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Category: Personnel (Page 2 of 11)

James Neal Injury Update

Update (9/30/17 10:56 AM):

Original (9/28/17)

Well I mean of course it’s important and I’d love to be a part of it, but I’ve got make sure I’m ready to go. Injuries are never fun, but I’m doing everything I can here to be ready to go. -James Neal

He’s not going to play tonight, and there’s no chance he’s going to play the next game. We’ve got four or five practice days before the opener. He’s getting better every day, he feels a lot better. I’m not going to say he’ll be ready for the opener. We’re hoping, but we don’t know. -Gerard Gallant

Neal broke his hand in the first game of the Western Conference Finals. He had offseason surgery following the Stanley Cup Finals. The first day he hit the ice at City National Arena was September 21st. Every practice he’s participated in since he’s worn red “no contact” gear.

Shippy Don’t Like To Shoot It

Look at this picture, and think about what should happen next in the play.

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Now watch the gif of what actually happened.

(Video from AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain)

Yeah, Vadim Shipachyov passed on a wide-open shot directly in front of the net. Now, before we go crazy here, this was a preseason game, and the move he made to get to that spot was gorgeous. However, it certainly confirmed our suspicions… Shippy’s not a fan of shooting.


Is this going to become a trend?

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Faceoff Circle Continuing To Haunt Many Golden Knights

As we watched last night, a hockey game is a story of three periods… and sometimes an extra :12 seconds.

Hockey Fact: 3 for 18 on draws is not good. (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Forget the outcome, one storyline of the game was first-period faceoffs. Specifically, losing them. After the first 20 minutes, Vegas lost over 80% of the draws. The Golden Knights did get better as the game went on, but overall they won 25, and lost 32 faceoffs. Based off last year’s stats, the Golden Knight’s 43% FOW would be way below the league average. Okay, now is about the time I give the disclaimer… It’s only preseason. But we still had to ask.

Yeah, they were bad in the first period, obviously, you pride yourself from winning faceoffs. We had a tough time in the first period on faceoffs. Again, I thought we played a good eight or 10 minutes of that first period really well. After that we fell asleep for about 25 minutes in the middle part of the game… – Gerard Gallant

He later acknowledged that his players settled in, and improved their FOW percentage.

The faceoffs got better as the night went on. I think it’s just about guys going in there and battling and winning one-on-one battles in the faceoff circle, we didn’t start out real well.” -Gallant

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Roster Update: 34 Players Remain In Camp

Update: Chris Casto cleared waivers on September 23rd. He should not have been counted in this list.

The Golden Knights made another round of cuts including sending training camp darling Tyler Wong out of camp to the Chicago Wolves. Others to be cut yesterday were Jake Bischoff, Keegan Kolesar, and two goalies Maxime Lagace and Oscar Dansk.

With just 10 days until the season opens in Dallas the Golden Knights are now left with 34 players in camp to fill out a roster of 23. In numerical order, here’s who remains in camp.

This group is starting to get small. (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Brayden McNabb (INJ), Clayton Stoner, Deryk Engelland, Colin Miller, Jason Garrison, Griffin Reinhart, Brendan Leipsic (INJ), Jon Merrill, James Neal (INJ), Reilly Smith, Paul Thompson, Cody Eakin, Oscar Lindberg, Stefan Matteau, Shea Theodore, William Carrier, Marc-Andre Fleury, Calvin Pickard, Reid Duke (INJ), Tomas Hyka, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, Luca Sbisa, Erik Haula, David Perron, Teemu Pulkkinen, T.J. Tynan, William Karlsson, Chris Casto, Brad Hunt, Jonathan Marchessault, Vadim Shipachyov, Nate Schmidt, Alex Tuch, Tomas Nosek

(No transactions have been announced for Mikhail Grabovski or David Clarkson, but neither has skated at City National Arena. Both are expected to be placed on injured reserve to begin the season.)

  • We’ve yet to see Neal practice with the team, but he was skating with Leipsic before practice yesterday.
  • Duke has been out since the second rookie game in El Segundo and is likely still in Vegas to get the best treatment on his shoulder injury.
  • McNabb blocked a shot in the preseason game on Sunday in Anaheim which kept him out of practice yesterday. He is expected to be fine and back in practice tomorrow.
  • Yesterday, Thompson, Tynan, and Casto were not on the ice at practice and are not in the roster tonight, transactions have yet to be announced.
  • If you take out the three who were missing yesterday plus Duke. That leaves us with 30 players.
  • Leipsic is expected to be healthy enough to play in the final preseason game or two so he’s certainly still in the running for a spot. Neal, on the other hand, is a bit more of a question mark. If he can’t go, we’re down to 29.
  • Without Neal, the breakdown is 16 forwards, 11 defensemen, and two goalies. The team is expected to keep 13 forwards, eight defensemen, and two goalies.
  • Check out our projected 23 man roster here.

Tyler Wong Contract Situation

Now that the moment has officially come where Tyler Wong is sent away from camp without an NHL contract, it’s come time we really clear up what it means for his future with the Golden Knights or another team. Wong is signed to a standard player contract with the Chicago Wolves, the primary AHL affiliate of the Golden Knights. He is NOT signed to the Golden Knights like players such as Reid Duke, Tomas Hyka, or Keegan Kolesar. However, Vegas is also NOT in any imminent danger of losing him to another team.

Technically, they should be, but looking through the history of the league, and knowing the “good ole boys” network NHL GM’s keep with each other, Wong won’t be signed by any other GM. With the gentleman’s agreement not to poach AHL players off each other’s teams, NHL GM’s can essentially skirt the 50 man maximum contract limit. This is the reason Wong was not given a 2-way contract before he was sent to Chicago.

Whether he was offered a 2-way deal or not, he would have been paid the exact same amount per game for the Wolves, and if/when he gets called up to Vegas, they’ll offer him the same deal they would have today, so his NHL pay would remain the same as well. So, it’s a win-win-win for the Golden Knights, Chicago Wolves, and Wong, assuming no GM goes crazy… which they won’t.

Fear not folks, Tyler Wong may not officially be a Golden Knight, but there’s absolutely no way he’s on another NHL roster without McPhee having his say first.

McPhee’s History Indicates Trade Could Come This Week

As the roster continues to thin out with at least five more players being cut (more on this later today), it’s time we start to look at what it’s going to take to put the finishing touches on the final roster the Golden Knights will take to Dallas.

We’ve known since the Expansion Draft ended that there must be a solution to the glut of defensemen in the system, and looking through George McPhee’s preseason roster transaction history, it appears the answer could come soon.

According to, the Washington Capitals have only claimed one player (Aaron Volpatti 2/28/13) off waivers in team history, including the 17 years McPhee was at the helm. So we can pretty much rule out a player being added that way. However, don’t mistake a man with an $800 haircut for being content with his roster. I’m guessing, but I’m telling you, it’s a sharp, maintained corporate cut. Sorry, back to hockey. McPhee may not claim players before the opener, but he’ll gladly make trades. 

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Time For Marchessault To Stake His Claim To The Top Line

Jonathan Marchessault at training camp at City National Arena. (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Against my better judgment, I’m here to single out another player before tonight’s preseason game in Colorado. Just as I predicted Tomas Hyka’s domination in El Segundo and Tyler Wong came through for me with a hat trick in Vancouver, this time, it’s Jonathan Marchessault.

Marchessault is going to play on the top line for the Golden Knights against the Avalanche playing alongside Vadim Shipachyov and former teammate Reilly Smith.

That very possibly could be a line (in the regular season) but we’ll see how the chemistry looks and how they work together. It’s gonna take some time. I hope it works out, they are all good players. -Gerard Gallant

Where Marchessault fits in that line is clear.

He’s a shooter, so I’ll try to get him the puck as much as I can. -Reilly Smith

That should make for two guys trying to get the puck to Marchessault. Throughout camp, the skill that’s jumped off the ice for Shipachyov has been his passing. His ability to throw saucer passes basically through defenseman is almost mesmerizing and his rapport with Marchessault seems to be growing by the day.

Multiple times during morning skate at City National Arena, Marchessault and Shipachyov were seen messing around with each other including the moment Shipachyov entered the ice. He immediately skated over and sprayed Marchessault who was on a knee tying his laces. Marchessault laughed and spent much of the rest of the practice celebrating goals he scored on passes from Shipachyov or Smith.

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“Just A Matter Of Me Not Playing A Game In A Long Time”

Clayton Stoner at training camp at City National Arena. (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Instantly after seeing the roster for the first preseason game, our eyes went straight to the outlier on the list, Clayton Stoner. On a roster full of young players either headed back to juniors or to the AHL, the 32-year old, eight year veteran of the NHL stuck out like a sore thumb. Our thought was that it spelled bad news for Stoner’s future with the Golden Knights. But, what do we know, we are just some bloggers with a website that couldn’t even afford a .com domain. So, instead of playing “ask the 8-ball,” we went right to the source to see what he thought about his inclusion in the first preseason game.

I think it was just a matter of me not playing a game in a long time. I was hurt since November 15th last year. It was one of those things that they mentioned they wanted to get me in a game early and get on the ice. And get that game feeling back. -Clayton Stoner

The former Duck played 14 games last season, due to an abdominal procedure he had on November 17th. It’s no wonder Stoner was eager to compete on Sunday.

Right now I feel very good. I’m just trying to stay healthy. I’m not as young as I was, but injuries are something that are preventable. I spent a lot of time last season, and the offseason rehabbing. I feel, like I’m in a strong place right now with my body. I feel good. -Stoner

The only bummer to Sunday’s victory was that Stoner couldn’t keep his A-stitched jersey. To his knowledge, it doesn’t exist anymore.

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Non-VGK Contracted Player Standing Out In Camp

Tyler Wong on the ice at the first day of training camp with the Golden Knights. (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Before the rookie games in El Segundo I gave you Tomas Hyka. Two minutes into both games, Hyka scored goals for the Golden Knights. Now, before the first preseason game in team history, I present you with Tyler Wong.

The 5’9″ 21-year-old from the Lethbridge Hurricanes, who spent time in the Toronto Maple Leafs organization last year, is set to make his first-ever appearance in an NHL preseason game with the Golden Knights, and he’s pumped.

(This game) is huge. The way I’ve been approaching this camp is every time I get out there I take it as it might be the last time I’m out there. So I want to make a good impression. Everyone has their spots to fill, so I’m going to go out there and play it like it might be my last one. -Tyler Wong

Wong really impressed the Golden Knights during rookie camp and was all over the place in the pair of games in El Segundo. Then real camp got underway, and he’s even been more eye-catching, particularly his speed.

He’s been terrific. You notice him every time he’s on the ice. He works his tail off and he’ll do whatever it takes to score, and we’re happy with that signing as well. -McPhee

There’s one issue though, he’s not technically signed to the Golden Knights. Wong signed a contract with the Chicago Wolves for the 2017-18 season, so any team has the ability to swoop in and sign him to an NHL contract thus stealing him away from Chicago, and in turn, the Golden Knights.

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Injured, Injured, And More Injured: Reid Duke, James Neal, Mikhail Grabovski

All things considered the Golden Knights are rather healthy as they progress through training camp. Nonetheless, they aren’t without a few bumps and bruises, a few we were already aware of, and one new one that popped up yesterday. Here’s the quick run down of the injured Golden Knights.

Reid Duke

The first Golden Knight now becomes the first to be injured while physically wearing a Vegas uniform. After participating in every session during rookie camp and playing both games in El Segundo against the Kings, Duke was held out from the first day full training camp with a injury sustained in the second rookie game.

Gerard Gallant confirmed the injury during his post practice press conference but would not disclose any details nor the severity. Duke was on the ice throughout the entire second game in El Segundo, finishing off his final shift with 1:30 left in the 3rd period. Before he exited that final shift, he was checked into the boards after dumping the puck into the Kings zone. The camera panned away so we were unable to see if Duke was injured on that play or earlier in the game.

He was seen hanging around the glass watching practice, but never dressed to play and was not in the locker room during media availability.

James Neal

Neal broke his hand early in the Predators Western Conference Finals series with the Ducks. He continued to play with the injury all the way through Stanley Cup Finals and logged more than 21 minutes in the last game of the series.

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