Praise Be To Foley, Vegas Golden Knights Hockey Website

Category: Guest Post (Page 1 of 3)

Guest Post: Buyers Or Sellers

With the trade deadline exactly a week away, we get the latest Guest Post from local Las Vegan and fantasy sports guru John Di Bari.

Heading into their inaugural NHL season nobody really knew what to expect from the league’s newest franchise. The consensus was to temper expectations as expansion teams are historically somewhere between horrific on the low-end to mediocre on the high-side. However, once the rules for the expansion draft were put in place and fans and writers started digging through rosters and contracts and began to do their own mock expansion drafts, many started to realize that maybe the new kid on the block might be able to put together a respectable product in year one. Nobody was realistically thinking playoffs, or even a record well above .500. However, that was fine as most expected GM George McPhee to draft a bunch of skill players with a year or two remaining on their contacts with the expectation that he’d be trying to sell as many of them as possible at the trade deadline to acquire additional draft picks and young players.

It would be so much easier if McPhee would just tell us what he’s going to do. (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Then, the damndest thing happened: The Golden Knights started winning. A lot. As of this writing, the Golden Knights sit atop the entire NHL with a comfortable 10-point lead in the Pacific Division. They lead the West in goals scored and goal differential and have the league’s best home record at 22-4-2 58 games into the season. As a fan and season ticket holder, this is a great thing. It’s well documented at this point, but is still worth noting that most of the early winning was done while losing their top 3  goaltenders. The team has been fun to watch, they find different ways to win each night, and barring an otherwise epic collapse, they seem to be a lock for the playoffs. Some current projections have the probability of them making the playoffs at 100% as they sit 14 points ahead of the West’s second wild-card with 24 games to play.

On the surface, that all sounds well and good, but is it? For a single season, the answer is obviously yes, but as a brand new expansion franchise that is supposed to be building towards sustained future success and develop their farm system, the waters get a little muddied. What about the plan to move these expiring contracts and stockpile more picks and youngsters? One would assume that McPhee will want to push forward with the plan and move some of the players who have contracts set to expire at the end of the year. It’s better to get something for them rather than allowing them to walk away for free after what would essentially be a 1-year rental. On the other hand, one would also assume that owner Bill Foley will want to push for the playoffs and start to recoup some of his 500-million-dollar investment. At the end of the day, it will probably be some combination of the two strategies, and since Foley signs the checks in the building, I’ve got to think that if he wants to push for the playoffs, McPhee will have to go along with the boss. In a recent interview with Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski, Foley made it sound like he was definitely looking to add pieces at the deadline and push for a deep playoff run.

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Guest Post: VGK – Expansion Success And The Florida Context

It’s time for a perfectly timed Guest Post. Today we get a post from a Florida Panthers fan who is enjoying the ride of the Golden Knights while also feeling the agony that their success has brought the Panthers. Here’s the Guest Post from Jeff Hwang.

Somehow, 49 games into their inaugural 2017-18 NHL season, the Vegas Golden Knights have the best record in the NHL at 33-12-4 (1.45 pts. per game), and have matched both the 1993-94 Florida Panthers and Mighty Ducks of Anaheim for the most wins in a franchise inaugural season.

The Panthers and Mighty Ducks had 84 games to get there.

Oh what could have been in Florida. (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

VGK is 2nd in the league in goal scoring per game, and 6th in the league in goals against. And in fact, once you back out Maxime Legace – the 4th-string goaltender who has played about 14 more NHL games this year than most anyone else would have wished for – VGK goalies are an absurd 27-6-3.

As a hockey fan and a 10-year Las Vegas resident, I could not be more excited about VGK’s initial success and future outlook; on the other hand, having grown up in Ft. Lauderdale as a Florida Panthers fan, it could not be any more painful to wonder how good the Panthers would be right now with Jonathan Marchessault and Reilly Smith, instead of Alex Petrovic and a 4th-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft.

Which is to say nothing of Gerard Gallant, whose mid-season firing last year as the head coach of the Panthers was something no Panther fan was happy with.

Perhaps strangely, the Panthers are the perfect team with which to put VGK in proper context. The Panthers have everything VGK doesn’t – a true No. 1 center and No. 2 center (Aleksander Barkov and Vincent Trocheck); an elite winger (Jonathan Huberdeau); and a franchise defenseman (Aaron Ekblad). And yet Gerard Gallant is the head coach and Marchessault and Smith are the wingers on the top line of the team with the best record in the NHL, while the Panthers are struggling just to get into the playoff picture.

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Guest Post: Vegas Golden Knights Christmas List

You thought they were going to be in 1st in the Western Conference and have 48 points, didn’t you? (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

On Christmas Eve, this one needs to explanation. So, I won’t write one. Here is the newest Guest Post from our guy John Owens.

When Santa is making his list (and checking it twice), he’s going to find that the Golden Knights have been quite nice this year. A little too nice, frankly.

So it stands to reason that the team should have some good tidings coming their way. While The Creator probably feels like his stocking is pretty full right now, what’s Christmas without some presents? Let’s have a look at 5 items on the Vegas Golden Knights’ Christmas list.

1. Health In The New Year (Between The Pipes)

It really is remarkable that Vegas sits atop the Western Conference standings, not only because they are an expansion team, but also due to the fact that they have encountered the worst luck with health at the goalie position of any team in the league. Ken wrote a great post on how Maxime Lagace saved their season, and it’s hard to disagree. It’s fairly rare to even see your organization’s fourth goalie come in for an emergency relief spot sometime during the year but to get 13 starts is pretty unheard of, and Max kept the team afloat.

That being said, both Flower and Suub are back and have played well, but it’s not a great look when your franchise goaltender who has just returned from a lengthy absence due to a concussion is out here making saves with no helmet. Of course, he emerged unscathed, but these boys need to take care of themselves the rest of the way. Hopefully forgotten (undefeated) Oscar Dansk can come back healthy as well to provide depth because as we’ve seen, you never know when you might need it.

2. Continued Success At Home

Is the “Vegas Flu” a thing? I love a good conspiracy, so let’s say it’s a thing! I certainly think it’s at least a factor. Currently sitting at 15-2-1 at home, the Knights have passed many tough tests, and are feeding off the T-Mobile Arena energy. Here’s a quick wish to keep that going.

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Guest Post: Golden Knights Arrive First, In First-Class Style

It’s been a while since we’ve had a Guest Post on the site, so we are glad to welcome one back here today. Today’s topic is jerseys, or sweaters if you are that guy. Our man AJ Lee is here to say, the Golden Knights have the best jerseys in expansion history.

So here we go…

It would have been so easy to go so wrong.

After all, this is Las Vegas we’re talking about. Tragic looks abound. Uniform designers for the first major pro sports franchise in Sin City, the Las Vegas Golden Knights, must have been sorely tempted to go for a look that was, shall we say, Cirque du Power Play.

Siegfried and (Patrick) Roy.

Puck be a lady?

Subtlety being what it is in Nevada, the charter members of the Knights roster should be grateful they aren’t wearing sharkskin sweaters or fishnet socks.

Yet, in terms of jersey design, the Knights didn’t simply clear a low bar. They went top shelf.

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Guest Post: Nine Points In Nine Games

Recently the guys at The Hockey News basically called the Golden Knights the worst team in the NHL. We didn’t want to agree, but we also aren’t exactly ready to go out on a limb and disagree either. Many spoke out on Twitter/Facebook with a much more optimistic outlook. One such person is our guy Mike DeKalb, and he’s ready to make a prediction I (Ken) think is madness.

Here’s his Guest Post called “Nine Points In Nine Games.”

What can I say? I’m an optimist. I truly enjoy looking for the most positive aspects of my daily life, and working to enhance them as best I can. This outlook also applies to sports very well – I feel that there is no greater drama than what is found in the sports world, and the best storylines usually make for the best games – so bringing forward hope and confidence will only amplify the experience of the sports fan.

By finally having a team of their own, the hockey fans in Las Vegas should feel a similar sense of good fortune. I know it’s easy to focus on the negative stories surrounding the Golden Knights – the ongoing drama involving the TV deal, the avoidance of the local market during the team’s “road trip” through the Rockies, the doomed history of virtually every other NHL expansion season in the modern era – but for one month, I’d like to see this fanbase instead turn their attention to the blissful joy of anticipation.

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Guest Post: McPhee Is No Hinkie

The next Guest Post comes from one of our most outspoken fans. If you read the comments, our Twitter feed, or have ever attended a Golden Knights/ sponsored event, you’ve probably heard from Jerry. He goes by the name PhiSig150 and he has a lot to say about the idea of tanking vs respecting the process it takes to win in professional sports.

The recent NHL expansion into Las Vegas was an armchair GM’s dream come true. The Golden Knights have never signed a free agent to a horrendous contract. The Knights likewise have never been swindled out of young prospects or potentially high draft picks in a lopsided trade. Vegas was a completely blank canvas onto which an amateur GM could paint their masterpiece of the perfectly constructed roster. Wannabe front office personnel spent the months leading up to the Expansion Draft imagining which players they would select and concocting various trades with other teams to allow them to protect certain players. I know from first hand experience. I was one of those nerds. and let us indulge in our fantasies even further by hosting a contest that let fans pretend to be not only McPhee but the other 30 GMs as well. Each fan was able to create his or her own protection list for each team and then conduct a mock draft on behalf of the Golden Knights. I spent more time doing research for this contest than I care to admit.

Once the expansion draft came and went most fans were satisfied with the Knights mixture of solid vets, promising prospects, and future draft picks. There are a few fans, however, that feel that the club is trying to put a bad team on ice to lose games on purpose or what we NBA fans have come to call: tanking. Teams tank in an attempt to land a high draft pick with the hope that, that prospect will one day turn out to be the next Crosby or McDavid level superstar. Some Knights fans have argued that they pay good money for tickets and that Vegas is a nontraditional hockey market so McPhee needs to put a winner on the ice as soon as this upcoming season. McPhee drew further ire from the win now crowd by trading away players like Marc Methot and Marcus Kruger, two players who could contribute on the ice immediately, for future draft picks. In their minds McPhee has already thrown in the towel on the season and gone into full tank mode. While I wish this truly were the case, McPhee hasn’t done anything in his long history as a GM that would suggest he even knows how to tank and the word definitely isn’t in Foley’s vocabulary. McPhee is no Sam Hinkie.

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Guest Post: Hope For First Year On Ice Success In Vegas

It’s been quite a while since our last Guest Post, so we’re heading back to the well, this time from our friend whose Twitter profile reads, “my loyalties lie with Pittsburgh, but my heart lies in Vegas.” 

We’ll have to work on the whole loyalties thing, but that’s for another day. As for now, Laura believes many in the media, including here on, are underselling the Golden Knights chances on the ice in their inaugural season. So here it is, our latest guest post from Laura Weibe.

Let’s clear a few things up right away, this team, in my opinion, won’t make the playoffs this year, they won’t turn heads and put up some miraculous 50 win season. That is still a few years away, but before you talk about being a first-year expansion franchise that is comparable to Atlanta (39 points) in 1999, I will try and give a glimmer of hope to the Golden Knights first season on the ice.


The team on the ice might not resemble the likes of the past few Cup champs, but there are some good players that are proven NHLers on the roster. Let’s break down how the team might look, come opening night. On forward expect something like this;

Jonathan Marchessault – Vadim Shipachyov – James Neal

David Perron – Cody Eakin – Reilly Smith

Erik Haula – William Karlsson – Oscar Lindberg

Brendan Leipsic – P.E. Bellemare – Teemu Pulkkinen

Marchessault had 51 points last year, including 30 goals. Neal had 41 points, including 23 goals. Shipachyov, in the KHL had 76 points, including 26 goals. That’s a first line that accumulated 168 points. Now, KHL numbers don’t prove much at the NHL level but that is all there is to go on.

In comparison, the Penguins first line combined for 175. Before we get ahead of ourselves, no the Penguins first line and Vegas’s first line are not comparable and KHL points are very hard to transfer, but those are the numbers.

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Guest Post: No Matter What, VGK Came First

Usually for people in Alabama, Saturday’s are for football. But once football season wraps up, our friends from Forest Gump’s home state usually go into a deep dark depression. That’s not the case for our next Guest Post author who decided months ago that he was ready to jump aboard the VGK bandwagon. 

This Guest Post comes from Cameron Cole, and like The Creator, he’s not thrilled about the Raiders coming to Vegas.

I have always loved the idea of being a fan of a team from Day 1. Every day I would Google “expansion team” or “relocation team” and read all the rumors and such. But I also wanted the team to be the right fit. I live in Birmingham, Alabama, which probably causes most of you to automatically think football. Yes, that is our state’s main attraction as we have 2 teams who play in the best conference in the NCAA (just let me have this for now, we can debate it another time). We also have a minor league baseball team the Birmingham Barons. In April 2016 I googled NHL expansion and came up. It was one of their amazing podcasts (which if you have never listened to you need to start ASAP) in which they talked about how Vegas was getting a team and Quebec City was not. I knew that there wasn’t a major pro sports team in Vegas then so I decided to do some research about the history of pro sports in Vegas.

I found that Vegas and Birmingham have almost identical histories in the sporting world. Birmingham has had an XFL team, a CFL team, and an Arena football team. Vegas has had an XFL team, a CFL team, and an AFL team too! So I was like I was looking at Birmingham in the sports world! Then it happened, the NHL was officially expanding to Vegas, so I instantly became a fan of the Las Vegas NHL team (which we know now as the Vegas Golden Knights). It was the perfect fit. Over the next few months I learned hockey and have watched a lot more of the Predators and read every SinBin article they put out…Then the raiders talk came.

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Guest Post: The Beezer is Buzzing About Vegas

Time for another Guest Post. Today’s submission comes all the way from the other side of the country in this magical place called New Jersey. Our guy Chris was able to track down former Rangers and Panthers goaltender John Vanbiesbrouck and ask some questions about expansion, Vegas, and more. Written by Chris Rauch.

“They are set up to have a lot of success.”

Let’s face it: when expansion teams get off the ground they are usually abysmal. The Washington Capitals won 8 games their first year in the league. It took the Columbus Blue Jackets nearly 10 years to make the playoffs for the first time. One exception to the futility rule are the Florida Panthers. It took only three years for the team to reach the Stanley Cup finals – thanks, in part, to the first player chosen in the 1993 expansion draft: goaltender John “The Beezer” Vanbiesbrouck.

The days of terrible expansion teams may be in the rear view mirror thanks to the new NHL draft rules which will give the Golden Knights access to the best talent pool an expansion team has ever seen. General manager George McPhee will have a lot on his plate, and Vanbiesbrouck is confident that the team is in good hands with McPhee at the helm.

Vanbiesbrouck and McPhee have also known each other for a long time. The two played for the New York Rangers back in the ‘80s. Currently, Vanbiesbrouck is the General Manager for the United States Hockey League’s (USHL) Muskegon Lumberjacks, a top Tier 1 junior team in Western Michigan.

“Look at the job he’s done with the Capitals,” says Vanbiesbrouck, “That still lives on with that team right now. I just believe that George and his crew…are set up to have a lot of success. His Director of Scouting [Scott Luce] is one of the best in the game. I’ve known him for a long time and he’s great at finding great talent.”

Drafting in a salary cap era may be tricky, but “The Beezer” feels there will be enough talent to go around when the draft gets underway in June – especially for goaltenders. “They are probably going to start with a goalie. If a guy like (Marc-Andre) Fleury is available with Stanley Cup winning experience and a lot of gas still in the tank it will be hard to look past him.”

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Guest Post: From Expansion Franchise To Credible Franchise

One of my favorite things about running is the incredible passion that turns into Guest Posts from you guys who read the site every day. It’s been far too long since our last one, which was a doozy by the way, so what better time than now to hear from another member of the ever growing army (We still need a good name for this).

This one is from Robert Price (aka Slack).

As a Red Wings fan growing up in Michigan, I can remember watching them play the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in their inaugural season on TV and their arena public address announcing “Offsides”. I can also remember laughing about it out loud with my friends before LOL even existed.

Fast forward 22 years or so and we are about to embark on our first NHL season here in Las Vegas where I have called home since 2000. I am older, wiser and became a bit more jaded with every lockout, strike, work stoppage or whatever you want to call it, but there is one thing for certain. I want the Vegas Golden Knights to succeed.

For those of you who already know, hockey is the greatest sport in the world, for those that don’t but want to, you are about to find out. Toughest athletes that give back to the community, best live action games, crazy playoffs and, of course, the ultimate trophy. I’m trading in my red and white to watch this franchise grow with my son who now has a team to call his own, and it’s going to be a great ride.

Getting back to my original point. Credibility. It is earned, not given. Traditionalists and a few neighbors in the country to the north are watching. And when I say “watching”, I mean that are looking for a laugh and/or clamoring for a reason to move the Knights to Moose Jaw so they can have eight teams instead of seven that won’t win a Cup. (I’m sorry, was that out loud? I jest) My point is this. A lot of things go into making this a successful franchise for the long haul, some of which we as fans control and some we can’t, but we do have a voice. I feel the sooner these things happen, the sooner the critics will be quiet. Without further ado, here are six factors in making the Vegas Golden Knights one for the ages.

Number One: On Ice Success

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