SinBin.vegas

Praise Be To Foley, Vegas Golden Knights Hockey Website

Category: Team Ops Page 2 of 75

Why Did Toronto Trade Garret Sparks to Vegas?

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

While there’s no question who’s the number one goaltender in Las Vegas, talking heads in Eastern Canada are busy speculating if goalie Garret Sparks can someday be the numero uno on an NHL team.

“It’s very possible. Based on what I saw last year, I don’t think he has that potential. This is a guy who’s had great success in the minor league. He came into a very pressured situation in Toronto… he was thrown into a role, maybe a role he wasn’t ready for.”-Carlo Colaiacovo, Former NHL’er and analyst on TSN 690 Montreal

Sparks was acquired earlier this month via trade with the Toronto Maple Leafs, in exchange for a fourth round pick and David Clarkson’s dead money.

On surface it looked like a minor move to create some financial wiggle room for each team. What was lost in the deal was the expectations Vegas may or may not have for Sparks. We know George McPhee doesn’t like leaving a swap meet without a bargain, maybe the backup from Toronto was more than an impulse buy.

“With Dubas being a Sparks guy, because he had him in the minors. He groomed him. You never thought it would be a possibility but clearly he was a guy that they were willing to part with.”-Colaiacovo

For the past two seasons, when healthy Malcolm Subban has been Marc-Andre Fleury’s backup. Subban is 25-years-old and has never started more than 20 games in a season. Sparks is a little older and has less experience but let’s face it, he was brought in to compete for Fleury’s relief role. Like he did last year in Toronto. After a hot start to the season the former Maple Leaf created buzz around the fan base.

Here’s an excerpt from an article written last week by SportsNet’s Mike Johnston:

Sparks made 20 appearances this past season. During his first 10 outings the Elmhurst, Ill., native went an impressive 6-2-1 despite posting a less-than-stellar .905 save percentage.

In early January, though, he took a puck off his head at practice that resulted in a concussion and his season went downhill from there.

“I felt I was finally starting to build some momentum and get my chance,” Sparks said. “I just felt like I got cut down, and it’s hard to regrow after you get your progress chopped off like that.”

His final 10 appearances were rough as he went 2-7-0 with a .899 save percentage and eventually wore out his welcome.-Sportsnet.com

Read More

McPhee Bobbles Another Russian, This Time In A Much Different Way

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

In exchange for selecting Jason Garrison, and his exorbitant contract, in the Expansion Draft, the Golden Knights received a 2nd round pick (which they traded for Keegan Kolesar), a 4th round pick (which they selected Paul Cotter) and Nikita Gusev.

Three assets in exchange for not only taking a bad contract off the hands of a contending team, but also laying off players like Yanni Gourde, J.T. Brown, Andrej Sustr, Slater Koekkoek, and others.

It was a cross between the expansion situations with Columbus and the New York Islanders and that of Minnesota and Florida, but it most resembled the pickle Anaheim found itself in.

With the Ducks, Vegas received Shea Theodore for laying off Sami Vatanen and Josh Manson and picking up the bad contract of Clayton Stoner. Anaheim’s available options were better, but Garrison’s contract was much worse.

So, from Tampa Vegas got a pair of picks and an asset who was sitting over in Russia waiting for the time to come to make the leap to the NHL. No matter when that happened, he would become a Golden Knights.

If you go through every trade Vegas executed at the Expansion Draft, it’s reasonable to believe that Gusev’s value at the Expansion Draft was somewhere between a 1st round pick and a 3rd round pick. The exact value depends on how badly Tampa needed to get rid of Garrison’s contract as well as how much they valued their exposed players.

Since that day, George McPhee and the Golden Knights tried to diminish Gusev’s market price, while the Russian has done nothing but raise it. Finally it came to a head yesterday when the Devils sent a measly package of a 2nd and a 3rd round pick to end the Gusev in Vegas saga.

When Vegas acquired Gusev, he had just finished a breakout season putting up 71 points in the 2016-17 season. It was the first time he scored more than 40 points in the KHL. On the international stage he had dominated the World Junior tournament years prior and put up impressive numbers at the World Cup but his track record as short.

Since, he’s won back-to-back KHL MVP’s, broke the record for assists in a season, won a Gold medal, dominated at the IIHF World Championships and cemented himself as the best player outside of the NHL. (Read more about that here.)

In other words, he went from a player who appeared to be headed in the right direction to one who burst into a full fledged superstar everywhere but the NHL. Whatever his stock was in June of 2017, it has surely risen dramatically since.

Then there are the Golden Knights who did the opposite. At every pass, they diminished his value.

Read More

2018-19 Penalty Summary; Who Caused The Golden Knights To Go Shorthanded Most?

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Special teams are a massive part of the game of hockey. No one should know that more than the Golden Knights after the way their second season came to a close. The best way to succeed at special teams in the NHL is to simply not take penalties. The fewer power play opportunities you have to face, the fewer power-play goals you should allow.

Last year, the Golden Knights were shorthanded 230 times. They conceded 44 goals in those 230 power-play chances against. The players most at fault were Brayden McNabb (26), Jonathan Marchessault (19), Colin Miller (19), Jon Merrill (17), and Max Pacioretty (15).

The opposing team scored five times with McNabb in the box and four with Miller or Stastny in the bin. The worst percentage of goals scored against compared to penalties taken was Pierre-Edouard Bellemare who watched the opposition score twice in the just three times he sat in the penalty box.

Vegas was assessed five penalties against the team and not an individual. Three for too many men, one for a faceoff violation, and one for a failed offside challenge. The Golden Knights allowed one goal on those five penalties.

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The worst offender on the Golden Knights was Oscar Lindberg who committed a penalty every 38.4 minutes on the ice. William Carrier (1 penalty per 44.8 minutes) and Erik Haula (1 penalty per 49.8 minutes) were close behind him.

The most impressive players were Nate Schmidt, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, and Alex Tuch. Each player took four or fewer penalties while all playing at least 1,000 minutes.

Here’s the complete breakdown both in chart form and by each individual player. Remember, these only include penalties in which directly led to a power play for the opposing team. Thus, fighting and offsetting minors are not counted. All but one are minor penalties (the one is the Ryan Reaves interference major against Tom Wilson).

**This table is sortable. Just tap/click each column in the header.**

 Total% of Team's Penalties1 per X MinutesPK%
McNabb2611.3%60.780.8%
Engelland83.5%183.950.0%
Miller198.3%67.278.9%
Merrill177.4%53.672.7%
Smith73.0%193.171.4%
Eakin73.0%171.4100%
Holden73.0%159.485.7%
Lindberg114.8%38.472.7%
Stastny146.1%64.671.4%
Theodore93.9%176.488.9%
Carrier125.2%44.8100%
Fleury20.9%1817.5100%
Subban20.9%613.5100%
Hyka10.4%200.0100%
Carpenter31.3%286.066.7%
Bellemare31.3%315.033.3%
Haula52.2%49.860.0%
Pacioretty156.5%74.886.6%
Karlsson83.5%193.1100%
Pirri31.3%149.3100%
Reaves93.9%93.377.8%
Hunt10.4%197.00.0%
Marchessault198.3%78.384.2%
Schmidt41.7%334.875.0%
Tuch41.7%309.575.0%
Nosek93.9%94.277.8%
Team52.2%80.0%
PenaltyCountWorst Offender
Tripping45McNabb, Marchessault (5)
Hooking40McNabb, Pacioretty (5)
Slashing27Stastny (8)
Interference25McNabb (5)
Holding24McNabb (5)
High Sticking24Miller, Merrill, Lindberg (3)
Cross-Checking11Merrill (3)
Delay of Game6Merrill (2)
Boarding5Carrier (4)
Elbowing4Pacioretty (2)
Roughing4Carrier (3)
Too Many Men3Team (3)
Holding the Stick3Miller, Merrill, Marchessault (1)
Head Contact2Marchessault, Tuch (1)
Extra Penalty2Pacioretty, Marchessault (1)
Kneeing1McNabb (1)
Goalie Interference1Merrill (1)
Unsportsmanlike Conduct1Subban (1)
Faceoff Violation1Team (1)
Delay (Challenge)1Team (1)

Read More

Will Deryk Engelland’s Role Be Reduced in 2019-2020?

Now that the wait is over and fan favorite Deryk Engelland signed his new contract to stay in Las Vegas, it’s time to discuss his future impact. First off, let’s note that Engelland will receive less money in 2019-2020 but will have a chance to make up for it.

At 37-years-old you’d assume his overall presence would begin to drop off. After all, his time on ice dwindled from 20:17 ATOI in 2017-18, to 19:53 ATOI in 2018-19. I’m being sarcastic, that’s not much of a difference. Same can be said for his penalty kill minutes, it’s virtually equal to VGK’s first season and I could argue he was as good if not better in 2018-19.

Just take a look at Engelland’s 2019 Postseason penalty killing performance.

Game 1: 4:26 PK Minutes (Game Leader), 1 Goal/5 San Jose Power Plays

Game 2: 9:19 PK Minutes (Game Leader), 1 Goal/8 San Jose Power Plays

Game 3: 4:16 PK Minutes (Team Leader), 1 Goal/3 Power Plays

Game 4: 4:31 PK Minutes, 0 Goals/4 San Jose Power Plays

Game 5: 3:15 PK Minutes (Game Leader), 1 Goal/3 San Jose Power Plays

Game 6: 2:45 PK Minutes, 0 Goals/2 San Jose Power Plays

Game 7: 7:56 PK Minutes (Game Leader), *4 Goals/9 San Jose Power Plays

Total: 36:28 PK Minutes, 5 Goals/34 Power Plays, 0.13 San Jose PPG when Engelland was on the ice.

*You all know why there’s an asterisk

So just on defensive special teams alone, Engelland’s return is a positive one. However, the issue could be on even-strength. How will the Golden Knights coaching staff deploy the elder statesmen this season? Is it possible Jon Merrill, Nick Holden(if still on the roster), or Rookie d-men see more time on 5v5 than in 2018-19. That direction would balance Engelland’s minutes under 18-19 minutes a game. Which could be more beneficial for the team.

A big part of my game is killing penalties-Deryk Engelland

Another element to Engelland’s 2019-2020 usage will be who he is paired up with. Over the past two seasons, it’s been a consistent dose of Engelland and Shea Theodore. I’d assume with the uncertainty of the younger defenseman, that pairing would remain the same to start training camp and the season. That doesn’t mean it will stay that way, and frankly I don’t think it will. With the possibility of a rookie in the lineup nightly, Vegas may want to break in the young blueliner with an experienced, reliable defenseman like Engelland. It worked for Theodore.

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

In a perfect world, Engelland would see less even-strength minutes and continue to be a rock on the penalty kill. Keep in mind the Golden Knights paid him less money to stay which could be a sign the organization sees Engelland playing a lesser role this season. Or it’s just another shrewd business move by the front office.

Either way, subtracting 5v5 minutes means fresher legs on the PK. It’s an easy, obvious approach to distribute minutes and get the most out of the 37-year-old in 2019-2020. It’s almost too obvious if a half-wit like me can figure it out. Clearly he’s valued and trusted on the ice by the coaching staff which would lead you to believe they expect the same #5 out there. And how can you fault them after two successful seasons with Vegas?

Three Years Later, Still Hard To Find Expansion Draft Mishaps

In 2000, both the Wild and Blue Jackets passed over Martin St. Louis. He went on to score 391 goals and put up over 1,000 points before being elected into the Hall of Fame. In 1993, Dominik Hasek was there for the Ducks and Panthers. He went on to win six Vezina trophies, two Hart trophies, two Stanley Cups, and become one of the best goalies ever before he was elected into the Hall.

In every Expansion Draft through the history of sports, there’s at least one. One big name that slipped through the cracks and would have changed everything for the new team that didn’t take him.

It’s been just over three years since the Golden Knights announced their expansion roster dealing with the best rules any expansion team had ever seen. They amassed tons of extra picks, selected multiple diamonds in the rough like William Karlsson and Nate Schmidt, and they even got themselves a superstar in Marc-Andre Fleury.

There were misses though. Ranked in order, here are the most influential misses from the 2017 Expansion Draft. (I ranked them in order from most to least influential.)

Colorado Avalanche
VGK Pick: Calvin Pickard (traded for Tobias Lindberg and 2018 6th Round pick which became Peter Diliberatore)
Exposed: Carl Soderberg

Since not being selected in the Expansion Draft, Soberberg has amassed 86 points in 159 games. Only four Golden Knights have reached at least 86 points in the two-year history of the team (Marchessault, Karlsson, Tuch). Soderberg also received Selke votes in 2018-19. The $4,750,000 cap hit would have been a bit tricky on the Golden Knights, but a player like Soderberg certainly seems exponentially more valuable than what Vegas got out of Pickard.

Read More

Jeopardy James Would Love To Work With Golden Knights

James Holzhauer is a genius. He won 32 games of Jeopardy amassing $2,462,216 worth of prize money. He completely changed the way the game is played with a new strategy of selecting clues as well as betting big on Daily Doubles.

Jeopardy James is also big Golden Knights fan. After moving from Naperville, Illinois, Holzhauer came to Vegas to become a professional sports gambler. Now, he believes he could be of assistance to the Golden Knights front office.

They have access to so much more data than I do. Honestly, my hockey betting models aren’t super sophisticated, but I really think if they brought me on board I could do something for them, I just don’t know what yet. -James Holzhauer

Many baseball executives have said they believe Holzhauer could succeed in the world of baseball analytics, but we’re thinking hockey might be a better option.

The world of hockey analytics is still fairly new and there’s about to be an explosion of data coming to the teams as the NHL introduced puck/player tracking. Holzhauer would be the perfect person to add to the Golden Knights organization to sort through the data and find usable pieces to help make the team better.

I asked Holzhauer how he would solve the Golden Knights cap situation. He passed on the question saying he doesn’t have enough info to know how to help.

I really like the roster they have but hockey is such a random sport you never know what’s going to happen. -Holzhauer

Maybe I’m crazy, or maybe I’m a genius, but if you ask me, the real genius should be around the Golden Knights when the new data is released. If anyone can figure out what to do with it, it’s him, and it might be the next secret weapon for a team that seems to turn everything they touch to gold.

Most Offer Sheets Get Matched, Now What?

GM George McPhee isn’t much of an offer sheet guy.

I’ve never signed an offer sheet.-George McPhee

And never has been.

In McPhee’s more than 20 years as a GM he’s neither handed out nor had to match an offer sheet.

The Golden Knights front office lead spoke earlier in the month about the ineffectiveness of adding players through the offer sheet process. The compensation (both to the player and to his former team) is entirely too much for a team to take the risk. In McPhee’s mind, it’s a meaningless ploy that hasn’t made much of an impact in free agency.

I don’t know what will transpire going forward, but historically they’re matched. Teams find a way to match, and will find other ways to address things in the organization if you’re in a pinch. -McPhee

After a failed offer sheet by the Montreal Canadiens this offseason some are calling to rip up offer sheets altogether.

I don’t think we’re going to get any more offer sheets. The Montreal example is an important one to remember. The Montreal offer sheet wasn’t even a realistic offer sheet… it didn’t go the full amount it could’ve gone. It was an easy one for the Carolina Hurricanes to match. –Michael Traikos on TSN Ottawa 1200

If the offer sheet process ends in a team matching the offer 99% of the time then it’s really time to amend or cut the procedure. Only thirteen offer sheets have been accepted in NHL history and the last time a team didn’t match was twelve years ago. Edmonton unwisely gave Anaheim a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd round draft picks for Dustin Penner.

More offer sheets would add a little spice to the NHL. Having players switching teams this early would be interesting but we’re not going to see it if you have to give up so many picks. -Traikos on TSN Ottawa 1200

In fact, not only do offer sheets rarely get accepted but they are rarely offered. Prior to Montreal’s to Sebastian Aho, the last time a player was given an offer sheet was in 2013. And, of course, it was matched.

Read More

Comparing Recent Contracts To Nikita Gusev’s Asking Price

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Nikita Gusev’s contract resolution is the great mystery of the 2019 offseason. Reportedly, both sides would like a two-year deal with Gusev looking for $4 million per year and the Golden Knights wanting $2 million.

He’s arguably the best hockey player in the world to have never stepped foot on NHL ice. He might be Vadim Shipachyov. He might be Nikita Kucherov. He’s probably somewhere in between.

His situation is unique though as he’s a restricted free agent without arbitration rights. However, his ability (willingness) to return to the KHL leaves the Golden Knights in danger of walking away with nothing if a deal is not reached.

The eventual outcome of the negotiation will likely determine where Gusev ends up playing next season. If it’s closer to $2 million, he’s probably a Golden Knight, but if it’s pushing $4 million, he might end up being sent away via trade.

Since June 1st, 18 players have signed NHL contracts between $2-4 million AAV. They range from ages 22 to 35 including RFAs, RFAs with arbitration rights, and UFAs.

 AAVGPTOIPS
Alex Chiasson$2.15 M223816:584.0
Mattias Janmark$2.3 M62515:131.3
Artturi Lehkonen$2.4 M113115:332.3
Alex Iafallo$2.425 M153316:502.3
Joel Armia$2.6 M132315:482.0
Colin Wilson$2.6 M122713:342.2
Carl Hagelin$2.75 M51914:441.2
Richard Panik$2.75 M143316:373.2
Danton Heinen$2.8 M113413:583.3
Valtteri Filppula$3.0 M173114:163.9
Kasperi Kapanen$3.2 M204416:354.4
Ryan Dzingel$3.375 M265616:495.7
Andreas Johnsson$3.4 M204313:404.9
Micheal Ferland$3.5 M174014:064.7
Alexander Kerfoot$3.5 M154214:533.4
Brett Connolly$3.5 M224613:205.2
Brandon Tanev$3.5 M142914:072.7
Joonas Donskoi$3.9 M143713:253.4

Read More

National Analysts Give Mixed Reviews on the Golden Knights Offseason

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

ESPN, Sportsnet, and NBC Sports graded all 31 NHL team’s offseason thus far, and unsurprisingly, many weren’t impressed with what George McPhee and Kelly McCrimmon have been up to.

On NBCSports.com, the Golden Knights were ranked #22 on their power rankings, and two names were the reason for the low mark.

Vegas Golden Knights. They are going to miss Colin Miller, and might really miss out on Nikita Gusev if they move him before they even realize what they had. –Adam Gretz, NBCSports

Greg Wyshynski of ESPN took a much more global approach while looking at Vegas’ offseason. It really doesn’t matter who’ve they’ve lost, or added, if the Golden Knights’ stars play at an elite level, they’ll be a Cup contending team.

Vegas Golden Knights: If Max Pacioretty, Paul Stastny and Mark Stone play like they did in the playoffs, the Golden Knights will have a new top line. It makes sense, as the trio of Jonathan Marchessault, William Karlsson and Reilly Smith has been successful because the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. … Where does Alex Tuch fit in? He was fourth on the team in scoring last season (and could have been first with a full 82 games), but comes into this season penciled in outside the top-six. –Greg Wyshynski, ESPN

SportsNet’s Luke Fox was extremely high on VGK’s offseason so far, especially how they were able to negotiate multiple team-friendly deals.

George McPhee continues to impress. Securing a 26-year-old William Karlsson — a top-two centre whose defensive attributes don’t get enough credit — through his prime at under $6 million per season should look like a steal a couple of years from now. The trading of Colin Miller was a necessary cap casualty, and getting two years of 28-year-old playmaker Brandon Pirri (12 goals in 31 games last season) for a hair over the league minimum was my favourite bargain buy on Canada Day. –Luke Fox, SportsNet

For the most part, analysts have been kind to the Golden Knights and their offseason decisions. The main reason for that is the core of the team is intact and under contract. Colin Miller has been brought up by several outlets as a big-time loss, I think most of us would disagree.

However, as far as we’re concerned here at SinBin.vegas, the Golden Knights offseason gets a grade of incomplete. Their offseason will be judged on one move and one move alone.

The Future Of The Goalie Position For The Golden Knights And Malcolm Subban

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The Golden Knights have re-signed Malcolm Subban to a one-year $850,000 contract lining him up to once again fill the role as the back-up behind Marc-Andre Fleury.

Since claiming him on waivers a few days before the first game in franchise history, the Golden Knights have never wavered on their belief in Subban. He was immediately installed as the back-up and has kept the position through rough patches, injuries, and inactivity. The main reason for this is because of Dave Prior. Anyone who has ever spoken to Prior knows that he has confidence in Subban’s ability, and if he has it his way, Subban will be the next full-time goalie when Fleury’s time is up.

On the flip side, there are Golden Knights fans, who for the most part want to bury their head into a pillow every time they see Subban’s name on the lineup sheet. Most fans point to his disastrous 2018-19 season in which Subban as their reason for concern (or hatred). He went 8-10-2 with a .902 save percentage, allowed three or more goals in 14 of his 20 starts, and lost each of his first five starts and five of his last six starts in 18-19. Along the way, Subban has been injured on four different occasions including during the 2018 Stanley Cup Final.

Then, there’s me, who falls somewhere in between but not really in line with either side.

First off, Subban is not bad… as a back-up.

Before we go into the future, let’s take care of the present. With the Golden Knights salary cap situation, it doesn’t get much better than Subban. There are 70 goalies with a contract equal to or greater than Subban’s new $850,000 deal. So monetarily, it’s perfect, if not cheap.

But beyond the money, Subban is exactly what you want as a back-up when you have a starter like Fleury. In a perfect world, the starts are split about 55/27 and Fleury takes the goal throughout a long playoff run. In that perfect world, all the back-up has to do is tread water. Subban has proven he’s more than capable of doing just that. In his Golden Knights career, he’s 21-14-4, has posted a .906 SV%, and allowed 2.81 goals per game. He’ll steal you a few, he’ll lose you a few, and he’ll hold down the fort in the rest. In short, he’s not going to be the downfall of a team.

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

It’s the imperfect world that makes Subban an even better option though. Physically, he’s gifted enough to take the reigns and become a legitimate starter, he’s just never had the chance to do it. In the event Fleury is unable to play for a playoff run (or he just gets old and stinks), the Golden Knights need someone with upside. Filling in a player like Ryan Miller, Calvin Pickard, or Antti Niemi simply won’t work. This isn’t to say Subban will be Fleury, but the capability is there, even if the probability is rather slim. Backup goalie is an insurance policy, and with Subban the Golden Knights get a player that’s affordable, won’t hurt them, and could help them in the event of a disaster. It’s a win, win, win.

Read More

Page 2 of 75

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén

SinBin.vegas

SinBin.vegas