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Tag: Greg Wyshynski

Is Fighting In Hockey Almost Extinct?

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Last season, Golden Knights forward Ryan Reaves fought four times and was voted the victor in each by the fans. Three regular season scraps and one postseason go-around with Evander Kane was a light schedule for Reaves, who normally averages seven fights per year.

So, is it a sign Reaves is bored of whooping every opponent’s ass? Or is it just a continuation of the steady decline of fighting in the NHL? ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski examined it further.

“I don’t think we’re ever going to boomerang back. I think we’re going to see decline, after decline, after decline, to the point now that we have new historic lows across the board in hockey fighting.”- Greg Wyshynski, ESPN NHL Reporter

Player safety has been a big reason for the drop off but it’s also becoming difficult to carry fists in a salary cap world. Love him or hate him, Reaves is unique. He has stood the test of time and is preparing for his tenth NHL season.

He’s arguably the toughest guy in the league, but the fact he can play the game and contribute that’s what makes him valuable. That’s where the game is nowadays. There were a lot of players that were pushed out, he was not one of them. Rightfully so. He can contribute to the game and not just for what we’re known for doing. -Shawn Thornton, Former NHL Player

Thornton spoke with me in late February, after the Golden Knights hosted the Florida Panthers. Overall, the retired NHL heavyweight was glad to see the decline in fighting.

In my opinion, intimidation is a part of life. When you’re in an arena that’s two hundred by eighty-five with no out of bounds, it’s amplified. I think there will always be a space in hockey. Sometimes it’s a pressure cooker and a fight will be the thing that pops the top off… but there’s no more room in the league for a one-dimensional guy, and I’m actually very okay with that. -Thornton

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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.

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