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Category: Team Ops (Page 1 of 53)

4 Goals, 8 Points, 3 Games: The Reilly Smith To Vegas Story

The Vegas Golden Knights have 43 players under team control as we head toward training camp. Of the 43, there’s just one player with a contract extended beyond the team’s third year in existence, and that player is Reilly Smith.

The 26-year-old winger was acquired via trade during the Expansion Draft from the Florida Panthers. But it wasn’t an expansion trade like the ones including Shea Theodore, Alex Tuch, or Nikita Gusev, instead, the Golden Knights and Panthers made a straight player-for-pick deal that involved absolutely no Expansion Draft considerations.

Vegas Golden Knights receive:
Reilly Smith

Florida Panthers receive:
2018 4th Round Pick

Smith’s contract is a bit of an albatross when you consider his production a year ago. 37 points (15 goals, 22 assists) is hardly enough to warrant a five-year deal worth $25M with a modified no trade clause. But, the season prior, he scored 25 goals, tallied another 25 assists, posted a +19 rating, and a CF% of 52.5%.

Many figured the reason for selecting the best player off the Panthers expansion list, Jonathan Marchessault, and trading for Smith was a directive from head coach Gerard Gallant. But, in the case of Smith, there’s a distinct connection to George McPhee that may have played an even bigger part than the simple “he played well for our coach” idea.

During the 2015-16 NHL playoffs, Reilly Smith was a member of the Florida Panthers, playing on the second line with Jussi Jokinen and Nick Bjugstad. Their opponent in the first round, the New York Islanders.

The series was won by the Isles in 6, but during Games 1, 2, and 3, Smith scored four goals, had four assists, and a +7 rating. In a pretty good offensive career to this point, the first three games of the 2015-16 postseason are undoubtedly the shining moment in Smith’s six-year career.

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David Perron Hoping Vegas Is A Permanent Stop

David Perron was drafted by the St. Louis Blues with the 26th overall pick in 2007. He stayed with the Blues for the first six and half seasons. Then the madness happened.

From 2013-2016 Perron played for the Oilers, Penguins, and Ducks, before finding his way back to the Blues. Then… the Expansion Draft, and once again, for the 5th time in less than four years, Perron was on the move again, this time to Vegas.

I did quite well, but, at the same time, everyone wants stability at some point. I think that’s a reason which explains why my season went well last year. I knew everybody and the city. –David Perron to (translated from French)

Perron’s career highs in goals, assists, and points all came in seasons with the Blues, when he felt comfortable with his surroundings. He’s hoping he gets to stay in Vegas for a while.

There is one interesting thing in the fact that Las Vegas chose me along with several other players so I’ll try to build something there with the coaches and leaders. I’m hoping that the season goes well and that it becomes long-term. -Perron

It’s hard to tell in the translated version, but there certainly feels like a bit of concern from Perron over the chemistry of the team and how quickly they’ll be able to gel as a team. Nonetheless, they have a plan.

Usually, you come to a team and friendships are already formed. It will be different and I can’t wait to see how it goes. The coaches have talked to us and begun to organize parties and activities to bring the group. -Perron

He mentions one specific party in which Marc-Andre Fleury, Shea Theodore, and Clayton Stoner are invited. He’s also spent time in the offseason with Jonathan Marchessault.

The 29-year-old Perron is in the final year of a contract set to pay him $3.75M. He’ll be a free agent next Summer, but it certainly seems from his disdain for moving around that he’d prefer to be in Vegas for a while moving forward. Hopefully his play warrants it.

Advanced Stats For VGK Dummies: Goals Saved Above Average

After four advanced stats articles breaking down the prowess of skaters, it’s time to head to the crease and help you further examine goaltenders. The next stat up in our series of Advanced Stats for VGK Dummies is GSAA or Goals Saved Above Average.

For those who are baseball fans, this is essentially WAR (wins above replacement) for goalies. For those who aren’t baseball fans, smart thinking, baseball is boring.

Usually, we first try to explain what the stat is before we get into the formula of how it’s calculated, but this one is a bit convoluted when explained that way that we’ll start by simply saying, GSAA measures individual goalies against the league average goalie. That’s all you need to know, now follow through how it’s calculated.

First, we need to calculate the league average goalie. To do so, we take every save made by every goalie in the NHL and divide it by every single shot on goal over the course of a season.

To simply the numbers let’s use a hypothetical using just one game. Say the first game of the season there are 50 total shots on net, 25 by each team. A total of five goals are scored, so 45 shots are saved. Thus, the league average is 45/50=0.900.

Now, we take an individual goalies stats. Let’s say he gave up one goal on 25 shots, meaning he saved 24.

GSAA = [Shots against x (1 – league-average save percentage)] – goals allowed

So, our goalie faced 25 shots, he allowed 1 goal, and the league average is 0.900.

[25 x (1-0.900)] – 1
[25 x 0.1] – 1
GSAA = 1.5

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One Trademark Approved, One Suspended: Golden Knights Will Not Be Forced To Change Name

On December 7th, 2016 the Vegas Golden Knights received notice that their trademark application had been denied by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) due to the likelihood of confusion with the College of St. Rose Golden Knights. On June 6th, 2017, the Vegas Golden Knights responded in a 1,347-page document citing hundreds of examples explaining why they believe there is not a likelihood of confusion.

Unfortunately, for the Vegas Golden Knights, that response was still not fully compelling enough for the USPTO, but it was good enough to end the “will they change the name” drama. The Vegas Golden Knights filed two trademarks, one for “entertainment services, namely, professional ice hockey exhibitions” and another for “clothing.” The first was approved, the second was not.

This means the team name is exclusively trademarked when used for hockey games, and more importantly, confirms the team will not have to change their name. The clothing trademark, on the other hand, was suspended meaning the Golden Knights still do not own the exclusive rights to print the name on gear.

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The Mantra Puts Major Pressure On McPhee And Gallant

Playoffs in three, Cup in six, the mantra. As a fan, you’ve got to love the optimism, no matter how unlikely you feel it may be, but have you ever wondered how George McPhee and Gerard Gallant feel about the mantra? Let’s be honest, it has to make them uneasy.

Does The Creator’s wish list mean there’s an apocalypse clock on McPhee and Gallant and does “no excuses, that’s the standard,” mean the coach/GM duo have a hard deadline? Whether true or not, there’s no question every time the mantra is said publicly by the guy signing the checks, pressure has to be mounting for McPhee and Gallant.

So, just how ambitious or impatient is The Creator with his future plan? After researching expansion history, “playoffs in three and Cup in six” doesn’t seem that far off for a new owner’s expectations. We can’t find any other owners publicly stating a mantra like this (let alone hundreds of times), but it appears to be a standard set decades ago. In fact, three and six would actually have been considered overly patient for many new owners.

San Jose Sharks
First coach: George Kingston
Two seasons: 1991-93 (fired offseason)
Win% .129 (28-129-7)

First GM: Jack Ferreira
One season: 1990-92; 17 wins (39 points)

Ottawa Senators
First Coach: Rick Bowness
Four seasons: 1992-95 (fired mid-season)
Win% .204 (39-178-18)

First GM: Mel Bridgman
One season: 1991-93; 10 wins (24 points)

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Playoffs In 3, Cup In 6; A Mantra Better Off Believed Than Doubted

It’s a saying that shouldn’t be new to Golden Knights fans, players, and especially George McPhee, “Playoffs in three, Cup in six.” A mantra that dates back on record as far as February 2016, and one that in the mind of the man behind it probably dates back to the moment he first thought about buying an NHL team.

Four months before Gary Bettman stood behind a podium at the Wynn and awarded Vegas an NHL franchise, The Creator had his a timeline made up in his mind. “Playoffs in three, Cup in six”

I don’t think it’s quick at all. Playoffs in three, Cup in six. Period, no excuses, that’s the standard. I consider that being very patient. -The Creator

Let me have him repeat what he said to News3’s Amber Dixon (see tweet below for video) again.

Period. No excuses, that’s the standard. -The Creator

Which begs two very simple questions. What if they aren’t in the playoffs by 2020 and what if the Stanley Cup is not being paraded down Las Vegas Boulevard in June of 2023?

Only time will tell, and it’s certainly not crazy to hear the mantra and instantly disbelieve it. But this isn’t a claim coming from some fan, a player, or worse off some no-good blogger. It’s coming from a guy who simply doesn’t let things fail, and someone whose portfolio of successes isn’t exactly confined to one area of expertise like most believe.

The more I talk to people, the more I realize they aren’t actually aware of who this guy is, what he’s done, and why when he says he’s going to do something, you are better off believing it than doubting it.

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Marc-Andre Fleury Unveils Golden Knights Goalie Mask

The face of the franchise unveiled the face he’ll be wearing when he takes his place between the pipes for the Vegas Golden Knights.

First look at Fleury's new @vegasgoldenknights mask! 👀

A post shared by CCM Goalie (@ccmgoalie) on

**There are three images in that Instagram post. Click the arrows to see the other two**

Marc-Andre Fleury took to social media today to show off the mask he will be wearing for the Golden Knights.

Looking at it head-on, the Vegas Golden Knights primary “V” logo is featured starting above and going through the facemask. It gets lost a bit in the straight-on picture but looking from the side it’s a bit more evident.

The left-hand side is a collage of many different elements from the Vegas Strip including the Welcome to Las Vegas sign, the high roller, Luxor, New York New York’s Statue of Liberty, and the Stratosphere. There are also multiple references to “Golden Knights.” The full logo is shown on a shield near the bottom corner of the mask, and there’s another knight helmet with the “Y” shaped “barbute.” (Read this, that last sentence will make more sense) It kind of looks like King Leonidas’ helmet from 300.

The other side has a knight riding a giant horse. The knight is wearing yet another style helmet not resembling the Golden Knights at all, but he is holding a shield with the Vegas “Sword Star.” The horse is wearing a gold suit of armor as well. Finally, on the chin of the mask, there appears to be a flowery like design which is very similar to the pattern in the gold portion of the Golden Knights jerseys.

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City National Arena/Practice Facility Update – August 2nd, 2017

City National Arena, the home of the Golden Knights practice rink and organizational offices is set to open later this month. Today, media were invited inside to take a look as the NHL rink begins the process of being flooded.

Defensive draw view of the new VGK practice facility.

A post shared by (@sinbinvegas) on

The local boy Deryk Engelland is in the house… or practice facility.

A post shared by (@sinbinvegas) on

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McPhee’s First Round Draft Success Rate

When we examined George McPhee’s draft history months ago, we found he favored first-round centers over any other position. In 17 prior entry drafts, McPhee drafted eight top-round centers. His first draft with the Golden Knights was no different, he drafted two first round centers. While we wait for Cody Glass and Nick Suzuki to develop let’s look into McPhee’s first-round center success rate.

In Washington, McPhee made 20 first-round picks in 17 drafts. Add his latest first-round picks, and McPhee has now personally drafted 23 first round prospects in 18 drafts. (No first round picks in 1998, 2001, 2011)

Center – 10
Right Wing – 3
Left Wing – 2
Defenseman – 7
Goaltender – 1

McPhee’s first entry draft as Golden Knights GM shouldn’t have surprised anyone. Drafting Glass and Suzuki were conventional selections for the Vegas GM. Drafting Erik Brannstrom in the first-round was also right on par for McPhee. In Washington, three of his six defensive prospects Nick Boynton, Karl Alzner and John Carlson, became solid NHL players. Vegas fans should feel optimistic McPhee’s success rate got better, as he became more experienced. As a reminder, here’s GM McPhee’s full first round draft history.

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Golden Knights News; National TV Games, Single Game Tickets, And Parking

The Golden Knights were sending out press releases left and right today. The first one came early this morning on NBCSN’s national television schedule. Then another came out about parking, and a final one slightly after 1:00 PM about single game tickets. Rather than try and make them all into a coherent story (sounds like a lot of work), read these bullet points.

National TV Games

  • A total of five Golden Knights games will be televised nationally on NBCSN.
  • The home opener on October 10th vs. Arizona is the first.
  • Thursday, December 28 at Los Angeles, Friday, February 2 at Minnesota, Tuesday, February 27 vs. Los Angeles, and Thursday, March 22 at San Jose
  • These games will not be available on AT&T Sports Network, the Golden Knights primary home for TV broadcasts.  The other 77 games will be.


  • Day of game parking will be available at MGM Grand and Excalibur for $20.
  • Season ticket holders can purchase parking through their ticket representative starting today for $8 per game at Excalibur and MGM Grand and $10 per game at Aria and New York New York.
  • Season ticket holder prices will increase by $2 per game on August 21st.
  • Individual games will be $13 at select garages and will go on sale later in August. will be the site to get those passes.
  • M Life members with Pearl status or above will still be able to park for free at MGM garages, subject to availability. A much higher volume of cars is expected for Golden Knights games, so the recommendation is to arrive early. (Monte Carlo, New York New York, and possibly Aria will not be open to M Life customers on game nights.)

Single Game Tickets

  • Regular season single game seats go on sale to the general public on August 14th at 2PM PT.
  • Nevada residents (and residents in the Golden Knights TV region of Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana) will be able to purchase tickets two hours early on August 14th.
  • Eight ticket max for general sale, four ticket max for resident presale.
  • Tickets start at $65 per game.
  • Preseason tickets go on sale August 11th at 8 AM PT.
  • A special offer is available for the October 27th, Nevada Day, game at 3:00 PM PT. Select tickets will available for $70.20 (or $70.2). Get it, 702. Ok, good.

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