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Author: Ken Boehlke (Page 2 of 120)

Arbitration For Golden Knights: Good? Bad? Neither?

All three of… (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The Golden Knights made “news” yesterday by confirming William Karlsson, Colin Miller, and Tomas Nosek have all filed for arbitration. In reality, this isn’t really news at all. However, based on the wide range of reactions we received on Twitter, Facebook, and face-to-face, it feels like a good time to explain how this all works and why the three Golden Knights filing for arbitration is not a good or bad thing for either the player or the team.

In the NHL, when a player reaches the end of a contract they are placed into one of three categories.

  1. Unrestricted free agent (UFA)
    • Any player 27 years old or older
    • Any player with 7 seasons in the NHL
  2. Restricted free agent with arbitration rights (RFA)
    • Younger than 27 years old
    • Meets experience requirement based on age when signed first contract. (10 NHL or AHL games = 1 year)
      • 24-27 years old when signed = 1 year of NHL experience
      • 22-23 years old when signed = 2 years of NHL experience
      • 21 years old when signed = 3 years of NHL experience
      • 18-20 years old when signed = 4 years of NHL experience
  3. Restricted free agent (RFA)

James Neal, David Perron, Luca Sbisa, and Ryan Reaves were all older than 27, so they all became UFA’s.

William Karlsson -20 y/o when signed + 5 years experience = RFA w/ arb
Colin Miller -20 y/o when signed + 5 years experience = RFA w/ arb
Tomas Nosek -22 y/o when signed + 4 years experience = RFA w/ arb
Shea Theodore -20 y/o when signed + 3 years experience = RFA
William Carrier – 20 y/o when signed + 3 years experience = RFA

…these guys scored pretty… (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

That brings us to the difference between the three categories. In short, the difference is how much freedom a player has to negotiate.

An unrestricted free agent (UFA), as the name suggests, has no restrictions. He can solicit offers from all teams and can sign with whichever one he pleases.

A restricted free agent (RFA) on the other hand can only negotiate with his current team and is not free to leave for a new team. If the team wants to retain the player, he will be extended a “qualifying offer” and must sign it if he would like to remain in the NHL. If the team does not extend the qualifying offer he then becomes a UFA and is free to sign with any team.

(The Golden Knights offered qualifying offers to all of their RFAs. William Karlsson, Tomas Nosek, William Carrier, Colin Miller, Shea Theodore, Teemu Pulkkinen, Philip Holm, Oscar Dansk)

An RFA with arbitration rights has one more step in leveraging a better contract. Rather than being forced to sign the qualifying offer, he can choose to file for arbitration. In other words, he can ask for a raise.

So, let’s go through the steps of the process for RFA’s without arbitration rights, like Theodore and Carrier.

  • Step 1: Team decides if they want to retain each player
    • If yes: Extend qualifying offer
    • If no: Do not extend qualifying offer (Player is released)
  • Step 2: Player signs qualifying offer

That’s it. The player has no negotiating power and is essentially stuck signing the offer. The dollar value of a qualifying offer is determined by the NHL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). The team hands the player a contract and their either sign it or leave the NHL.

The process for RFA’s with arbitration rights, like Karlsson, Miller, and Nosek adds one more step, giving the player that bit of negotiating power. Rather than being forced to sign the qualifying offer, the player can file for arbitration. Arbitration means both sides will present how much they believe the player is worth and then a third party will decide the contract the team and player will sign. Of course, the player must remain with their original team, so the negotiating power is significantly less than that of a UFA who can negotiate with all teams.

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2018 Development Camp – Photo Gallery

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Signs Still Point To Erik Karlsson, But How Do Things Look If The Deal Doesn’t Happen

Heading into the offseason the Golden Knights had the plan of being aggressive. They wanted to use their cap space to improve the team in any way possible. That started by going out on July 1st and signing one of the biggest names available on the market, Paul Stastny. The Golden Knights also brought back Ryan Reaves and added defenseman Nick Holden. They entered the offseason with somewhere in the neighborhood of $30 million of cap space available, they now sit with just under $19. Plenty to make one more highly aggressive move.

We used (the cap space) really effectively on a lot of players and a lot of picks. Right now, we’re sitting here with a pretty good team and we haven’t used any of our draft picks this summer. We have them all. We’ve been talking trade with some teams, but that requires young players and picks but we haven’t moved any of them. -George McPhee

Reading between the lines, the name Erik Karlsson is in there somewhere, but until that deal gets done, the offseason still feels incomplete.

We’re sitting there trying to decide. Again, we kept our young assets, all of our draft picks, and we’re trying to decide: do we make another move now or not? Is the right move there or not? I’ll have to decide that in the next few weeks. -McPhee

McPhee’s words sure sound like he’s in the market for something else, but his actions speak even louder than his words.

f=”http://sinbin.vegas/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/MTLvVGK0444.jpg”> Cody Eakin’s name has been rumored to be included in a potential deal to Ottawa. That would really open up for the cap for McPhee and Co. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)[/capt

The Golden Knights stand with 43 active player contracts and according to CapFriendly.com, $18,750,000 in projected cap space left.

If Erik Karlsson ($6.5M AAV) and Bobby Ryan ($7.25M AAV) are added for nothing but picks, that would eat up a total of $13.75 million in cap space, leaving the Golden Knights with $5 million to hand out. That’s $5 million to distribute among William Karlsson, Tomas Nosek, William Carrier, Shea Theodore, and Colin Miller. Quite simply, it’s not enough.

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SinBin.vegas Podcast #115: Stastny, Reaves, Holden, But No Karlsson Yet

After the dust settled on the first day of free agency, we headed back into our studio at The Space to chat about how the Golden Knights look now after re-tooling the roster. Hosted by Ken Boehlke and Jason Pothier.

  • What does Paul Stastny bring to the Golden Knights?
  • Improving the team or upgrading the roster
  • Ryan Reaves returns, how it went down
  • McPhee seemed to be tipping his hand that Erik Karlsson is still in play
  • Top slice hot dog buns

And much more…

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

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VGK Free Agency Tracker

)(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

  • Ryan Reaves has re-signed with the Golden Knights on a two year $2.775 million AAV deal. (Source: @DarrenDreger)
  • David Perron has signed with St. Louis on a four year $4 million AAV deal. (Source: @FriedgeHNIC)
  • Paul Stastny has signed with the Golden Knights for three years at $6.5 million AAV. (Source: @TSNBobMcKenzie)
  • Nick Holden has signed with the Golden Knights for two years at $2.2 million AAV. (Source: @PierreVLeBrun)
  • A trade for Erik Karlsson and Bobby Ryan still appears very much in play (Source: @TSNBobMcKenzie)
  • James Neal has signed with the Calgary Flames for five years at $5.75 million AAV. (Source: @TSNBobMcKenzie)
  • Brandon Pirri has re-signed with the Golden Knights on a one year, two-way deal worth $650,000 NHL, $250,000 AHL. (Source: @renlavoietva)
  • The Golden Knights have re-signed Maxime Lagace on a two-way deal at $650,000. (Source: @renlavoietva)
  • Zach Fucale has signed a one year two-way deal worth $650,000. He’s a waiver exempt goalie who has yet to make his NHL debut. Previously in Montreal’s system. (Source: @renlavoietva)
  • The Golden Knights have signed Curtis McKenzie, a 27-year-old winger previously with the Dallas organization bouncing between NHL and AHL. Deal is two years worth $750,000 AAV. (Source: DhaliwalSports)
  • Daniel Carr has signed with the Golden Knights. Scored 14 goals in 98 games with the Canadiens including six last season in 38 games. One year, $750,000. (Source: @BBarts, @PierreVLeBrun)
  • Golden Knights announced the signings of Alex Gallant and Jimmy Oligny. Both career AHLers. (Source: VGK Press Release)
  • Luca Sbisa will not be re-signing with the Golden Knights (Source: SinBin.vegas)
  • George McPhee will hold a press conference at 2PM to discuss today’s transactions.

 

The Free Agency Tracker is brought to you by Adam S. Kutner and Associates, the best Las Vegas personal injury attorney.

Development Camp Takeaways

Brannstrom remains the most exciting prospect in the VGK pipeline, but there’s a ton to look forward to both on and off the roster. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

2018 Golden Knights Development Camp is now over and there is plenty to talk about. From the progression of the 2017 rookie class to Zach Whitecloud’s shot at the NHL roster to the recruitment of Jimmy Schuldt, Development Camp leaves us with many questions, but plenty of hints to the answers.

  • The progression of the 2017 Draft picks was noticeable
    • Cody Glass and Nick Suzuki both looked more comfortable in camp. Like last season, Glass’ finishing ability and Suzuki’s hands jumped off the page.
    • Nic Hague continues to look like a monster on the ice and his stick is Brayden McNabb like. Still feels like the skating needs a bit of improvement, but his offensive ability is really exciting. Plus, the “Nic Hague toe drag” is real. He pulled it off multiple times in the scrimmages to get from the point to the slot, or the circle to directly in front of the goal. It rhymes too, which is awesome.
    • Erik Brannstrom remains the dynamic superstar in the making we remember. His confidence on the ice is infectious. When he has the puck, there’s almost an aura that makes everyone watching (including the other players on the ice) believe something special is about to happen. It doesn’t always happen, but every once in a while it does, and in those moments it really happens. It reminds me of a home run hitter in baseball, where every time he steps to the plate, even though he only gets a hit about 30% of the time, you feel like this is going to be the one. It’s electrifying. The problem is, like the home run hitter, 70% of the time it doesn’t happen, and for a defenseman in the NHL, that’s way too much. He’s 18-years-old though. He’s not ready for the NHL yet, as much as that pains me to say.
    • Jack Dugan and Jonas Rondbjerg were the standouts among the other draft picks from the 2017 Draft. After about the 8th time saying “oh, nice play Rondbjerg” or “wow, look at Dugan” I realized their good moments weren’t flashes. It’s certainly exciting to see a few non-first round picks separate themselves from the pack a bit.

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Erik Brannstrom Selected In CHL Import Draft By Brandon Wheat Kings

Vegas Golden Knights, Chicago Wolves, HV71, and now the Brandon Wheat Kings. Brannstrom has options. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Erik Brannstrom was selected by the Vegas Golden Knights with the 15th overall pick in the 2017 NHL Draft. Unlike many of the other top picks, Brannstrom has been playing in the Swedish Hockey League, a professional hockey league without any age requirements. In other words, he’s been playing against grown men while Cody Glass, Nick Suzuki, Nic Hague, and most of the other picks have been playing against kids.

The expectation for Brannstrom, if he doesn’t make the NHL team, was for him to play this season in North America, likely in the AHL. That may have changed early this morning morning when a new option opened up.

The CHL Import Draft is a yearly draft in which Canadian junior teams can select eligible non-North American born players to potentially add to their rosters for the upcoming season. Brannstrom was the 44th pick to the Wheat Kings.

His mind is not on the CHL though.

No, I wouldn’t say that (it was on my mind). Obviously, my goal is to play for the Vegas Golden Knights next season so we’ll see after that what happens. -Erik Brannstrom

He seemed a bit surprised he had even been selected.

The likelihood of Brannstrom making the NHL roster out of camp still remains fairly low. With the selection of Brannstrom in the CHL, there are now three options of where he could play in the likely event he’s not on the 23-man Golden Knights roster.

Option A: Return to Sweden and play with HV71

  • Pros: Continue to play in a professional league against men
  • Cons: Continue to play on a larger sheet of ice than NHL regulation size, unavailable to Golden Knights until season is completed

Option B: Go to the AHL and play for the Chicago Wolves

  • Pros: Play professionally against men, be available (waiver exempt) to the Golden Knights all season long
  • Cons: Playing time may be limited, paid for by VGK

Option C: Go to the CHL and play for the Brandon Wheat Kings

  • Pros: Play on NHL regulation-size rink, play against many top NHL draft picks
  • Cons: Playing against all players under the age of 22, possibly too talented to continue developing as a defenseman, unavailable to Golden Knights until season is completed

Option C doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense, and if it were any team other than the Wheat Kings it would (and probably should) be laughed off as the CHL team taking a shot in the dark hoping he’d have a change of heart. However, because it’s Brandon, which is owned by Golden Knights assistant general manager Kelly McCrimmon, the option has to be taken seriously. Clearly, the Wheat Kings took Brannstrom for a reason and odds are a conversation with McCrimmon occurred before the selection.

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Jimmy Schuldt’s On Somewhat Of A Recruiting Trip At Development Camp In Vegas

If there’s ever a Jimmy Schuldt sweepstakes, the Golden Knights should be in a good place to win it. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Development Camp has many different purposes. For some, it’s to do as the name suggests, develop. For others, it’s a chance to begin staking a claim to a roster spot. Then there’s the select few for which it can be used as a recruiting trip. That’s the case for Jimmy Schuldt.

A lot of (where to go to camp) goes through my coaching staff in St. Cloud and my advisor. I had been in touch with Mike Levine here, and I knew Wil Nichol from a camp in the past. Those two guys I’ve been in contact with seemed really genuine. Seemed like it was going to be more of a development thing instead of them trying to watch and evaluate guys. -Jimmy Schuldt

When the summer is over Schuldt will head back to St. Cloud State University for his senior year. He’s the captain of a team that went 25-9-6 and were the #1 seed in the NCAA tournament. When the season ends, he’ll become one of the most coveted college free agents available to NHL teams.

Schuldt could have signed with any team following his junior season, but said his heart is in St. Cloud and he doesn’t want to ever regret giving up his final chance at winning a National Championship.

Coming to Golden Knights Development Camp marks the fourth such appearance Schuldt has made. He’s appeared at camps over the last few years in Montreal, Chicago, and New York (Islanders).

Seemed like a really cool opportunity, really excited to be out here. Pretty incredible inaugural season for them and I was excited to come down and test it out. I’d never been out west, so that was a cool thing for me. -Schudlt

He’s hoping to be the next Zach Whitecloud, who is also participating in Golden Knights Development Camp. Whitecloud went to Kings Development Camp a year ago, but decided to sign with Vegas after his sophomore season at Bemidji State when he officially hit the open market.

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Guest Post: Year One Through The Eyes Of The Fan

Year 1 was a magical one, starting with the Expansion Draft and ending with the Golden Knights appearance in the Stanley Cup Final. Today’s Guest Post from Alex Norwood walks us through the magical season through the eyes of a fan who was there from the beginning.

I, like many others, was very excited to learn who would dawn the Vegas Golden Knights jersey after being taken by the Golden Knights in the 2017 Expansion Draft. During the draft, there was a great amount of excitement to know who exactly, we as fans, would be cheering for during their first season as a team.

As development camp and the preseason came to end, the horrific events of 1 October took place. It was in that moment, that the Knights showed they were not just a team, but that they were a part of the Vegas community.

On Nevada Day the Golden Knights played one of their best games of the year. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

What came next was unexpected for everyone, including fans of the Golden Knights. After great performances and two comeback wins on the road, it was time to play in front of the home fans, for real, for the first time, and it was not really about the game. Being in attendance for the Knights first-ever home game, for what the franchise did before puck drop, might have been the most moving moment of the season. It was not about hockey that night. It was about honoring those who lost their lives and those that put their lives on the line. At that point, everyone knew there was no chance of them losing their first home game.

After winning their third, and record-breaking game, the ride we were all unprepared for never ended. Nobody could have imagined an amazing 8-1-0 start to the season. As shocking as it was for the hockey and sports world, everyone in Vegas was witnessing the start of the most historic first season in sports history. It was already crazy to be a fan of a successful team, but what came next reassured us of what we were seeing.

After suffering three straight losses to Dallas, Minnesota, and Winnipeg, from November 28th to December 1st, the Golden Knights went on an unprecedented 13-game point streak which included six straight home wins. In the middle of that month-long run, I felt they were going to win no matter what. At that point, the team was 27-9-2 and the only thing I was worried about was that I did not want the loss column to go into double digits. And I, along with every Golden Knights fan, had completely lost my mind on how good this team really was.

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Who We’re Watching At Development Camp

Four of a Kind (Cody Glass, Nick Suzuki, Erik Brannstrom, Nic Hague)

href=”http://sinbin.vegas/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/VGKCamp172.jpg”> It’s going to take a lot, but this year McPhee may actually consider giving a roster spot to a rookie. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)[/

The question for these four is if any of them are ready to take the next step to play in the NHL next season. George McPhee called it a long shot that any of the four make the roster, but if they are going to, the path starts now. They’d have to clearly rise above everyone else to even have a chance. Last year, Brannstrom was the most impressive, but the junior seasons of Glass, Suzuki, and Hague give hope they’ll come in and shine this week.

Zach Whitecloud

Whitecloud has a chance to be this year’s Alex Tuch. Last year the 21-year-old Tuch looked like a man amongst boys at Development Camp and it began his path to earning a spot on the Golden Knights roster full time. As it currently stands, there does look to be a spot open for Whitecloud to slide into, but he has to be great starting this week to get it. Whitecloud won’t be the oldest player in camp, but it needs to look like he is. He should be without question the most pro-ready player at Development Camp. By the time the week is out, making sure that is clear would go a long way to McPhee penciling him into the plans to start out next season.

Jimmy Schuldt

Many of the players at Development Camp for the Golden Knights are not under Vegas’ control, Schuldt is the most intriguing of them all. Like Whitecloud was a year ago, Schuldt is one of the most coveted undrafted NCAA free agents and will be free to sign with any team when his next season at St. Cloud University is over. A Hobey Baker finalist, he’s an offensive-minded defenseman who was the captain of his team as a junior.

Last year at this time he was in the Montreal Canadiens Development Camp and the Habs have reportedly been keeping their eyes on Schuldt ever since.  McPhee proved a year ago that he’s willing to sign a player like Schuldt and hand him an immediate roster spot right out of college. Being invited to Vegas’ camp is a good sign the Golden Knights like the player and may consider signing him when he’s eligible. However, coming to camp doesn’t always mean you have a leg up on signing the player. Zach Whitecloud was in Kings camp last year, and we all know how that worked out.

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