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Praise Be To Foley, Vegas Golden Knights Hockey Website

Author: Ken Boehlke (Page 1 of 118)

Golden Knights Announce Preseason Schedule

A trip to the Stanley Cup Final means a very short offseason for the Golden Knights. The NHL Entry Draft starts Friday with Development Camp shortly behind that. Then there’s a bit of a down period through July and August but we now have the dates for the next time the Golden Knights will be on the ice.

Vegas will play seven preseason games, four of which will take place at T-Mobile Arena. Here’s the schedule.

Hockey is back… in September! (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

9/16 – Arizona Coyotes
9/18 – at Colorado Avalanche
9/20 – at Los Angeles Kings
9/22 – at San Jose Sharks
9/24 – Colorado Avalanche
9/28 – Los Angeles Kings
9/30 – San Jose Sharks

Prior to the first preseason game, Rookie Training Camp will begin on September 7th with full Training Camp getting underway a week later on the 14th.

Offseason Outlook: Defensemen

Through the course of the playoffs, the surprise unit for the Golden Knights were the defensemen. They completely shut down the Kings, they stifled the Sharks, and they bent but didn’t break against the Jets. Then, in the Stanley Cup Final, it kind of fell apart for the Vegas blueliners.

So, as we head into the offseason the burning question for George McPhee and the Golden Knights front office is whether or not they need to add to bolster their defense or of the missing piece is already on the roster.

Here’s a look at who the Golden Knights currently have under their control.

Nate looks like he’s become a star in the NHL. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Established and Signed
Brayden McNabb, Nate Schmidt, Deryk Engelland, Jon Merrill, Brad Hunt

While this list contains 310 games played and three players who played all 20 playoff games, there are really only two fully reliable options as full-time starters moving into 2018-19. McNabb and Schmidt are expected to be stalwarts on the Golden Knights blue line this season and moving forward. They may not be paired together again next season, but they’ll certainly be in the top four.

Engelland is a bit of a mystery as he probably had the best season of his career at the age of 35. The question is can he continue playing at that consistent level as he heads into the final few seasons of his career.

Then there are Merrill and Hunt. Hunt is a player that’s bounced around the NHL and AHL and has never really gotten a full-time shot to prove himself. The reason for that is because he’s a bit of a liability defensively due to his size. He’ll have to play well in camp once again to make the roster, but even if he doesn’t, Hunt will be a good option in the event that a puck-moving defenseman becomes unavailable during the season. Merrill is a bit of a different story as he’s more of a defensive-minded player but has the ability to pinch in and help out offensively. The Golden Knights signed Merrill to an extension last season which indicates they believe in him, but it’s still not probable that he’s a 60+ game defenseman next season.

Established and under VGK control
Colin Miller, Shea Theodore

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Golden Knights Playoff Run Cartoons

Throughout the entire Golden Knights run to Stanley Cup Final Lance Maxwell has been drawing incredible cartoons. Lance was gracious enough to allow us to share the Vegas entire collection. Be sure to give him a follow on Twitter, and enjoy his amazing work.




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Rookies Considered “Long Shots” To Make The Roster Next Season

As Development Camp approaches, “when will these guys play in the NHL” is bound to become the prevailing topic du jour. However, the general manager of the team has been preaching a message of patience.

Those are probably long shots (to make the roster next year). We did a real good job drafting them and that’s the first thing you have to do and the second thing you have to do is develop them properly. – George McPhee

Cody Glass (2017, #6 overall) and Nick Suzuki (2017, #13 overall) both recorded over 100 points in juniors a year ago. Both are likely to make the jump to the AHL in 2018.

UPDATE: CHL/AHL/NHL rules do not allow Glass or Suzuki to play in the AHL next season. Both are too young. So, like this season, if either do not make the NHL roster out of camp, they will be returned to their junior team and cannot join the NHL roster until their junior season is complete.

Brannstrom might have the most experience against men, but Glass could easily turn out to be the closest to ready. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Erik Brannstrom (2017, #15 overall) played his entire season in the professional league in Sweden and was one of the final cuts on the Swedish World Championship team at the age of 19. He may be the most “pro-ready” but defenseman usually take a bit longer to make it to the NHL.

Finally, Nic Hague (2017, #34 overall) was named the best defenseman in the entire CHL. This award has been previously won by Ryan Ellis, Karl Alzner, Dougie Hamilton, and Ivan Provorov. The problem for Hague is that due to his size he projects as a much more “stay-at-home” style player and his defensive skating skill is likely not ready to go against the stars of the NHL.

It’s a steep climb for all four of these Golden Knights prospects to make the team and while McPhee isn’t expecting it, he’s at least open-minded to the idea.

They’re going to have to be really really good to make this club… They are young guys and you are stepping into a league with guys with families and everything else. Sometimes it’s like taking a kid from 8th grade and putting him in 12th grade. It doesn’t always work. -McPhee

Development Camp begins June 26th at City National Arena. (For the full scheudule click through)

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SinBin.vegas Podcast #113: 2nd Place

The dust has settled and the reality is, the Golden Knights had a heck of a year but came up three wins short. We look back at what went wrong and start diving into what the Golden Knights need to do in the offseason to get better. Hosted by Ken Boehlke and Jason Pothier.

  • The core of the franchise is pretty well set
  • How great of a GM is George McPhee?
  • William Karlsson’s insane contract situation
  • Why does Jason love bad players?
  • Expectations for the 2018-19 season

And much more…

We are on iTunesStitcher, and Google Play. Subscribe now!

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“Not Everyone Will Be Back”; A Look Into VGK’s Free Agency Situation (Plus 9 Predictions)

Reading between the lines, either Neal or Perron likely won’t be back. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The Golden Knights were close to the ultimate goal, but in the end, they fell three wins short. So, they now head to the offseason with a plan in mind, make the team three wins better than they were a year ago.

There are plenty of decisions to be made with the roster as currently constructed and oodles of cap space available to bring in outside help.

The reality is in a salary cap world you have to make some tough decisions, and with this team, not everyone will be back. We’ve all learned lessons over the years, if you examine what happens in the salary cap world you have to be smart about what you do and the contracts you hand out or it hurts your team. We’ll do our best to keep this group together but there are always three or four changes. -George McPhee

The Golden Knights have four major unrestricted free agents (UFA’s) which are set to hit the open market on July 1st. They are James Neal, David Perron, Ryan Reaves, and Luca Sbisa. Also, Maxime Lagace, Jason Garrison, Brandon Pirri, Mikhail Grabovski, Clayton Stoner, Chris Casto, and Paul Thompson will become UFA’s in 20 days.

It doesn’t matter where in the lineup, you have to be smart about what you do. -McPhee

Then there are the restricted free agents (RFA’s) of which the Golden Knights have plenty. The most notable is William Karlsson. In short, Karlsson is not going anywhere. Unless something unprecedented happens, he’ll absolutely remain the first line center for Vegas next season. However, the projections on his contract are all over the map.

Technically, the Golden Knights only have to extend a “qualifying offer” to Karlsson of $1 million. This will happen soon and then Karlsson and his agent will request arbitration. An arbitration date will be set sometime in late July to early August. That will basically be the deadline for the Golden Knights and Karlsson to reach a long-term extension.

Tomas Nosek, Colin Miller, Oscar Dansk, Teemu Pulkkinen, Stefan Matteau, and Philip Holm are also all arbitration eligible and would follow the same process.

Finally, there are the two younger players who are RFA’s in Shea Theodore and William Carrier. Due to their age, neither are arbitration eligible. Thus, the Golden Knights can simply extend them a qualifying offer (Theodore -$874,125, Carrier – $787,500) and the player will have to sign it and remain with the team through next season. However, especially with a player like Theodore, this offseason may be a good time to lock him up long-term before he gets arbitration rights and has more negotiating power. The two sides can come to an agreement on a long-term deal at any time.

That brings us to the magical world of unrestricted free agency which opens on July 1st. Names like John Tavares, James van Riemsdyk, and John Carlson will be thrown around with basically every team that has cap space. The Golden Knights have plenty of cap space so get used to seeing the big names linked to Vegas, but the Golden Knights also have a GM that’s historically not a big spender in free agency.

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When (If Ever) Will Nikita Gusev Become A Golden Knight?

Just because Shippy didn’t work doesn’t mean the Golden Knights should stop trying. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

One of the many assets the Golden Knights acquired during the Expansion Draft was 25-year-old Russian prospect Nikita Gusev. Gusev was drafted in the 7th round of the 2012 Entry Draft by the Tampa Bay Lightning. His rights were traded to Vegas with a 2nd and a 4th round pick in exchange for selecting Jason Garrison (and his contract) instead of players like Slater Koekkoek, Jake Dotchin, Cedric Paquette, or J.T. Brown.

Since then he was named to the Olympic All-Star team, scored two goals in the Olympic Gold medal game, won the Olympic Gold medal, led the KHL in assists, was named a KHL All-Star, won the KHL’s Gentleman’s Award, and was named the KHL MVP.

We like him a lot. We’d like to have him over here as soon as we can get him over here. He’s a talented guy and we’ll do what we can to get him here. -George McPhee

The rules are always a bit fuzzy when it comes to Russian players, but the common belief is that the Golden Knights own Gusev’s rights until he decides to come to the NHL.

He’s got another year on his deal, so we’ll see what we can do. We’ve talked to him and we’ll continue to talk to him. -McPhee

There is not a transfer agreement between the NHL and KHL like there are in other European leagues, but there is a common understanding the leagues will not tamper with each others contracts. Gusev signed a two year extension in July 2017 with SKA St. Petersburg so he isn’t eligibile to come to the NHL until next offseason. However, there are no official rules to prohibit him coming sooner if he has a sudden change of heart.

The Golden Knights did acquire two draft picks in the Expansion Draft from Tampa Bay, but the Lightning were in a tough spot much like Anaheim, Minnesota, and Columbus. Having seen what McPhee was able to harvest from those teams, it’s probable that Gusev was the key piece in that deal. Thus, McPhee expects Gusev to come to the U.S. at some point, and he should be a major offensive contributor.

So while it doesn’t look like Gusev will be wearing steel grey and gold next year, hopes should remain high he’s playing at T-Mobile Arena at some point.

End Of Season Locker Room Interviews

This is the raw audio from every end of season interview we were a part of in the Golden Knights locker room. The voices heard in order are, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, David Perron, Reilly Smith, William Carrier, Jonathan Marchessault, Alex Tuch, Deryk Engelland, Shea Theodore, Cody Eakin, Erik Haula, Nate Schmidt, William Karlsson, Nate Schmidt (again), Brayden McNabb, and Luca Sbisa.

End Of Season Media Day Takeaways

An unbelievable year comes to a close, three wins too soon. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

There was so much to take away from the end of year media availability with the players, Gallant, and McPhee, that we figured we’d chuck it all into one post and then break out stories from it over the next couple weeks. So, here are all of our takeaways from the final day of the 2017-18 Vegas Golden Knights.

  • Las Vegas has become home for a lot of players on the Golden Knights, but no one has adopted Vegas quite like Pierre-Edouard Bellemare.
    • “It’s home. It’s easy to judge other places and I’ve always told myself, I’ll go back to France because I love France. Then I came to Vegas and for the first time in my life my wife and I were like why not in the States then, we don’t mind Vegas whatsoever, we like it. Vegas has been a place you came to think you are going to play hockey and suddenly you find a home.”
  • This team realized they were going to be good a lot earlier than they led on. Many different players were asked and the answers varied from the second day of training camp to Christmas.
  • David Perron and the Golden Knights had some contract negotiations during the season but they never came to an agreement
    • He absolutely wants to stay.
    • He believes there’s room to work on both sides. “I’ll deserve what I’ll deserve, but I’m willing to work with them to stay here.”
    • He has always found stability important because he’s bounced around teams a lot in his career. Term length seems fairly important to him.
    • Mentioned “his buddy” Marchessault specifically a few times as a reason he wants to stay.
  • Perron’s illness which kept him out of multiple games against Winnipeg was a 103-degree fever. He told the doctors he wanted to play but their fear was that he could possibly spread it around the room. He was sent back to Vegas before Game 2 of the series and felt better when he came back.
  • The reason Perron was kept out of a portion of the Kings series was due to an injury to his neck. He sustained it earlier in the year and said he and the doctors didn’t think early in that series was the right time to come back.
  • One of my favorites moments was when William Carrier said he will never change the way he plays. I chimed in by saying “even when you completely whiff on the guy and check yourself super hard into the boards in that last game?” He responded “which time?”

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Thank You SinBinners

In the middle of a random night 34 months ago I woke up with a realization. For whatever reason, that night it hit me that the NHL was probably coming to Las Vegas. At that time, I was a frustrated radio producer trying to find my way into sports media, the career I’ve wanted to pursue since I was 10 years old after coming to the conclusion I’d never be a professional athlete.

I sat up in my bed and thought, what will my role be in the first major sports franchise coming to the only city I’ve ever proudly called my home? The short answer was nothing, and that wasn’t okay with me. At that moment, the idea for SinBin.vegas was born.

The next morning I brought the idea to Jason, the closest friend I had in town, my radio co-host, and the biggest hockey fan I’ve ever known. I don’t remember his exact words, but the response to the idea was luke-warm at best. I tried to explain the master plan of how we could get press passes and cover the team without the boundaries of traditional media holding us back. We could do it our way I told him. This is where I do remember his exact words, he said, “but who the heck is going to read it?”

He had a point (which is rare), I’ll never forget it, and it’s why on the night that concludes the first chapter of the Vegas Golden Knights story, I want to say thank you.

Thank you to each and every person who has ever visited this site, listened to our podcasts, or interacted with us virtually or in real life. Without all of you, we would not have been able to have had the countless unbelievable experiences we’ve had over the past three years.

Thank you SinBinners, we love ya.

We are allowed into the games because of you.

We talk to the players, coaches, management, and the owner because of you.

We’ve been there every step of the way, from before the awarding of the franchise to the Stanley Cup Final, because of you.

We do not have the backing of a newspaper, TV station, or an established media website like most covering this team. We have the backing of you and we are taken seriously, because of you.

Thank you for talking to us. Thank you for listening to us. Thank you for being there for us.

Thank you for making SinBin.vegas legitimate and thank you for allowing us to do what we love.

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