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Category: Personnel (Page 1 of 11)

Colin Out To Prove Boston Exposed The Wrong Miller

We like this Miller better anyways. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Cody Eakin and Tomas Nosek have been through it, and now it’s Colin Miller’s turn to play against his old teammates.

Yeah it should be fun. I’m looking forward to playing that game for sure. I think every guy that came from whatever organization looks forward to playing their old team. -Colin Miller

In June, Vegas happily plucked Miller from the Bruin’s unprotected list. The 24-year-old played 103 games for Boston averaging 15:48 of TOI per game, and totaling 29 points. He was mostly paired with Boston defenseman Kevan Miller, who most fans thought should’ve been exposed by Bruins management.

Fellow restricted free agent Colin Miller has top-four potential, and thus efforts to retain his services should have taken precedence over the efforts to keep the less talented (Kevan) Miller. -Stanley Cup of Chowder

Boston’s front office decided against making a pre-expansion deal with George McPhee and ended up exposing Colin Miller. As for the Golden Knights, they were ecstatic to attain a young, right-handed defenseman with a world of talent. The type of player no general manager wants to lose.

You knew they had targeted three players on our team that we felt they would target, and unfortunately we’re losing a good, young player… We thought highly of Colin. He was part of a big trade for us and we wish him well moving forward. We thank for him doing his part with the organization. We lost a good player. -Don Sweeney, Bruins GM

Both sides will agree, Miller is a very skilled defenseman and hasn’t hit his NHL potential yet. The Bruins were incredibly happy to receive Miller in a trade that sent Milan Lucic to Los Angeles. However, under former Bruins coach Claude Julien, Miller’s shifts and minutes fluctuated and was even a healthy scratch on a few occasions. Once Bruce Cassidy took over, Miller’s opportunities increased.

I don’t think it’s anything personal, but you know, I think everyone plays with a chip on their shoulder. They want to prove their worth. -Miller

The bottom line is Miller and the Golden Knights are happy with the end result. Now, five games into the season, Corsi Colin will get a chance to remind Boston of their bad decision. Expect a strong game from the former B’s defenseman. Miller is aware Boston made a mistake, he’s just too nice of a guy to say so. Maybe VGK fans can remind the Bruins for him. Heck, I’ll even join in on the chant. “Thanks for Colin. Clap, clap, clap, clap, clap.”

Fleury Likely To Start Every Game Of Upcoming Seven Game Homestand

Remember when this team had a goalie tandem that could be put up against just about any other team in the NHL? Well, now they have the 2nd star of the week in the NHL and a goalie who was described as “not quite ready to play at this level.”

Maybe I could have said that better. In terms of talent and experience, he’s ready to play at this level. In terms of getting him to play the way that we want him to play we need a little more time. -George McPhee

So as you can probably tell by the headline of this article, that means we aren’t likely to see Malcolm Subban between the pipes anytime soon.

This homestand is actually spaced out well enough that there’s probably no rush to put him in. But between Turk and Dave Prior, when they decide he’s ready for a game, he’ll play and we’ll get him going. -McPhee

My guess is that will be against the New York Islanders or Rangers on back-to-back to start off the long road trip.

McPhee also doubled down on the reasoning behind claiming Subban/trading Pickard and further proved his eye is on the future, despite how much it could set back the currently undefeated 201-18 Golden Knights.

You have a five-year plan, you have a three-year plan, you have a one-year plan, you have a month-to-month plan, but it changes every day. We thought that was the one area where we were set, but this opportunity presented itself, we evaluated it, and we were nimble enough as an organization to do something about it. We made our move hoping that Subban one day down the road can be a very good #1 goaltender. -McPhee

Flower, flower, and more flower. That’s the plan for this first month of the year.

Not the worst plan if he keeps playing the way he’s been though, right?

Jonathan Marchessault And Reilly Smith Talk About Linemate Vadim Shipachyov

These three were inseparable… until George McPhee separated them. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Throughout all of training camp and in every preseason game in which they played, Jonathan Marchessault, Reilly Smith, and Vadim Shipachyov played together. So when Shupavhyov was left off the roster to open the season, Marchessault and Smith were impacted as much as anyone. We spoke to Marchessault about the situation, how much he’s talked to Shipachyov, and much more.

It’s a little different, I’m guessing they kept us together during preseason just to kind of get the chemistry going. It’s obviously a weird scenario, there’s nothing you can do. I don’t think a lot of people know what’s going on or what’s going to happen, there’s a lot of question marks around it. -Reilly Smith

I’m not going to put any words for him but I know if I was in his shoes it would be a little bit of a frustrating experience. -Smith

Me and Shippy and Smitty were actually watching our video trying to get better trying to learn how to play together and then the season starts and Shippy is not there. So obviously it’s inconvenient, but that’s part of hockey there’s not much stability and that’s out of our control. -Marchessault

McPhee Speaks About Vadim Shipachyov’s Situation In Press Conference

With media in from all over North America to cover what is likely to be one of the most emotional games in NHL history, coupled with the 2-0 start, the Golden Knights locker room was buzzing. But still missing from that was center Vadim Shipachyov. He was sent to the AHL, expected to rejoin the roster prior to Friday’s game, but that did not happen. Now, nearly a week later he’s still not with the team.

George McPhee held a press conference to give an update on his status. Here are the quotes on Shipachyov and SinBin.vegas’ best “translations” to help give the background on what he’s actually saying.

Vadim Shipachyov is still not on the roster at this point, is that a hockey decision or a numbers decision.  -SinBin.vegas

That’s a numbers decision. As you know we had three guys who we could assign, and we did, to give us the room that we needed to carry what we are carrying. I do not have a specific date when that will change but we are working on things. -George McPhee

Translation: Shipachyov is waiver exempt, so the Golden Knights can (and did) assign him to the AHL without any risk of losing him on waivers to another team. Asking if it’s a numbers or hockey decision was to confirm that Shipachyov’s play on the ice was not the reasoning behind this decision. McPhee confirms this again later in the press conference.

Has this gone on longer than you expected? -Jesse Granger, Las Vegas Sun

No. We knew in the Summer that with Theodore and Tuch that we may have to send them down initially because we are going to have a lot of people that we are evaulating, and we are still evaluating. I don’t know how long it will take but I prefer to be in this position where we have enough people rather than not enough. -McPhee

Translation: As we explained throughout much of the Summer as well, the Golden Knights simply have too many players on NHL contracts to keep everyone. So, rather than waiving certain players, McPhee opted to utilize his waiver exempt players to allow him to continue evaluating the players on his roster.

The confusing part about this rationale is that three of the players he is likely in need to evaluating were inactive in both games this weekend (Griffin Reinhart, Brad Hunt, and Jon Merrill). Thus, how long this will take is still a major mystery. Of course, one injury would open a roster spot and allow for Shipachyov to return.

Have you been in contact with Shipachyov regularly letting him know what’s going on? -Granger, Las Vegas Sun

Through his agent yes. -McPhee

Has his agent expressed his disappointment with the decision? -David Shoen, Las Vegas Review Journal

Yep. They didn’t understand initially. But they do now. This is a roster move that’s not about performance. The three guys we sent down have all earned the right to be here. And we’ll get them here at the right time or as soon as we can. -McPhee

Translation: This is possibly where the reports of Shipachyov being unhappy emanated from. The original move was made on Tuesday of last week. His agent didn’t understand which likely meant Shipachyov would have been upset about the decision. McPhee returning to saying it is not a performance-driven decision while answering this question likely means there was at least a moment when Shipachyov believed it was performance based.

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Golden Knights Arrive In Dallas Without Vadim Shipachyov

We’re finally here, the first real game in franchise history, Vegas Golden Knights vs. Dallas Stars. Starting on the first line for the Golden Knights will be Reilly Smith, Jonathan Marchessault and… Oscar Lindberg?

That’s right, Vadim Shipachyov, who has been playing exclusively with Smith and Marchessault throughout all of training camp and the preseason is not only not on the top line, he’s not even on the opening night roster. In fact, Vadim Shipachyov isn’t even in Dallas!

This whole chain of events started with Shipachyov being sent down to the AHL in what appeared to be a complicated roster maneuver to outsmart the waiver process. The thought was, the Golden Knights would make a roster move, which they did by waiving Calvin Pickard, and Shipachyov would be added back to the roster. Instead, the charade now continues as the Golden Knights activated James Neal off IR and he will fit into a line with David Perron and Cody Eakin.

We assigned Theodore, Tuch, and Shipachyov (to the AHL)… because we could. They did not require waivers. We are doing roster maneuvering with our roster like many clubs are at this time of year and we will see where this goes in the next few days. -George McPhee

As we’ve seemingly been trying to do the past few days now, let’s try to give some background to this “roster maneuvering.”

As McPhee said, Shipachyov is waiver exempt. If you read SinBin.vegas often you probably know this, but if you don’t, that’s a fancy way of saying, “can move a player to the AHL without any risk of losing him to another club.” So that’s what the Golden Knights did. But when they opened the roster spot, they went with an injured (and still pretty badly, we believe) Neal instead of Shipachyov. This is the perplexing part.

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Let’s Talk Pickard And Waivers

George McPhee made waves this morning when he placed backup goalie Calvin Pickard on waivers, allowing all 30 other teams the chance to pick him with no compensation to the Golden Knights.

The waves really started yesterday when the Golden Knights claimed in Malcolm Subban off waivers creating a surplus in the net. Subban was described as “not quite ready to play at this level” but McPhee confirmed he would remain on the NHL roster heading into the regular season.

So let’s break this all down.

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

First off, Pickard is now on waivers for the next 24 hours. During that time every team has the opportunity to claim him. If one claim is made, Pickard will become a member of that NHL team. If more than one claim him, he will go to the team who finished worst in the standings last season (identical to the draft order). In the event that he is claimed, the team who makes the move will be in an identical situation to which the Golden Knights were just in with Fleury, Pickard, and Subban, and they would subsequently have to waive another goalie themselves.

Or, none of the 30 teams place a claim on Pickard and he clears waivers. Officially he is then re-assigned to the Chicago Wolves. The likelihood he plays in Chicago is low as the Golden Knights have multiple goalies there already and are clearly higher on Subban than they are Pickard. Instead, if he clears a he would probably be traded. Once Pickard clears, his trade value goes up to every team in the NHL as the risk of losing him on waivers is removed. Pickard’s new team would be able to immediately assign him to their own AHL team and plenty of time to figure out what they want to do with the two goalies currently on their roster.

But let’s get to the big question, why would McPhee do this?

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Golden Knights Name Six, Yes Six, Alternate Captains

Screw it, let’s just make em all alternates. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

I know it’s unique, but then again everything about the NHL in Las Vegas is unique. The Golden Knights announced yesterday, that they’ll be going with a leadership core of six players. Normally, a team will award one Captain and two Alternate Captains. Vegas will have three home Alternate Captains and three different road Alternate Captains. The six leaders are; Deryk Engelland, Jason Garrison, James Neal, David Perron, Luca Sbisa, and Reilly Smith.

It’s pretty cool. It’s pretty exciting. You don’t need a letter on your jersey to be a leader. It’s an opportunity to do everything right on and off the ice and be a professional. I’m excited to to be part of that group. -David Perron

It’s definitely an honor. We have a great group of guys here . All of those other guys named will put a great leadership group together. Helps the young guys and guide this team. -James Neal

Getting picked for that is special but at the same time, there a lot of good quality guys, with some character on this team. -Luca Sbisa

It’s a great honor to wear it, but the guys in this room, there is a lot more leaders than just the guys that have the A’s on. Everyone in this room leads in their own little, certain ways. Which brings us closer and tighter as a group. -Deryk Engelland

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Subban To Remain On Roster To Start The Season

There are a lot of challenging decisions to be made by an expansion team general manager. Whether it’s signing players, making cuts, or the Expansion Draft itself, George McPhee has done a lot of work to turn his blank slate into what we now know as the Vegas Golden Knights.

Hi Malcolm, meet Marc and Calvin, unless one of them disappears, you’re never gonna play.

But for every tough decision he’s had to make due to the logistics of running the first expansion team in the salary cap era, come opportunities to make somewhat outside of the box moves only a team not planning on truly competing until year three can make.

A perfect example is the waiver claiming of goalie Malcolm Subban. In the midst of figuring out which defensemen will make the team, juggling waiver exempt contracts, and toying with the injured list, McPhee went in the opposite direction and added a player to the fold rather than removing one.

He’s not going down (to the AHL). The odds are not long, they are not short (that we keep three goalies this season). I’m not sure what we are going to do just yet. When you see an opportunity like that you hope your club is nimble enough to take advantage of it, and we made a move and we’ll see how it develops. If it works out, then good for us. If it doesn’t work out, then it was a nice try. -George McPhee

So here we are, with three goalies, nine defensemen (one is injured), 11 forwards (not counting Neal), and Vadim Shipachyov, Shea Theodore, and Alex Tuch all technically optioned to the AHL.

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Smith-Shipachyov-Marchessault Line Finally Finding Success

In only a week, Gallant can’t duck my questions anymore. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Since training camp began Reilly Smith, Vadim Shipachyov, and Jonathan Marchessault have been playing on a line together. Despite Gerard Gallant giving non-committal answers to my numerous questions, it’s safe to assume this will be the Golden Knights top line heading into the regular season.

Maybe one of the reasons for Gallant’s unwillingness to just say “Ken, shut up, yes it is the first line,” is that the three of them weren’t really showing much by way of results on the ice in the games they played together. That changed to start the second period last night.

Today was a better game for us. We made more plays, got more time on the puck, and were close to each other. It was a good game for us, but there’s still room for improvement. -Jonathan Marchessault

To begin that second period Shipachyov, Smith, and Marchessault were on the ice together for a 2+ minute shift in which they controlled the puck and had multiple scoring chances. Then on their next shift, they finally broke through when Smith sent a pass to Shipachyov right in front of the net, he could have shot, but in classic Shippy fashion he passed it out to Colin Miller who ripped it into the back of the net.

I thought they played well. For the most part, they had some scoring chances and I thought they played hard and worked together as a line. -Gallant

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Cody Eakin Staking Claim To Mr. Reliable Role

Just how reliable is Golden Knights center Cody Eakin? Is winning 79% of his faceoffs reliable enough for you?

Cody is a veteran player and I think that he can do very well for us. He’s definitely going to be one of our top center men for us in the faceoff circle. He’s an important player and we just want to give him confidence and keep going in this game. -Gerard Gallant

Bet you Eakin won this one too. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

I could argue he was the biggest takeaway, and maybe even the best player on the ice, from last night’s 4-2 loss. Eakin saw a total of 20:06 minutes on the ice, and 9:12 of that was on special teams.

Last night, Eakin’s impact was felt in both zones. Offensively, the center was +1 with a beautiful assist on the Theodore goal and played 6:12 of PP. Defensively, Eakin led the team with three takeaways, and played 3:00 on the Enough Said Call Ed penalty kill.

I don’t think Cody played a lot of power play time in Dallas, but he’s going to get some of that with us. He’s definitely going to be one of our top four guys going out on the penalty kill all the time. -Gallant

It’s clear Gallant considers Eakin a player he can rely on. He sent out #21 for twenty-four shifts last night, and had him take several situational draws.

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