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Category: Personnel (Page 2 of 16)

Six Degrees Of Separation To Ryan Reaves

I’m sure these guys will prefer him beating up other guys now that he’s a Golden Knight.

Ryan Reaves is the new guy on the Golden Knights locker room, but he’s not exactly a new face for many on Vegas’ roster.

James Neal

Reaves was drafted the same year as Neal. Neal went 33rd overall to Dallas, Reaves was selected 156th by St. Louis. These two mostly know each other from playing in the Central division for many years. In this clip, Neal stays patient from a rushing Reaves and lands a big shoulder check.

David Perron

Reaves and Perron played in St. Louis together from 2010-2013 and then again in 2016-2017. Reaves shows his hand-eye skill with this nice deflection for a goal in 2013… on Marc-Andre Fleury. Deryk Engelland was also on the ice for Pittsburgh picking up a minus -1 on Reaves tip. James Neal and David Perron were also in the lineups that night.

Deryk Engelland

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Luca Sbisa Hates Shootout

In this picture, Lehkonen is the metaphor for the shootout. (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

In 2010, Luca Sbisa competed in the Winter Olympic Games for Team Switzerland. Sbisa and his Swiss mates finished in 8th place at the Vancouver games. Switzerland played three games that went to overtime, winning two and losing one. Two of the three were decided by shootouts.

After Wednesday night’s Golden Knights victory over the Flames, some of the guys in the winning locker room turned on the epic Women’s hockey gold medal game.

I was getting changed, and OT just ended so I knew they were going to a shootout. I left. I didn’t want too see it. -Luca Sbisa

I had to ask Sbisa if he was kidding. He wasn’t.

It’s not fair, you battle so hard. Obviously, when you’re on the winning side it’s great but the other team is upset because they fought so hard. -Sbisa

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Why Everyone Should Be A Fan Of Tomas Hyka

We cheer for all Golden Knights, but some of them just make us root a little harder for them. Tomas Hyka is one of those. (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Last night Tomas Hyka made his NHL debut, one that has been in the makings for the a 24-year-old from Mlada Boleslav, Czech Republic for quite some time. Hyka is a classic NHL underdog, and his journey to making his debut for the best team in the league is somewhat of a wild one.

It dates back to 2011 when he was invited to training camp with the Philadelphia Flyers after being undrafted.

I had a really good camp there, like I did here, I scored and did a little celly, it was funny, but they couldn’t sign me. I don’t even know the reason they couldn’t sign me. It was kind of sad. -Tomas Hyka

The reason is a rule in the CBA that says players born outside North America must go undrafted twice before they can be signed to a contract with an NHL team. Hyka had only been through one draft, so despite being offered a contract, and possibly a spot on an NHL roster at the age of 18, he couldn’t sign with the Flyers. Instead of going home though, he played for the Gatineau Olympiques of the QMJHL where he scored 20 goals and tallied 64 points in 50 games. That put his name back on the radar for the 2012 Draft.

Then I got drafted by the Kings and they did not really give me the opportunity. -Hyka

In fact, he was never even invited to a training camp with the Kings. Back to Gatineau he went, where he scored another 20 goals and put up 54 more points for his second straight year in the QMJHL. Yet, the call still never came from the Kings.

Hyka then returned home to play for his hometown team, BK Mlada Boleslav for three of the next four years waiting until the Kings gave up his NHL rights. That happened this Summer and the Golden Knights did not wait long to pounce.

When Vegas wanted to sign me I was like ‘for sure I want to do it!’ -Hyka

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Jon Merrill’s New Mode Of Transportation Isn’t What You’d Expect

We don’t have a picture of Jon on the scooter yet. (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Jon Merrill is a professional athlete.

Jon Merrill just recently signed a $2.7 million contract.

Jon Merrill drives a scooter to work.

Last month, after a Golden Knights practice a few us got chance to see him riding in his shiny, new toy.

It’s riding in style. -Jon Merrill

To shorten his commute, Merrill needed something easy, comfortable and flashy.

I had been walking to and from the rink, so I picked one up as an ulterior motive to walking. -Merrill

The newly extended d-man didn’t waste his money on an expensive sports car, or a Harley-Davidson, or even a hoverboard. Nope, Merrill chose the form of transportation locals cringe at most, the moped.

I don’t really drive it on the main roads. I just go from here (City National Arena) to my house. -Merrill

So if you see someone flying down Pavilion Center Drive at a speedy 30 MPH, it’s probably #15 (or Ken, he has one too).

The boys love it. They’re all jealous, they want one. -Merrill

We thought for sure this was an illusion that can only be created in mind of a scooter owner, but…

I want to get one for the summer. That’s my next purchase. -Luca Sbisa

The European has his eye on a new Vespa. As a kid in Switzerland, Sbisa became familiar at an early age with Merrill’s type of traveling.

Step one, when you’re fourteen you get a moped. Legit, it has peddles on it. You have to push it, and it goes 20 miles an hour. When you’re sixteen you get a scooter, and At eighteen you get a car. -Sbisa

A young Luca learned how to get himself around his Swiss town, which began with skateboarding.

You go into skateboards, then mopeds. The guys would put the skateboard on the back and sit on it. Once you got into the scooter phase, you ditch the skateboard. You try to be the cool guy. -Luca

This team never stops stunning us.

Malcolm Subban Headed To IR; Maxime Lagace To Be Recalled

Max’s back. (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

For the second time this year, the Golden Knights will be without their backup goalie, luckily this time the starter isn’t hurt as well.

Malcolm Subban sustained an upper-body injury during morning skate prior to the Golden Knights game in San Jose. Subban was dressed and was seen sitting under the bench during the game, but was apparently not available to enter that game.

All Star coach Gerard Gallant confirmed the team will recall Maxime Lagace. Lagace started 13 games during the Golden Knights goalie fiasco at the beginning of the year in which they lost three goalies in the team’s first 10 games. Vegas went 6-6-1 in those 13 games while Lagace allowed 3.79 goals per game and posted .872 save percentage. Lagace returned to the AHL with the Chicago Wolves where he has played in 14 games posting a .910 save percentage.

Oscar Dansk, who was sent back to the Wolves on January 24th has yet to start a game.

Both Dansk and Lagace are waiver-exempt this season, so the Golden Knights can freely rotate between the two assuming Dansk is healthy enough to play.

#4, #20, And #23 For The Golden Knights In Button’s Top 25 Prospects

A few hours ago TSN released its annual list of the top 5o prospects in the NHL. It should come as no surprise that the Golden Knights are well represented on that list after having three picks in the top 15 in last year’s Entry Draft.

Picked 6th, now ranked 4th. He’s Cody Glass. (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Coming in ranked the highest for the Golden Knights is Cody Glass, the 6th overall pick in the draft. He’s now ranked #4 by TSN. Glass has been absolutely tearing up the WHL with the Portland Winterhawks tallying 69 points in just 45 games.

Next up is the diminutive Swedish defenseman, Erik Brannstrom who was ranked #20. Brannstrom wowed at Development Camp here in Vegas before going on to win the silver medal with Team Sweden at the IIHF World Juniors. He’s currently playing in the Swedish Elite League which does not have a maximum age restriction meaning he’s playing in a league much closer to the NHL than Canadian Juniors. Therefore, his numbers (0 goals, 8 assists, 35 GP) don’t look nearly as impressive. However, the “un-forecheck-able” defenseman certainly looks like he’ll be a major piece on the Golden Knights future blue line.

Last but certainly not least is the man who ranks #23 on the TSN list, Nick Suzuki. Suzuki has nearly identical numbers to Glass putting up an equal 25 goals and just two fewer assists (42) than his fellow first round pick. Suzuki tends to put up highlight goals and assists as his hands are simply on another level. Look…

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NHL Players Beginning To Recognize Seriousness Of Head Injuries

The worst part of the season. (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

As the Golden Knights prepare for tonight’s game against the Penguins, I wanted to bring attention to an excellent article written by Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Mackey spoke with former Penguin and current New Jersey Devil Ben Lovejoy about his decision to donate his brain to Boston University’s Concussion Legacy Foundation.

This brain donation is my way of giving back to the sport of hockey. To help research, to help awareness, to push for a cure for CTE and concussions and make this game a smarter, better place. -Ben Lovejoy

It’s a step in the right decision for an athlete to recognize the threat of brain injuries. Hockey is a contact sport with brutal hits and dangerous collisions. Vegas watched first-hand after Marc-Andre Fleury missed two months of action with post-concussion symptoms. Lovejoy witnessed former Pittsburgh teammates Sidney Crosby, Kris Letang, and Fleury all suffer major concussions.

A ton of people have made impressions on me, but yes, those guys were definitely a part of it. -Lovejoy

Each player spent significant time off the ice with concussion symptoms. CTE is typically not a topic players like to talk about, but Lovejoy refuses to ignore it.

Upon the 33-year-old defenseman’s death, Lovejoy’s brain will go to the Concussion Legacy Foundation’s brain bank at Boston University. Lovejoy became interested in the idea over the summer, when he read an article about NFL players donating their brains for concussion research and wondered why no hockey players were doing it. -Jason Mackey

The NHL is lucky to have a leader like Lovejoy in their league. Unlike the NFL and other leagues, he doesn’t ignore the truth of the potential dangers playing contact sports. The 2016 Stanley Cup champion made his decision public in early December, doing his part to help the safety of future players.

This game has been awesome to me, it’s given me everything. It’s gotten me into schools that I probably shouldn’t have qualified for. It’s given me an amazing living for 11 years now. It’s changed my life. I’m so lucky that I’ve been a part of it. -Lovejoy

Donating to the brain bank, Lovejoy is hoping researchers will find a cure for head-contact related injuries. Tip of the cap to the 33-year-old defenseman. Hopefully, CTE will be cured well before his donation.

Why Is This Happening To Jason Garrison?

Note: This man has made over $30 million in his NHL career. Highly doubt a few extra flights are going to bother him that much. (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

After being called up, then sent down, then called up again, then sent down again, Jason Garrison has once again been called up to the NHL and will likely be in the lineup tonight in Calgary.

To the novice, it seems like George McPhee just can’t seem to figure out what he wants to do with Garisson, but in reality, he’s actually doing the smartest thing possible to make sure he has a sixth defenseman on the NHL roster for as long as possible while Merrill, Sbisa, and McNabb are all hurt; while also not taking the risk of losing Garrison on waivers.

Let me explain.

In the NHL, if you want to send a player to the AHL he must clear waivers unless he’s waiver exempt, which 33-year-old Garrison is not. When the Golden Knights originally sent Garrison down to Chicago on October 28th, he had to pass through waivers. In short, that means any team could have taken Garrison and his contract without giving Vegas anything in return (see Malcolm Subban & Ryan Carpenter). Presumably, he was not claimed in October because of his $4.6 million cap hit.

Thus, by clearing waivers, Garrison remained property of the Golden Knights, and was eligible to play in the AHL for the Chicago Wolves.

Then, on January 16th, Garrison was recalled to the NHL. The rule on when he has to pass through waivers again is as follows…

The Player has not played in ten (10) or more NHL Games cumulative since Regular Waivers on him were last cleared, and more than thirty (30) days cumulative on an NHL roster have not passed since Regular Waivers on him were last cleared. -NHL Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA)

So what does that mean? It means the Golden Knights can freely send Garrison to and from Vegas to Chicago without him having to clear waivers until he plays 10 NHL games or more than 30 days have passed while he is on the NHL roster.

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Never-Ending Deadline Speculation Continues

Remember, Shippy’s agent had some things to say too… (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Like restless fans, ESPN Insider Rob Vollman is getting prepared for the trade deadline. He ranked NHL general managers most likely to make a late-season deal. To no surprise, Golden Knights GM George McPhee made Vollman’s list.

The numbers show McPhee is rather active when it comes to trades, averaging 2.8 per season and 1.6 per year actually on deadline day.

Vegas is in the unexpected position of being buyers at the trade deadline, but don’t expect any big moves at the deadline because McPhee was not known for blockbuster trades in his time as Washington’s GM. Other than accidentally giving up a future star in Forsberg, McPhee never surrendered more than a second-round pick or a secondary prospect to get what he wanted (since 2005).- Rob Vollman, Insider


Vollman notes McPhee isn’t known for blockbusters around the trade deadline, but this is uncharted waters for an expansion team. Somehow McPhee will try to balance this season’s success and the future of the franchise. No doubt the Vegas brass will be making some difficult decisions before February 26th.

Adding fuel to the fire were comments by James Neal’s agent to Ed Graney of the Las Vegas Review Journal.

(The whole story from the RJ, which is a gem, can be found here.)

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Coaches Vote: Gallant Unanimous Coach Of The Year; VGK Picked To Win Cup By One Coach

The Bobfather of TSN conducted a poll of all 31 coaches in the NHL asking questions such as player of the year, coach of the year, conference champions and more.

Pst, they already sent me the Jack Adams Trophy. Don’t tell Bettman. (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The poll was dominated for the most part by the Tampa Bay Lightning, but there was only one category in which it was a complete sweep. All 30 other coaches voted for Gallant as Coach of the Year to this point. He was not allowed to vote for himself, which we know he wouldn’t have anyway. TSN’s report did not indicate who he voted for.

The Golden Knights received seven votes as Western Conference champions and were one of just six teams (TB, NSH, BOS, PIT, WPG) to receive a vote as Stanley Cup champions.

The full article and complete results can be found here.


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