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A 2018 5th Round Pick For…

There’s an old saying, “there’s more than one way to skin a cat.” There’s another saying, “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.” There’s even another one that goes, “you can only see the tip of the iceberg.” Then there’s a trade in which the Vegas Golden Knights acquired Marcus Kruger for “future considerations” on Sunday and a 2018 5th round pick for Marcus Kruger on Tuesday. All of that belongs in one paragraph, believe me.

Prior to the Expansion Draft the Chicago Blackhawks were one of the many teams that appeared to be in a bit of a pickle. They were hampered with seven NMCs and a salary cap situation that needed to be resolved. So, George McPhee and Stan Bowman got to work.

An agreement was made, Vegas would select Trevor van Riemsdyk at the Expansion Draft, trade for Marcus Kruger afterwards, and the Blackhawks would take “The Pledge” to not make a move get in the way of any of it. It took some time to complete the process, because of a $2M bonus in Kruger’s contract that was to be paid by Chicago, but on Sunday night the deals were done and Vegas and Chicago’s interaction with expansion was over.

George McPhee then flipped both players selected to the Carolina Hurricanes. In the end, here’s what happened…

Vegas Golden Knights receive 
2017 2nd Round Pick (Jake Leschyshyn)
2018 5th Round Pick

Carolina Hurricanes receive
Trevor van Riemsdyk
Marcus Kruger
2018 7th Round Pick (from Vegas)

Chicago Blackhawks receive
Expansion Draft Considerations
Future Considerations
(Cap relief)

There are so many ways to look at what went down here, and all fans/armchair GMs are free to look at it which ever way they please because you as you know, there’s more than one way to skin a cat.

One of the most popular frustrations from fans is that Marcus Kruger only brought back a 5th round pick. Many believe the Golden Knights could have held him until the deadline. Others believe they should have kept Kruger and/or van Riemsdyk. Both are fair points, but must all factors must be taken into consideration with those options.

One major factor, the roster in the NHL has a finite number of places. 23 to be exact. The Golden Knights currently have 11 forwards on one-way contracts. They have three forwards on two-way deals that are not waiver exempt (Carrier, Nosek, Leipsic), and they have two players who are waiver-exempt, but both have a real shot of making the NHL roster out of camp (Tuch and Kolsesar). That’s 16 players… before Kruger.¬†Defensively, the Golden Knights are in an even tighter spot. There are 12 players… before van Riemsdyk.

And roster size is just one piece of the puzzle. Waivers, contract length, arbitration, no trade clauses, no move clauses, the salary cap, contract extensions, age, free agency, and the list goes on and on beyond things even the most die hard fan can consider.

So, for the Golden Knights, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

There’s a long-term plan the Golden Knights are trying to follow, one that’s unclear to us now, but will continue to come into focus over the next two years. Marcus Kruger and Trevor van Riemsdyk were not a part of it. At face value, NHL fans agree, those two players are worth more than a pair of shots at the roulette that is the NHL Draft.

But before you go trying to break down the trade of Kruger, or van Riemsdyk, or start bringing up names like Matt Dumba, Antti Raanta, Sami Vatanen, or Petr Mrazek, remember, you can only see the tip of the iceberg.

Oh, and for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

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7 Comments

  1. James

    @Ken Boehlke
    Gord Miller is a Canadian sportscaster for TSN. He said there was an offer on the table for Dustin Brown from the Golden Knights. The Los Angeles Kings decided to keep their 2018 first round draft pick. Heard it through Leafs Lunch. Pretty crazy, eh?

    • BoldInGray

      I’ve been searching for some news related to Dustin Brown possibly getting an offer and I see none. And I know, I know, a lot of people don’t want him here. But now that its obvious we don’t have much of a team, maybe it’s not such a bad idea now. I’m a big LA fan and the haven’t forgotten how he led them to 2 Cups. I’d love to see him here. Maybe LA would eat some of the cost. They wanna get rid of him bad.

  2. Rick Spiritosanto

    I know McPhee has a plan, but he’s not familiar with the “win now” mentality of this city. Every night the VGK have at least 40 other entertainment options for people to choose and that’s as much its competition as the rest of the NHL. I get the “building for the future.” I was born in Buffalo and have watched the Sabres do it continuously since 1970. But I’ve lived in Las Vegas since 1977 and understand a little of the sports culture here. If McPhee doesn’t put at least a competitive team on the ice he’s going to lose fan base real quick. Hard to see how trading away Methot, van Reimsdyke, Kruger, Emelin are going to make fans happy. Just sayin’ and I’ll stay loyal, but there is a lot to consider.

    • RJ

      Man, good luck. I’ve been saying that since before this team even had a name, and I have been met with indifference at best and downright insults and hostility at worst.

      In 4 years when we are the joke of the league and everyone in Las Vegas cares about the Raiders, not the Golden State Knights they’ll forget that the people who have been in Las Vegas longer than 15 minutes saw this coming a mile away. Every day I try to love this team and every day I get more and more disillusioned.

      Do yourself a favor and stay off twitter.

    • Willy702

      How are the entertainment options in Vegas truly competition? Does a concert by a band that was famous decades ago compete? What about Blue Man Group? What if you have seen these in the past?

      These are choices for a visitor staying a few days. They are not real alternatives for residents or even frequent visitors. Stop making such knee jerk reactions and coming up with lousy stories that don’t work. Fans bought enough tickets to almost sell out the building for a few years already. They aren’t in year four going to say I am going to give up my tickets because Elton John has agreed to extend his stay at Caesars.

  3. Ron Murphy

    Thought we’d have a lot of veterans and a sprinkling of kids on the roster but it seems we still have a lot of 17-21 year olds and a sprinkling of vets. With not a lot of UFA movement by VGK, he is the roster/minors going to be filled up?

  4. A Fan

    Yes we need a competive team in the beginning, at least one that doesn’t get beat by 3+ goals often. Fluery should help with that issue. As far as someone knowing the ‘sports culture’ here, I’ve been here 25 yrs and we have never had a true pro team here, so this team is in a different league, literally.

    As far as all of the competition for entertainment, that sounds more like a tourist issue. If we were building a team around mostly tourists vs locals we’d be in trouble, but I don’t believe that’s the plan.

    As far as the Raiders, I understand that it’s good for LV, but personally I could care less about the Raiders, I’ll keep my favorite NFL team that I’ve always had.

    Bad name aside, we finally got our pro team, so let’s support them while they get built, win, lose or draw.

    Go Knights!

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