden Knights rally to beat Kings in OT, 3-2
The Golden Knights were down 2-0 halfway through the third period, but two quick goals helped get the team back on track to beat the Kings 3-2 in overtime.
Golden Knights' Deryk Engelland Shares Advice with Rookies - Video
Golden Knights defenseman Deryk Engelland has some advice for rookies: “Stick with what got you there.” The veteran NHL player also recalls his first goal as a pro.
Golden Knights Continue Preseason Success with Win Over Avalanche - Video
The Golden Knights prospects are continuing to prove they are worthy of a starting position, this time with a shutout 5-0 win over the Colorado Avalanche.
Golden Knights Head Coach Gerard Gallant Praises Prospects - Video
A day after the Golden Knights 6-2 preseason victory over the Arizona Coyotes, head coach Gerard Gallant discussed how impressed he is with the prospects, including defensemen Nicolas Hague and Dylan Coghlan.
Golden Knights On First Preseason Win - Video
The Golden Knights talk about their first preseason win including Max Pacioretty's hat trick and putting Malcolm Subban as the goaltender for tonight's game.
Golden Knights Zamboni Lessons 101 - Video
The Golden Knights preseason tips off on Sunday, Sept. 15 and you know what that mean, it's time to roll out the zamboni! Have you ever wondered what it takes to be a zamboni operator for the Golden Knights? Golden Edge host Cassie Soto finds out!
Allegiant Unveils Golden Knights Plane - Video
Allegiant air officially unveils its new Golden Knights airbus that will take to the skies soon.
Golden Knights Rookie Camp: 3 Takeaways - Video
Vegas Golden Knights rookies took to the ice on Friday morning for practice at City National Arena. While the rookies mainly participated in drills, it was good to see the prospects get ice time. Golden Knights beat writers David Schoen and Ben Gotz discuss their three takeaways from the practice.
Golden Knights Host Charity Golf Classic - Video
The Golden Knights held its 2019 Charity Golf Classic on Wednesday at TPC Summerlin. Before teeing off, Golden Knights players Ryan Reaves, Jonathan Marchassault and Alex Tuch said who they thought were the worst and best golfers on their team.
Ryan Reaves performs wedding ceremony
Reverand Reavo makes his debut for one time only at the Chapel of Flowers for a get married by Ryan Reaves contest.
Vegas Golden Knights President Kerry Bubolz on the Golden Edge Podcast
Review-Journal reporters Ben Gotz and David Schoen talk with Golden Knights president Kerry Bubolz about his experiences with LeBron James, the team's new initiatives, a possible MLS expansion team and more.
George McPhee Conference Call on Nikita Gusev trade - VIDEO
Golden Knights President of Operations George McPhee answers questions on a conference call about the teams most recent trade of Nikita Gusev to the New Jersey Devils.
Vegas Golden Knight's Deryk Engelland Happy to Re-Sign - Video
Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Deryk Engelland is happy to stay in Las Vegas after signing a one-year deal with the team.
Golden Aces hold Tryouts For 2019-2020 Season - Video
The Golden Aces hold tryouts for the 2019-2020 season for the Golden Knights.
Golden Knight's owner Bill Foley's House for sale in The Ridges - Real Estate Millions
Vegas Golden Knights, Fleury Make Day for Critically Ill Teenager in ESPN “My Wish” - Video
A 13-year-old Las Vegas boy who has faced Hodgkin’s lymphoma is treated to a special day by the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights in a new ESPN “My Wish” Series feature debuting Wednesday, July 17, on SportsCenter. In the feature, Doron Coldwell spends a day with the team and even gets an opportunity to replace his favorite player, three-time Stanley Cup winner Marc-Andre Fleury, in the net.
Golden Knights Sell "Battle Worn Armor" To Season Ticket Holders - Video
The Golden Knights sell their "battle worn" apparel throughout both of the teams seasons including pucks, sticks, helmets and skates.
Summerlin 4th of July Parade - VIDEO
On July 4th Summerlin will be hosting the 25th annual Summerlin Council Patriotic Parade, an event that has grown massively over the years
Golden Knights McPhee talks on the first day of NHL free agency - VIDEO
Golden Knights incoming president of operations George McPhee addresses the media as free agency starts.
Golden Knights Trade Colin Miller as Development Camp ends - VIDEO
George McPhee speaks to the media following the end of the Golden Knights development camp.
Golden Knights Development Camp Day 4 - VIDEO
Nic Hague stands out at day 4 of Golden Knights development camp.
Golden Knights Hold First Scrimmage of Development Camp - Video
The first of three scrimmages was held at the 2019 Golden Knights Development Camp. Golden Edge host Cassie Soto and Golden Knights beat writers Adam Hill and David Schoen discuss what stood out to them.
Golden Knights George McPhee Discusses Erik Haula Trade - Video
A day after it was announced that Erik Haula had been traded to the Carolina Hurricanes, incoming President of Hockey Operations George McPhee spoke to the media discussing the move.
Golden Knights Trade Erik Haula - Video
The Golden Knights have traded Erik Haula to the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for prospect Nicolas Roy. Golden Edge host Cassie Soto and Golden Knights beat writer Adam Hill discuss the trade.
Golden Knights Coaches Looking for Veterans to Step Up in Development Camp - Video
Day two of the 2019 Golden Knights Development Camp is in the books. Director of Player Development Wil Nichol says his staff is looking for the veterans of the camp to step up and be leaders to the younger guys, while at the same time doing their best to impress the coaching staff.
Golden Knights Draft Player with Strong Hockey Bloodlines - Video
The Golden Knights drafted Mason Primeau in the 5th round of the 2019 NHL Draft. Primeau is no stranger to professional hockey, both his dad (Wayne Primeau) and his uncle (Keith Primeau) played in the NHL.
Golden Knights Kelly McCrimmon Talks Development Camp - VIDEO
Golden Knights general manager Kelly McCrimmon talks about what he expects from everyone at development camp on their first day.
Golden Knights Dylan Coghlan On Veteran Experience - VIDEO
Golden Knights defenseman Dylan Coghlan talks about his veteran experience playing in Chicago and development camp.
Golden Knights President George McPhee talks about Williams Karlsson's 8 year deal
George McPhee presser highlights June 25, 2019.
Golden Knights Center William Karlsson speaks to media about 8 year contract
William Karlsson presser highlights June 25, 2019.
Golden Knights Development Camp at Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada
For the third consecutive year, Vegas Golden Knights Development Camp participants participated in a special community event at Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada in Las Vegas. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye