SinBin.vegas

Praise Be To Foley, Vegas Golden Knights Hockey Website

Tag: Nikita Gusev Page 1 of 2

Differences Between Ice Surface Size

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The NHL rink is 200 feet long by 85 feet wide. An international rink is nearly identical at 197 feet long but it’s significantly wider at 98.4 feet. Those 13 feet make a major difference in how the game is played and it makes transitioning from one ice size to the other a challenge.

Over the summer I had a chance to speak to two different wingers who were used to one size and then had to suddenly swap to the other. The first was Lucas Elvenes, a Golden Knights draft pick who has played in Sweden throughout his entire career before finishing up this season with the Chicago Wolves. The second was Mark Stone, who went with Team Canada to play in the IIHF World Championship in Slovakia.

Both agreed that the difference is significant and it absolutely takes some time to get used to.

It took some time to get used to for sure. I think the first game was difficult especially for us playing a good team. Being good hockey players the 20 of us figured it out pretty quick. -Mark Stone

Oh yeah, it’s a huge difference. Every time you come into the offensive zone you are close to the goal. Back home you have to work more to get a shot. -Lucas Elvenes

Where both noticed it the most was when their team had the man-advantage. Both Elvenes and Stone, while at massively different levels, play the same position on the power play. Each are set up to the goalie’s left on the half wall playing as both a shooting option as well as a pivot to move the puck out to the point or through the seem.

Power play is a lot different. You feel like you have all this time and space. If you are at the top of the circle, taking a shot from there it’s not going in. It’s just such a far shot and a bad angle. From the circles to the boards it just adds in a lot more room. -Stone

The D-Zone is always close to you, so you can’t make mistakes. The gap is tough for me because the forwards are always close to me. Plus the guys are big and like to hit.

Nikita Gusev plays the same role, but on the other side. But that’s New Jersey’s problem now.

The question is how will other Europeans in the Vegas pipeline translate on the smaller ice? Both Stone and Elvenes agreed that eventually the size difference fades and it just becomes hockey.

It’s going to matter, it just matters how much.

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

Nikita Gusev Traded To The New Jersey Devils For Future Draft Picks

Vegas Golden Knights General Manager George McPhee announced today, July 29, that the Golden Knights have acquired a third round pick in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft and a second round pick in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft from the New Jersey Devils in exchange for forward Nikita Gusev.

We did our best to accommodate Nikita and his salary request but were unable to do so. He is a good person, a good player and we wish him well in New Jersey -George McPhee

When you have a roster comprised of players who are deserving of a certain salary range you are not always able to make room for everyone. This is the reality of having a good team in the salary cap world. After this trade, we now own nine picks in the first three rounds of the next two drafts. These picks will help boost our organizational depth and add to our pool of prospects. Although we were not able to make this work I am really happy with where we are at with our roster. -McPhee

Gusev was signed by the Golden Knights to a one-year, entry level contract on April 14, 2019. The team acquired Gusev’s rights during the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft from the Tampa Bay Lightning. He was drafted by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the seventh round (202nd overall) in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.

Russian Agent Threatening Nikita Gusev’s Return To KHL

According to Yuriy Nikolayev, the agent that represents Nikita Gusev in Russia, a deadline has been set. If the Golden Knights do not sign or trade Gusev by this date, the Russian forward will return to the KHL.

Vegas hasn’t traded forward Nikita Gusev to another club yet, although I know there have been offers. I am constantly in touch with a company representing Nikita’s interests in North America. Vegas knows Nikita’s preferences and wishes. Now the ball is on their side. The rights to Gusev in the KHL belong to SKA St. Petersburg. There is a certain deadline, after which I will be forced to go to specific negotiations with the “army” club (SKA St. Petersburg). –Yuriy Nikolayev to Championat.com

Gusev’s North American agent is J.P. Barry of CAA. It is common for Russian players to have different agents for each league. One to represent them in the NHL and another to represent them in the KHL.

Whenever news comes out of agents it is important to consider motive. First and foremost, the agents are looking out for the best interest of their client. Gusev clearly wants to play in the NHL and it appears both Nikolayev and Barry are trying to make that a reality.

However, there’s always a purpose behind a threat. Nikolayev mentioned a specific date (would be nice if we knew that date) at which he will be “forced” to start negotiating with SKA St. Petersburg. Whether that date is something set by the KHL or if it’s been arbitrarily set by Gusev’s camp it certainly feels like another negotiation ploy to put even more pressure on the Golden Knights.

Then there’s money. If Gusev signs in the NHL, does Nikolayev get any compensation? Does he benefit more financially if Gusev signs again in the KHL?  These are questions I do not currently have answers to but certainly could impact the decision for Nikolayev to put out this threat.

Yet again, the Nikita Gusev saga continues to get more and more complicated and there seems to be no end in sight.

Well, other than this deadline.

VGK Were In On Micheal Ferland In Free Agency

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

On Wednesday the Vancouver Canucks signed Micheal Ferland to a four-year deal with an AAV of $3.5 million per year. Ferland is winger who plays a 200-foot game, forechecks hard, plays in all situations, and has the ability to play up and down a lineup.

At the trade deadline, Ferland’s name was consistently tossed around in the rumors and the Golden Knights were apparently hot after him.

Fast forward to free agency, when Ferland was looking for a new contract as a UFA, and somehow, once again, the Golden Knights were in the mix.

I like Ferland, the only question you have about him is his health, his injuries, but there was a lot of interest in him. I heard Calgary was in on him, I heard Vegas was in on him, someone told me St. Louis was very interested in Ferland and Vancouver gave him the 4th year and they got him. Of all the guys who waited later, I think he was the guy who most teams were interested in. –Elliotte Friedman, 31 Thoughts Podcast

With what money?

Of course, we aren’t sure exactly what the Golden Knights offered, but it’s reasonable to think it was somewhere in the $2-$4 million ballpark. The exact range the Golden Knights are looking at with Nikita Gusev.

If they were willing to sign Ferland, they must have had a plan to make another move to offset the cost against the salary cap.

It makes sense why the Golden Knights would be interested as he’s essentially a safer Gusev. He’s done it year in and year out, plus he’s much more of a stylistic fit for Gerard Gallant than Gusev appears to be. But again, if they had an interest in him, there must be a blueprint to sign a 3rd line wing between the range of $2-$4 million.

Signing Ferland would have almost certainly meant the departure of Gusev, but missing out may signal something else. The offseason now rolls on, and the Gusev situation just keeps getting weirder and weirder without any conclusion seemingly in sight.

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

Can We Stop With The Maybe’s On Nikita Gusev?

Nikita Gusev has never played a game in the NHL. There’s no getting around that. But Nikita Gusev was not dropped onto the Golden Knights from some other unknown planet.

Gusev won the MVP award in the KHL, the world’s second-best league, each of the past two years. He led the league in points in 2018-19 by 13. He broke the record for assists in a season with 64. He’s been more than a point per game player for four years running. He’s won a Gagarin Cup and he’s scored 68 points in 66 playoff games. He even shredded as a kid, scoring 192 points in 120 games in the Russian Junior league, the MHL.

And these are just his Russian accomplishments.

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Gusev helped Russia win the gold medal in the Olympics a year ago, scoring the game-tying goal (and the one before it) in the gold medal game and assisting on the game-winner and led the tournament in points.

He scored 16 points in the IIHF World Championships this summer, second only to William Nylander, matching Nikita Kucherov and Jakob Voracek, and outdoing Mark Stone and he’s put up 1.11 points per game in all international competition.

In 2011 at the World Junior Championships, Gusev scored nine points in seven games, which was outdone by only five players (two of which are Mark Stone and Evgeny Kuznetsov).

Literally, every place this guy has played hockey, he’s scored. And he’s done it alongside or against hundreds of players that have played in the NHL, and have had massive success.

In World Juniors his numbers matched Clayton Keller (2016), Auston Matthews (2015), Matthew Tkachuk (2015), William Nylander (2014), Filip Fosberg (2013), Anthony Mantha (2013), Nikita Kucherov (2012), Mark Scheifele (2012), Johnny Gaudreau (2012), Mark Stone (2011), and Jason Zucker (2011).

All of those guys are either bonafide NHL stars or on their way to becoming one.

In international play, his numbers compare to Alexander Radulov, Nikita Kucherov, Artemi Panarin, Leon Draisaitl, Anze Kopitar, Mats Zuccarello, and William Nylander.

Read More

Exactly What George McPhee Has Said About Nikita Gusev

Over the course of the last week, the Golden Knights signed William Karlsson, traded Erik Haula and Colin Miller, and participated sparingly in the opening of free agency. Following each of those four events, George McPhee took to the podium to meet with the media.

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Nikita Gusev, the one major piece missing to the Golden Knights puzzle, was a focus throughout each of the four meetings. He remains unsigned and rumors have begun swirling about the eventual outcome of his contract negotiations.

Most of the rumors have stemmed from what McPhee had to say about Gusev during those press conferences. So, instead of trying to read between the lines of every word, I’m simply going to present every word McPhee said, in chronological order, about trades, contracts, and Gusev.

Tuesday, June 25th (Karlsson extension)

Well, we are going to have to make a few moves. We’ve planned for that and we’re going through that exercise right now and when we’re done we’ll talk about it and explain it. -McPhee

The plan was to build the team as best we could, every once in a while you get tight on the cap in this business, we’re there now. We’ll manage it and we will hopefully be in a much better place going forward with lots of cap space if we ever need it. -McPhee

Thursday, June 27th (Haula trade)

Well, I mentioned the other day that we have to make a few moves, but the moves that we’re going to make when we make them are hockey moves. It has to be a good hockey trade for us. Lots of names have been discussed, other teams have called on lots of different players. -McPhee

Did having Gusev here allow you a little more flexibility to move a winger like Haula? -Media

Um, yeah, I guess so. And again we’ll see where things go in the next few days, but we made a move yesterday and there’s probably another one coming and we’ll talk about that when it happens. -McPhee

There is a lot of activity right now. It’s a busy time of the year and there are a lot of teams talking about lots of different things. I would expect that next week we will reveal a lot of signings of free agents and other trades.

Saturday, June 29th (Miller trade)

Read More

MVP Nikita Kucherov Thinks His Friend, MVP Nikita Gusev, Will Do Well In NHL

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

As kids growing up in Russia, the pair of Nikita Gusev and Nikita Kucherov first played together at the age of 15 for a team called the White Bears. Both undersized players, coach Gennady Kurdin took them in and urged them to use their skating and passing to unlock defenses. Quickly, they became unstoppable.

They then moved on together to play for CSKA Moskow of the KHL. Kucherov eventually to the leap of faith heading across the Atlantic ocean to play in the QMJHL where he would become a 2nd round pick in the 2011 NHL Draft while Gusev stayed in Russia where he went from an undersized castoff to the best player in the KHL.

Following MVP campaigns in their respective league, this summer the pair reunited to play for Team Russia in the IIHL World Championships and lit the world on fire.

He’s a skilled player, smart player that can make plays. We played together as kids and it was nice to get back together and we had that chemistry back. He’s a fun guy to play with and a fun guy to be around. We’ve known each other for a long time and it’s easy to talk and easy to hang out with him. He’s just a great guy. -Kucherov

Kucherov and Gusev accounted for 10 goals, 32 points, and a +23 rating in six games together. They ranked #2 and #3 in scoring in the tournament and were the talk of the tournament.

This year, Gusev will try to match Kucherov’s success in the NHL playing his first year with the Golden Knights.

We’ll see what’s going to happen, but I wish him luck and I wish him the best. He’s my good friend and Vegas is going to be happy to have him. -Kucherov

Gusev said the reason he decided to leave his home country to come to North America was that he wanted to play against the best in the world. You would think in making that decision he would lean on his friend, the best player in that best league, for advice. But according to Kucherov, that wasn’t necessary.

He won the Olympic Gold Medal, I should be asking him for advice, not him asking me. -Kucherov

Hopefully, the skill levels translate for Vegas’ Nikita as well as it has for Tampa’s.

Gusev And Schuldt’s Contracts Have Officially Expired, Time For New Ones

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

With the calendar turning over from May to June it means the Golden Knights can officially begin negotiations with Nikita Gusev and Jimmy Schuldt who signed entry-level contracts late in the 2018-19 season.

This contract will expire June 1 and then we get working on the second deal. You can’t work on that deal now, it’s a circumvention of the salary cap. So to get him in here it burns the entry-level part of his contract so he can get into a different level of contract in the summer. -McPhee speaking about Gusev on 4/14/19

Gusev and Schuldt are both restricted free agents. Gusev has arbitration rights while Schuldt does not.

The first step in the process for restricted free agents is for the team to extend a qualifying offer. By doing this, they retain control on the player. The player then can either sign that offer or the two sides can negotiate a different deal.

Both Gusev and Schuldt received the largest entry-level salary possible which means they will each be extended equal qualifying offers. According to CapFriendly.com, that offer will be a two-way contract with an NHL salary of $874,125.

It’s unlikely either player signs the qualifying offer. Gusev can, and probably will, file for arbitration. Not because he and his agent expect to go to arbitration, but because it will set a deadline on their negotiation (sometime between the last two weeks of July and the first week of August).

Schuldt will likely take the Shea Theodore path of not signing the qualifying offer and negotiating a longer-term deal. However, due to a relative lack of bargaining power, Schuldt’s shouldn’t last into training camp like Theodore’s did a year ago.

Where might both of those contracts land? Well, let’s go to the history books.

Schuldt’s deal is much easier to look at because we have a few recent situations similar to his.

Read More

Page 1 of 2

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén

SinBin.vegas

SinBin.vegas