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Category: Personnel (Page 2 of 13)

It’s Maxime Lagace’s Net To Lose Now

Oh come on, not again!

For the third time in nine and a half games, the Golden Knights watched their goaltender succumb to injury. For the second time, that goalie was taken out of the game and a replacement came in.

Yup, we’ve got a Max Lagace picture in the archives. (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

First, it was Malcolm Subban taking over for Marc-Andre Fleury. He was great. Then, it was Oscar Dansk taking over for Subban. He was great. Now, it’s Maxime Lagace taking over for Dansk. He was… we’ll hold that til tonight at least.

The Golden Knights entered the season with six goalies under NHL contract. They traded Calvin Pickard on the morning of the regular season opener and were then left with five. At the time, that seemed like plenty. Two in the NHL, two in the AHL, and one stashed away in juniors. It wasn’t.

It wasn’t.

Fleury’s concussion isn’t seeming to be going away anytime soon, Subban’s out at least another two weeks or so, and Dasnk is on IR out for at least the rest of the road trip, So in the net goes Lagace and up from juniors comes Ferguson. (Yes, they can do that.)

The question now is, can you actually ride out the rest of the road trip, and possibly a bit longer with Lagace in the net and 19-year-old Dylan Ferguson as his back up.

It’s crazy, obviously you never expect that but you’ve got to be ready. Didn’t go the way I wanted it to go, but it’s a new day tomorrow. I was a little nervous very excited, I think it showed a little bit, I was a bit nervous in net. But now I know the feeling and I’ll take the experience into tomorrow night for the game. -Maxime Lagace

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Pierre LeBrun Digs To Uncover Vadim Shipachyov’s Trade Value

Anybody want this guy? Anybody at all? No? Okay. (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Trusted NHL insider Pierre Lebrun was on TSN Montreal yesterday, discussing league interest in Vadim Shipachyov. Fans in Montreal were hoping to hear LeBrun say the Canadiens were wildly interested, especially considering, the Habs are $9M under the salary cap, and their offense is near the bottom of the league. Pierre was having none of that.

I don’t believe the Canadiens have any interest. (Shipachyov) clearly struggled in his three games with Vegas. But I would draw this line as to why I think the Canadiens are taking a pass. Who’s the head coach in Vegas? Gerard Gallant, whose passage in Montreal was really well received. He was really well liked. -Pierre LeBrun

The Vegas head coach is well regarded in Montreal, after his two-year stint as an assistant coach. Apparently, Gallant’s actions may have influenced GM Marc Bergevin. Who, we should note, was reportedly at the T-Mobile arena last week when Shipachyov hit the ice.

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George McPhee On Vadim Shipachyov: “We’re Trying To Be Patient”

The Vadim Shipachyov saga rolled on today and while we now have the ability to still offer some clarity, it’s still a confusing one, to say the least.

This rink is so small, should I shoot or pass? (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Tuesday, Shipachyov was reassigned to the Chicago Wolves of the AHL to make room for the return of Jonathan Marchessault. Wednesday night a group of national media tweets made waves as Shipachyov’s agent had reportedly been “granted permission to seek a trade.” Then came today, when Gerard Gallant ducked three Shipachyov questions in his daily press conference heeding to a normal answer of “you’re going to have to ask George.” McPhee was not made available to local media but did appear on the Toronto’s TSN 1050 OverDrive.

It hasn’t worked out yet, it may, it’s just taken him a little bit longer to assimilate, to adjust to the North American way of playing. It’s a smaller rink, it’s a faster game, and his pace of play hasn’t picked up yet. We’re trying to be patient.

Unfortunately, we have a lot of players here, and we have certain people that have really blossomed and are playing extremely well right now, and they deserve to be in the lineup.

And so we said to people all along it doesn’t matter your draft position, or how much money you make, or where you came from, the guys who that are working their guts out and playing well are going to play. It’s done on merit and nothing else.

We are in a bit of a jam here in terms of the number of people we have. So (I) decided I could assign him without putting him on waivers. We’ve done that to give us some breathing room for a little bit here.

He hasn’t reported yet but he may. His agent asked if I mind if he talk to some other teams, I said I don’t mind, so that’s where we are. -George McPhee

Starting at the beginning, this is a drastic change from what McPhee said during his last press conference with local media on October 9th, following a pair of road games in which Shipachyov did not play. At that point, he called it a numbers decision.

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Abnormal Team With Abnormal Goalie Situation

Remember when goalie depth was widely considered to be the best asset the Golden Knights got from the Expansion Draft? When Marc-Andre Fleury was the starter and Calvin Pickard was set to back up him. That’s changed a bit, huh?

But before we get into what’s going to happen moving forward, and a bit of what’s happened already, let’s dispell a rumor that has already popped up to this point.

This team isn’t normal. That’s kind of why theyir 6-1. Embrace it. (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The Golden Knights are not likely to make a trade to acquire a “starting” goalie. For proof of this, think back to the timeline of the backup goalie thus far. Three days before the season began George McPhee claimed Malcolm Subban. The next day he waived Calvin Pickard in somewhat a surprising move, but just another in a long line of focusing on the future rather than the present for the Vegas front office.

That move left the Golden Knights one moment away from having to put in a 23-year-old goalie, who was waived by the Bruins, into the net for good, and they were comfortable with that because this season’s not about winning. Four games later, that moment came, as Fleury took a knee to the face and suffered his third (maybe fourth) career concussion.

They didn’t run out and make a trade. Not because they believed so much in Subban, because they still, despite the record, aren’t focused on winning this season. They simply put Subban in the net, and called up another backup (Maxime Lagace at the time). Now, Subban is hurt, and Oscar Dansk appears to be the temporary starter, and just like before, they probably aren’t going to panic and make a move.

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It’s Perron’s Turn Tonight (And Brad Hunt’s Too)

There’s been a running theme with the Golden Knights that was almost so obviously to be expected that we almost ignored it. But after William Carrier‘s effort against the Sabres, it’s become a true storyline every night.

Not sure why, cause I’ve been there many times, but David Perron loves St. Louis. (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

In Dallas, former Star Cody Eakin took the ice for 31 shifts, playing 22:57 minutes of TOI. The center led Vegas in both categories on opening night. Eakin also added two blocks, and assisted on James Neal‘s game-winning goal.

Against Boston, Vegas defenseman Colin Miller and goaltender Malcolm Subban both took pride beating their former teammates. Miller was +1 and added 3 shots on net. Even more vindicated was Subban, stopping 21 of 22 shots. Earning the goaltender his first career win.

Last game vs. Buffalo, “fourth” line forward William Carrier noticeably played his best game of the season.

You guys proved it to me, no doubt Carrier played better against Buffalo. –Gerard Gallant

In six games, four times Vegas players have faced their old team. The Golden Knights are 3-1 in those games. And honestly, I doubt Tomas Nosek was anymore motivated than he normally was when Detroit came to town, as he only played 17 games over two years with the Wings.

Tonight, it’s Golden Knights’ forward David Perron’s turn. P-Money (he called himself that, don’t blame it on us) played his first six NHL seasons in St. Louis and one encore season in 2016-17. Perron is always consistent on the ice, but playing his old teammates could motivate him more.

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Calvin Pickard Comes Out Of Hiding

We couldn’t believe it either Calvin. (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

While Vegas fans were getting to know the presumed back-up, and possible future goaltender, George McPhee’s continued quest for assets abruptly sent him packing. Former Golden Knight Calvin Pickard spoke with TSN’s Kristen Shilton about the trade and his affection for Las Vegas.

It was definitely a shock for me, didn’t see that one coming. I thought I was going to be there. It’s a big business and you can never control those things. I understand that and I’m definitely over it. I’m really excited to be a part of [this] and it’s nice to feel wanted here. -Calvin Pickard, Toronto Marlies goaltender

Shilton brought up the all touchy subjects. His expectations with the Golden Knights, renting a house, and the fan-selected goalie mask. Which, he still wears.

I’m still wearing the mask. I have no plans for it… it’s a pretty cool mask, so I might keep it. -Pickard

It’s not surprising to hear Pickard say he was caught off guard, we all were too. That being said, we all were a bit naive to assume he was the goalie of the future here, because as we’ve been preaching, everyone’s an asset.

It was certainly a wake-up call to the 25-year-old though. It’s a lesson for fans as well, be careful when you spend $275 for a custom jersey.

It was a tough 24 hours just kind of waiting around and playing the guessing game. I didn’t know if I was going to get picked up or not, I didn’t think so because it was right around the time when rosters were being set. [The trade] happened pretty much right away when I cleared. -Pickard

We’ll never find out why Pickard was moved. Maybe, the organization valued Malcolm Subban that much. Or team was simply seeking a mid-level prospect like Tobias Lindberg. Either way, both sides have moved on. Well, sorta.

I keep tabs on [the Golden Knights] because I know a lot of the guys there, but it’s not my worry… I’m not there anymore and my focus is here for sure. -Pickard

$1,500? (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

It’s alright Calvin, Vegas fans won’t forget you. You were an OG Golden Knight. You traveled to Montana, and you let fans design your badass goalie mask. So we’ll keep tabs on you as well.

Any way you would consider selling that mask to Subban?

Too Much Of A Good Thing?

Like a lot of things with the Golden Knights, too many guys playing well was not a concern we expected to be an issue. However, five games in, that’s the exact spot Geroge McPhee, Gerard Gallant, and the Golden Knights have found themselves in.

Hey everyone, look how great we’re all playing! (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

After leaving Vadim Shipachyov, Alex Tuch, and Shea Theodore off the opening day roster due to “numbers decisions,” Vegas started the season 3-0 using the same 20 players in all three games.

Then the injuries and a loss came. Erik Haula and Jonathan Marchessault were put on IR which freed up spots for Shipachyov and Tuch, and Gallant decided to mix up his healthy scratches following the loss as he inserted Brad Hunt and Jon Merrill for Jason Garrison and Brayden McNabb.

All four “new” players had a major impact on the game Sunday night, and it’s left Vegas with an abundance of players and not enough roster spots to keep them all.

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Colin Out To Prove Boston Exposed The Wrong Miller

We like this Miller better anyways. (Photo Credit: 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: 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

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