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Praise Be To Foley, Vegas Golden Knights Hockey Website

Author: Ken Boehlke (Page 1 of 123)

SinBin.vegas Podcast #119: A Shea’dy Situation

How awful is the title of this episode? It’s so bad. But, we talk a lot about Shea Theodore’s contract situation, a bunch about the 3rd line, and answer a ton of Facebook questions. Hosted by Ken Boehlke and Jason Pothier.

  • Is a “holdout” really coming for Theodore?
  • Bloated fan expectations
  • Too many bottom six players
  • Biggest storyline heading into 2018-19
  • Sign up for BinBall!!!

And much more…

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Don’t Expect A Golden Knights Captain Any Time Soon

One of the biggest reasons the Golden Knights don’t have a captain is that this guy won’t let his teammates anoint him as one. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Last year the Golden Knights were one of just a handful of teams that did not have a player wearing a “C” on the ice. Instead, they opted for what they called a “leadership group” which was a rotating cast of about seven alternate captains.

They went on to have an incredible season on the ice and players still rave about how amazing the group was off it. Plus, they were able to integrate new players starting a few days before the season began with Malcolm Subban, a waiver add in December in Ryan Carpenter, and the trade deadline acquisitions of Ryan Reaves and Tomas Tatar, without a hitch.

Yet, the question still seems to be floating around the organization, who will become the team’s first captain?

The short answer, and the right answer, is no one.

Nothing’s been said. I don’t think anybody is too worried about it. We have a ton of really good leaders. Old guys, young guys, so it’s really a collective group thing and I think everybody in the room is absolutely fine with that. –Deryk Engelland to NHL Network

Before Opening Night last year, the team announced Deryk Engelland, Jason Garrison, James Neal, David Perron, Luca Sbisa, and Reilly Smith would wear “A’s.” However, throughout the course of the season and into the playoffs Pierre-Edouard Bellemare became a staple as an alternate as well.

With Garrison, Neal, Perron, and Sbisa all gone, there certainly could be some consideration to hand the captaincy over to Engelland. However, the more likely scenario is for the team to add players like Nate Schmidt, Jonathan Marchessault, Cody Eakin or even a newcomer like Paul Stastny or Nick Holden to Smith and Bellemare in the leadership group.

The Golden Knights organization, especially when it comes to symbolic things, are very much believers in the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mindset. Thus, as Western Conference Champions, don’t expect to see a “C” on any players sweater any time soon.

Although, the argument can be made that it is broke. No team since the 1972 Boston Bruins has won the Stanley Cup without a captain. The Golden Knights were three wins away from bucking that trend, but they didn’t. Personally, I’m skeptical that the lack of a “C” on a jersey was the reason, but hockey players are weird, so who knows what they believe.

Time To Start Considering The Possibility Of Shea Theodore Missing Camp, Or Even Games?

Theodore started last year in the AHL, this year he might start it on his couch. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

In 50 days, the Golden Knights will be back on the ice playing the first regular season game of their second season. In 29 days, training camp opens for the entire roster at City National Arena. That much we know, but what we don’t know is if Shea Theodore will be there to participate in either.

As of this moment, Theodore does not have a current NHL contract. Thus, he cannot play or even practice in an official manner with an NHL team. The restricted free agent, who did not have arbitration rights, has been extended a qualifying offer of around $1 million for one year, but he has yet to sign it because he and his agent are hoping to sign for more.

However, the clock is ticking and it’s starting to look like a realistic possibility Theodore misses a portion of training camp, preseason games, and maybe even regular season games.

We’ll continue to discuss and see if something can be done that makes sense for both parties. We’re still (four) weeks away from camp and two months away from the season, but it’d be nice if we can reach an agreement there and know what to expect going forward. -George McPhee to LVRJ

RFA’s missing time is not uncommon in the NHL. Jacob Trouba, Hampus Lindholm, and Rickard Rakell all missed at least portion of training camp and a few games in the past two years. Superstars P.K. Subban, Drew Doughty, Jamie Benn, and Alex Pietrangelo all missed time due to contract negotiations as RFA’s as well.

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Nine Golden Knights Games On National TV In 18-19

Nine games tie VGK for 9th most national TV games. Chicago has the most with 19. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen) 

Following the most successful expansion season of all time, a division and conference championship, and a trip to the Stanley Cup Final, it should come as no surprise that the Golden Knights are a bit more of a national TV draw now than they were at this time last year.

NBC Sports released its national TV schedule, including 109 regular season NHL games, and the Golden Knights are set to be featured nine times. All nine games will air on NBCSN with the season opener the first on the schedule.

10/4 – vs Philadelphia – 7:00 PM
10/10 – at Washington – 5:00 PM
10/30 – at Nashville – 5:00 PM
11/14 – vs Anaheim – 7:30 PM
11/27 – at Chicago – 5:00 PM
1/23 – vs Nashville – 7:00 PM
2/20 – vs Boston – 7:00 PM
3/17 – vs Edmonton – 7:00 PM
3/27 – at Colorado – 7:00 PM

Five of the nine nationally televised games will take place at T-Mobile Arena with the start time of just one being pushed back to 7:30 PM.

Last year the Golden Knights were on national TV just five times in the regular season. The gain of four ranks Vegas fifth behind Tampa Bay, Nashville, Colorado, and Winnipeg for largest increase in NBC/NBCSN games.

NBC plans to bring a roaming studio, and some of their top talent, to many of the doubleheader sites to add more flavor to the broadcasts. NBC Sports President Sam Flood said one objective of the new strategy is “to show what’s happening in the newer markets.” –Kevin Allen, USA Today

 

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

According to ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski, that decision was “heavily influenced” by the crowds outside of T-Mobile Arena prior to Golden Knights playoff games.

However, it’s not all great news when it comes to nationally televised games. As always, games broadcast on NBCSN are not aired locally on ATT Sportsnet. So, unless ATTSN decides to do what they did in the playoffs, there will be no local pre and post-game shows.

Also, six of the nine Golden Knights games on NBCSN are part of a doubleheader, meaning another game is broadcast right before it. The first game is always scheduled two and a half hours before the second. In the event of overtime and/or shootout, the second game begins before the first ends. Thus, it’s likely at least a few Golden Knights games will be joined in progress rather than being aired in their entirety.

Offseason Shoulder Surgery The Latest “Why Tatar Was Bad” Theory

Don’t really care what the problem was last year, Tatar needs to be good this year. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

There have been a lot of excuses made for Tomas Tatar’s struggles after coming to Vegas in a trade just minutes before the deadline in February. The winger who had scored 19 or more goals in each of his previous four seasons only netted four in 20 games with the Golden Knights before finding himself a healthy scratch during a majority of the postseason.

The preeminent theory for Tatar’s decline was a lack of continuity in linemates.

It wasn’t fair to Tomas really. When we got him at the trade deadline we were trying to add depth to our hockey club and our team was playing so well at the time it was tough for him to get into the lineup. Here he is a 20 goal scorer who can play with any team in the NHL but the way our lines were going and the way our team was playing at that time it made it really tough to put him in a situation in which he could succeed. –Gerard Gallant on Technically Correct w/ Tyler Bischoff

In his first 14 games in Vegas, Tatar played with the same pair of players just once.

I think (consistency of linemates) is huge. He played some right wing when Reilly Smith was out, he played some left wing when James Neal was hurt so he was back and forth with the top three lines. He’s a guy that can play all over the place but he really never had any linemates where he could get comfortable with and that makes a big difference. -Gallant

However, there’s another theory, which was recently brought up by George McPhee on the VGK Insider Show on Fox Sports Radio that may make even more sense.

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McPhee Didn’t Think 2nd Line Was Good Enough Defensively, So He Blew It Up

Most of us remember moments like this, McPhee remembers much more. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Last year the Golden Knights second line was Erik Haula, David Perron, and James Neal. They netted 70 goals and put up 165 points, excellent offensive production for a second line. However, they posted a -26 rating despite taking just 26.3% (including neutral zone draws) of their faceoffs in the defensive zone.

We did have to change the second line from what it was last year because as far as second lines go it wasn’t good enough defensively. It produced, but the goals against per 60 minutes was not good enough. We were actually dead last for second lines in the league. -George McPhee on VGK Insider Show

We can’t find the exact stat showing Haula, Perron, and Neal but if McPhee uses the phrase “dead last” he’s got to be confident in the numbers. We could find this stat, however.

LineTOIGAGA/60
71/81/19722:34241.99
56/57/18554:37283.03
21/89/13261:10112.53
41/92/28152:1251.97

Those numbers are calculated based on the total time when all three players were on the ice together at even strength. As you can see, the Haula, Perron, Neal line was horrendous defensively, especially when compared to the Golden Knights first and “fourth” lines.

You can either look the other way on that or you can try to address it, so we are trying to address it. -McPhee on VGK Insider Show

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“We Were Basically Running The Town At The End Of The Year”

5 teams, 6 years, yet has never signed a contract with anyone other than St. Louis. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

With the 26th overall pick in the 2007 NHL Draft, the St. Louis Blues selected David Perron. He quickly signed his entry-level contract with the Blues and began what has now become an 11 year NHL career. Perron has bounced around quite a bit over the past few years playing for a total of six different teams over the course of five seasons.

However, when it comes time to sign a new contract, one fact always remains with David Perron, he only signs with the St. Louis Blues. Perron has signed a total of five NHL contracts, in 2007, 2010, 2012, 2016 and now 2018. During that period he’s been a member of the Blues, Oilers, Penguins, Ducks, the Blues again, and the Golden Knights. Yet, he’s never signed a contract with anyone but the Blues, and that’s exactly what he did again this offseason.

I love St. Louis. This is the biggest reason why I came back. I didn’t even want to think about anywhere else. –David Perron to St. Louis Post Dispatch

But this isn’t to say Perron wanted to leave Vegas, because he absolutely didn’t. Multiple times during the year Perron mentioned how much he enjoyed living in Las Vegas and after the year he sounded like he wanted to come to an agreement with George McPhee. Alas, that didn’t happen and now his time in Vegas will always be seen as a “once in a lifetime” opportunity.

We had great chemistry. I mean, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience to go to a city like Vegas. Live there. Play hockey. And I don’t mean this in a bad way, but we were basically running the town at the end of the year. Everyone was on board. It was absolutely unbelievable. The crowds. I mean, again, it’s not something that you can live twice. You go from an expansion team, to really, by Christmas we didn’t feel like we were an expansion team anymore. We knew we had a good thing going and we were pushing every day to keep getting better. -Perron to St. Louis Post Dispatch

There were many reasons to keep Perron in Vegas, namely his career-high 66 points during the regular season, but in the end, the negatives outweighed the positives with the principal negative likely being his age.

Perron also missed two separate periods of time during the playoffs including once with what he described as a back injury. It’s possible the injury scared away the Golden Knights, but the Blues also seemed deadset on correcting their wrong.

All I know is how much I respect the team and ‘Army’ and Tom to basically in a way admit it was a mistake to expose me and trust that I’m gonna come back and be a good player for the team. -Perron to St. Louis Dispatch referring to GM Doug Armstrong and team owner Tom Stillman.

The St. Louis Blues return to T-Mobile Arena on November 18th.

He earned his place among the Golden Knights who were running the town, and though we probably should have known he was always headed back to St. Louis, Perron was nothing but first-class the entire time he was in Las Vegas and deserves a very warm welcome.

Front Office Confidence Rankings

“Are these idiots aware we just took an expansion team to the Stanley Cup Final? 11th place. Sheesh.” (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

How confident are you in the Golden Knights front office?

That’s the question The Athletic’s Dom Luszczyszyn asked more than 2,000 fans in an attempt to rank all 31 teams. The entire breakdown of how it was conducted and full results can be found here, but since there’s a paywall at The Athletic I’ll tell you some stuff myself. The most important piece of info is that very few Golden Knights fans voted, so a majority of the poll is viewed through the eyes of other teams’ fans.

That being said, the Golden Knights fans that did vote showed supreme confidence in George McPhee, Kelly McCrimmon, and the front office, while the rest of the fanbases weren’t nearly as kind.

11th place seems a bit ridiculous for the Western Conference Champions whose roster didn’t exist at this time 13 months ago. Even the fanbase only voted high enough to rank the Golden Knights 7th too.

Here at SinBin.vegas, we were not able to vote, so here’s how we would have voted with a little description of why for each section. We’re also going to extend the voting to you guys using polls on Twitter. Vote on Twitter, see the results below. (Note: We don’t have the exact questions, so we are simply going off the words listed in the poll results. Therefore, as you’ll see in our responses, there can be different interpretations for each category.)

Roster Building
Ken – 5
Jason – 4

Ken: This roster was supposed to be absolute garbage. Even with the better Expansion Draft rules, most people (myself included) looked at it and said they would be the worst team in the league. They are so far from that it’s not even funny. Instead, they have an elite first line, a ton of balance throughout the rest of the forward group, a solid defense corps with a bunch of upside, and a Vezina quality goalie. Quite frankly, no one in the world could have built a better roster than this one from what was available, and the only team capable of beating McPhee’s new team was his old one. If there was a number higher than 5, I’d vote for that.

Jason: Coming to terms with William Karlsson was the biggest priority for Vegas this offseason. Karlsson signed a team-friendly deal that could set him for a big payday down the road. Extending Colin Miller was another move the Golden Knights should be happy with. Controlling young talent is a major benefit Vegas management takes advantage of, which is a smart strategy building a future roster.

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Haula: “I Obviously Like Playing In The Center”

Haula won 50.5% of the faceoffs he took. Not great, but certainly not a problem. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

29 goals, 26 assists, a playoff game-winner in overtime against the Kings, and a countless number of big-time goals late in games for the Golden Knights. That’s what Erik Haula did as the center on the second line with David Perron and James Neal. The key words in that sentence are “as the center.”

With the departures of Perron and Neal and the acquisition of Paul Stastny, it stands to reason that Haula may not project as a center anymore. Instead, he might wind as a winger for a line centered by Stastny. Haula weighed in on that topic when he was asked about moving to the wing on NHL Network.

I’ll leave that to the coaching staff. I obviously like playing in the center and I had some success there last year, but I want to win and whatever helps us to do that is key for our group. I’m sure there’s going to be some discussion going into camp and trying our different things but I’m sure at the end of the day we’re going to do what’s best for the group. –Erik Haula to NHL Network

Stastny is much better at faceoffs and is widely considered a better defensive center than Haula, but that doesn’t take away the fact that Haula just had the best year of his career helping to lead the Golden Knights to the Stanley Cup Final, and he did it as a center.

If Haula remains at center it would mean either Stastny would play wing (which is highly unlikely) or Cody Eakin or Pierre-Edouard Bellemare would be pushed to the wing. Here’s an idea of how it would look each way…

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WILLIAM KARLSSON (F) SIGNS 1 YEAR EXTENSION AT $5.25M

Just before reaching arbitration the Golden Knights and William Karlsson reached an agreement.

When the contract expires, Karlsson will remain an RFA with arbitration rights.

William had a great year for us and we are excited to now have him under contract for next season. -George McPhee

I’m happy to have my deal and we don’t have to speculate other things. I want to prove that I can do it more than just once. Hopefully I play good and can look at a longer deal in the future. -William Karlsson

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