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Praise Be To Foley, Vegas Golden Knights Hockey Website

Style Must Match Owner, But Also Have Eyes On Pacific Division

We’re only a week and half away from the big announcement. I won’t get into to potential names, but the GM should fit the owner, the coach should fit the owner, and the team should fit the owner. The Creator would be best to hire a coach and GM with the style of hockey he likes best. I’m not saying Foley will be Jerry Jones, but he’ll certainly have an influence on the franchise’s firsts.

The GM will try and match the style of hockey The Creator wants, but also compete in the Western Conference. Specifically, the Pacific Division. It’ll be a tough balance. According to Francois Gagnon, the Knights (or whatever they call em) will be playing in the Pacific division. The LA Kings have led the charge in the Pacific for the past five years. Looking ahead, it doesn’t look like that will change any time soon. Sure the Sharks are in the Finals, and the Ducks seem to win the division every year but LA still rules West Coast. Jonathan Quick is locked up until 2023, Drew Doughty through 2019, Anze Kopitar just signed an eight year deal, and Jeff Carter‘s contract is up in 2022. LA’s core is intact. (Shoutout to Mass’s Cathedral High School alum Dean Lombardi for crafting a Cup winning team) The Kings groomed a Norris trophy defenseman, a Conn Smyth wining goalie, and a Selke finalist. They may be a little deflated after this year’s postseason but LA won’t be down for long.

Using LA as an example of a team Las Vegas will have to beat, Vegas’ GM will have sleepless nights playing match ups. The Kings are one of the best teams in the NHL in puck possession. As Don Cherry famously says, the best defense is a good forecheck. It’s true, watch the Penguins. They’re banged up on the blue line, so Pittsburgh juiced up their offensive attack. Sometimes doubling their opponents number of shots taken. Trevor Daley might be missing, but by possessing the puck the Penguins have kept the stress off the young Matt Murray.

Puck possession is just one matchup the new GM will have to address. Las Vegas must build a lineup to compete with the big and talented Kings. Not too mention the Sharks, Ducks and Coyotes. In 2017 all four teams should be competitive and fighting for the division. Potentially creating a nightmare for first year Vegas.

Hey, we all knew there would be growing pains but The Creator doesn’t want 25 years of them like San Jose. Possibly the Sharks overlooked their division and built a roster to win the West not the Pacific. As competitive as the San Jose has been over the past quarter century, they never reached the goal. This year was the first time they matched up well with the Kings, and beat them at their own game. It’s been a wildly successful year for the Sharks, but it’s not over yet. Winning would erase all the bad memories of the early years. The 11 win, Cow Palace days. Days Las Vegas will hopefully never see.

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6 Comments

  1. Daoloth

    I’d like to start a petition for Vegas to get the 1st overall Pick… Look at how you taunt the Sharks about Lindros in that popcorn ad :). Instead of having Eric Lindros they got Faloon who wasn’t going to carry a franchise :). Kings in my view as a fan of them are in real trouble not having a legit right shooting D-man and cap. I don’t think expansion will hurt them since they will expose Brown, Gaborik, and McNabb… After that maybe Dwight King, Clifford, Nick Shore who I don’t think will be good fits unless they play Kings system.

    Remember colors will be Gold, Black, and Grey to match Army according to Foley’s own words. 14 Forwards, 9 Defense, 3 Goalies will be drafted 1 player lost per team… Using the 8 skaters w/ 1 goalie or 7 skaters and 3 D. Sharks are in better shape looking at the Cap than the Kings. Vegas will have a shot to make Post Season just finishing in top 3 w/ 1 less team than Central. Oilers not made Post Season since they came back down 3-1 to force game 7 in 2006 vs. Carolina in SCF. Vancouver has many questions, Sedins old, no goalie to speak of. Coyotes are playing to move to Seattle. Ducks I think will be the hated rival of Vegas from start to finish. I expect Vegas to make Post season within first 3 years if not the 1st season… I just hope they get 1st overall pick to help find a face for the franchise. Kings don’t have a scoring RW after Tyler, if cap don’t raise to 72.8M or more they are in real trouble keeping Lucic etc.

    I’d hire Lewiske or so who Kings had for first Cup in 2012 then joined Toronto as CEO. Kings will play Vegas in an Outdoor game will be my prediction for first 3 seasons :). I hope they can keep frozen fury even if the Kings play Vegas for it in Pre Season :).

    • Coyotes aren’t moving to Seattle ! They aren’t playing in Glendale after this next season, but if you knew your facts you would realize that Seattle doesn’t even have a place to play NHL hockey. That makes it pretty tough to relocate a team there. There will be a good rivalry between Las Vegas and the Coyotes. The team will be announcing before the draft what their plans are for moving out of Glendale. They WILL be playing in Arizona. Don’t get it twisted !!

      • Daoloth

        Hehe well I’ll see Fleury in Net for Vegas if things don’t change maybe… Seattle might not have an Arena now… Though by the time Coyotes lose enough money they will… Though I’d rather them get an expansion team. My main point was I don’t see the Coyotes being a real threat they got issue with Mike Smith in Net along with a GM about half my age. At least I didn’t say they would move to Quebec or that Carolina will sell to them for 400M. NHL wants to play games to stop KHL… Islanders moved to Brooklyn to block the exhibition game there. NYI were created to stop the rival league back in the day… KHL wants to expand to Quebec, if NHL keeps dangling carrot that will delay that longer…

        In a league that don’t let Winnipeg move back home or give the Franchise their records I don’t rule anything out. Kings only made Post Season once in last two seasons… Coyotes were second place at half way point before diving down badly. Kings lost 1st place last day of season after blowing a 3 goal lead to Jets with nothing to play for. I don’t really see Flames as a threat, Canucks seem in decline with Sedins on way out.

        I like the chances for Vegas to make Post Season in that 3 year window whether its the 1st year or later. Sharks will have a transition by then with Jumbo along with Marleau perhaps retiring or not producing at the level they are used to. Ducks have players that under perform where missing the Post Season wouldn’t shock me after way they started this season. I think it will be harder to make it as a wild card than top 3 in Pacific for Post Season pathway.

        Portland, KC, there lots of places that either are in rumors whether they have an arena or not. Those 14 Forwards/9 D/3 goalies are minimums so the mix could be different. Lottery makes it less important to finish well to try to get 1st overall pick… I think they have some deal where Vegas drafts in top 14 for first few years to help build up.

        These rules are the most beneficial for an expansion team to do well fast. Making the Post Season, winning a round, getting the Cup those are different factors. Vegas will win a Cup before the Sharks or Coyotes will be my bet though :). Kings need to get a right shooting D for me to see them as a real contender again. Drew can play 30 minutes, maybe the keep Schenn, though dealing Colin Miller hurt.

        My strategy would be draft speed and size… People that have both of those while getting a mixture of guys in mid 20’s with a few Vets in the 30 range like an older goalie with a younger replacement like Quick/Jones or Quick/Bernier. Sign some free agents, obtain a few prospects via trade and draft. I can see guys like Fleury, Greiss, Reimer, Halak among others being exposed or free agents. An injury to a key player like Quick or Logan can easily open the door for LV. Next year or two Kings will have to spend almost entire cap just keeping players like Tyler and Pearson. Drew’s contract will probably be 11M or 12M in cap hit. Brown will get bought out in 2 years if he isn’t traded or lost via expansion… I see a window 2-3 years from now for Vegas to have a legit shot to make it.

        • Your wishful thinking is admirable… the Coyotes (in case you didn’t check) have a ton of talent in the pipeline, and will DEFINITELY win a Cup before the Vegas vagabonds will! Look, you’ll be getting players other teams don’t want, and sure you’ll get good draft picks, but they take time to develop. Now if your goal is for the new Vegas Black Knights to make the playoffs in a 3-5 year period, that is more realistic.
          The Sharks are a much better team, and to put Vegas ahead of them is downright ridiculous.
          What you’re not including in your analysis is how tough the Pacific Division will be and that you’ll be playing the majority of your games against successful teams like the Kings, Sharks, Ducks… and soon to be Coyotes.
          The fact on the balance sheet for the Coyotes is true, they have lost lots of money, but were stuck in a venue which didn’t attract the fanbase… they money spenders in the East Valley.
          Take into consideration also that if the Coyotes swing a super deal to draft Auston Matthews, the team will draw much better, and be more successful.
          Personally, I don’t think the Yotes should give up the #7, #20 picks plus good prospect talent as Dvorak. I doubt they will be stupid enough to give up Domi, he is one special player. Besides, with Marner and Dvorak together they will rock the NHL… just watch.
          Don’t throw dirt on our new GM, John Chayka. He will have Dave Tippett helping him with player evals and movements. Sure, he’s young, but so what? He has some NHL intelligence that many his senior only wish they possessed. Watch what he does at the Draft.

  2. Jeff

    The team/gm/coach needs to not worry about making the playoffs for the first 3 years. It needs to build an identity much like the Kings did prior to dominating the past 5 seasons.

    • Daoloth

      Bill Torrey took Expansion Seals to Post Season 2/3 years they were in league… Then he is well known for Islanders winning 4 Cups going for 1 for the thumb to make it nearly 5… Prior to that Isles made the Post Season the 3rd season… Florida Panthers made the Stanley Cup Final in their 3rd season clutching and grabbing :). They beat the Flyers who had the Legion of Doom with Lindros to get there among other teams. So I’m looking at what he did in the 60’s, 70’s and 90’s… 3 Eras it was all harder to compete or win as an expansion team compared to the league today. They used to slant things very much so the fake original 6 teams kept all the talent…

      I’m the most realistic Kings fan that exists probably… Florida Panthers won Twice as many division titles as them… Even Atlanta has as many Division Titles as the Thrashers. After moving from the failed city of Quebec to Colorado the Avalanche won 8 Division Titles in a Row and 2 Cups. While I get a kick out of the Kings having teams chant Beat LA… I’m far from seeing them as a threat to win the Cup with the current roster along with Cap issues. Look they had the 3 Years 2012-14 where they only lost in 13 using a 1 armed injured RR over like Martinez or Muzzin who was benched… Either way it shows the team has a great system that isn’t fun to watch during the 1st Cup though were entertaining as Hell during the 2nd. I’m grateful for them, I was going berserk when they were down 0-3 saying they were destined to win Cup blah blah. Doing everything I could to get Pearson into the lineup over Nolan.

      Tampa is an expansion team that won a Cup along with Ducks… Both have been to the Cup twice which is pretty impressive if compare them to entire league. I don’t see it as a worry to make the Post Season… I just believe given the history I quoted along with other factors its pretty plausible. I’d like to see them Win the Cup, though I’m not expecting that. They should be able to build at least an early run with a mixture of Vets and youth… I target the age ranges since prime for a player is usually 25, 28, or 30, for a D-man its often 28-30 for them… While a forward its usually the 25 range or 28 for the later bloomers.

      I figure an owner spending a Billion bucks is going to sign free agents and spend. I don’t think Vegas will be the bottom 5-10 teams… They should be 5-10 points at worse from a Post Season spot. Which can just be losing in OT or a matter of 3 wins. Kings spend to the Cap limit if they had a limit like Coyotes it would be a different story. My guess is LV will be top 10 when it comes to payrolls. A Free Agent can probably get paid a million more by Vegas than other teams with bad contracts along with dead cap money. California is a place some players don’t feel safe or wont play like Smyth asking for trade to Oilers. I’ll guess they pay more in taxes than Vegas, Florida I don’t think they pay any tax so players go there for less.

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