The worst team in the NHL came to T-Mobile Arena to take on a team that recently re-found themselves as one of the best in the NHL. The game played out exactly like expected. Vegas scored twice in the first five minutes. They added one more in the 1st and another in the 2nd. However, Marc-Andre Fleury was removed from the game at the end of the 1st period, he did not return to the bench the remainder of the game.
Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. Vancouver Canucks at T-Mobile Arena.
What happened to Fleury? We’ll have a full update on the site tonight.
Three Stars *** Tomas Tatar ** Cody Eakin * Jonathan Marchessault
This game is over, it's a 4-1 win for the Golden Knights, but the game has really just begun on what actually happened to Fleury. Hopefully he's ok, we should know more soon.
Golden Knights jump out to a quick start but a terrible giveaway in the 2nd made it a game. Tied 2-2 after two periods the Golden Knights played a great 3rd and end up winning the game 5-2 with a few late goals. Big win to get two points in two games on the road.
Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena.
Golden Knights offense = net presence
Three Stars *** David Perron ** Erik Haula * Jonathan Marchessault
What team isn’t dreading expansion, right? Adding another team to the growing list of expansion concerned teams is the Vancouver Canucks. The Nucks are a team with seemingly no direction. Their once highly-skilled roster is aging and their youth hasn’t developed enough to compete yet, which is why the Canucks ownership and front office are fearing June 17th.
I was talking to Murray Craven, just from the Vegas group and theres so many variables in there. I think there’s two real spots where teams will look to fix that problem and that will be deadline and that will be leading into expansion draft. And then you get into said value of player based on what teams can acquire and protect can really change the way things look, we’re going to do what we can to avoid that situation. -Trevor Linden, Vancouver Canucks President of Hockey Ops
Linden joined TSN Vancouver to discuss the upcoming trade deadline and the looming expansion draft. He was asked how will it feel losing a player for nothing to Vegas.
We’ve certainly modeled a lot of different scenarios out. We’re going to do what we can to avoid that situation. Obviously, losing a young player, or any player, would be tough to stomach, so we’re still a ways from getting to where we want to be there. -Linden
Linden would rather make his roster more expansion-friendly but he’s not rushing to make a trade at the deadline. Although, losing a player like Luca Sbisa or Jannik Hansen would be a devastating blow. Linden will try and minimize the damage but won’t force a trade.
UPDATE 2 (4:41 PM 1/24/17) : After further review, the team is now confirming the dates reported are indeed accurate. They reiterated there is chance the could change, but they are the correct working dates at this moment.
UPDATE (3:28 PM 1/24/17) : Eric Tosi, Golden Knights VP of communications and content, would only confirm the fact that the current plan is to play seven games, three of which at T-Mobile Arena. The dates and opponents mentioned in this article were described as “TBD” and “still a work in progress.”
We knew there would be seven preseason games for the Vegas Golden Knights in preparation of their inaugural season Three at home, three for sure on the road, and one either neutral or away. The picture is starting to clear up thanks to some top notch reporting by Steve Carp.
Golden Knights 2017-18 preseason schedule virtually set. 7 games, 3 at @TMobileArena (LAK, COL, SJS). At SJ, at COL and at ANA. VAN pending
The future of the Vancouver Canucks is not looking so bright. With a 36-year-old starting goalie, a pair of 36-year-old twins, and three other key contributors over 30, that 4-5-1 start is a bit ominous.
The middle is no place to be. -Ray Ferraro, TSN Analyst
The former Hartford Whaler was adamant that the Vancouver Canucks should give in and start completely over. Ferraro doesn’t believe a team scoring under two goals a game can, or will, turn it around. So he suggested the Canucks move on from two underperforming defenseman Alex Biega, and Philip Larsen. However, it is believed that Vancouver management will hold on to Biega specifically for expansion considerations.
Because he’s [Biega] under contract for next year, and because you can get him up to the games played threshold, they prefer to expose him.” – Matt Sekeres, TSN
It makes sense and would be a smart move by the Canucks knowing they’ll have to be ultra careful on whom to expose. The franchise is obviously heading for a rebuild and cannot give anything of value to Las Vegas. Not that the Knights are expecting to strike it rich from Vancouver’s unprotected list.
So how about that Pacific Division? Talk about coming down to the wire. Tomorrow the Kings will host the Ducks for the division. Both tied at 99 points, the NHL couldn’t have scripted it any better. Both teams are desperate to win the Pacific, because each would rather play Nashville over San Jose. Playing a divisional foe in the first round is always a challenge. Remember two years ago, the Kings on the brink of elimination, won four straight against the Sharks. Then beat the Ducks in seven on their way to their second Cup. It doesn’t matter what division, playing a rival isn’t ideal. The Ducks, Kings and Sharks are all capable of succeeding in the playoffs. All three organizations know that their first round matchup might be the toughest.
Obviously, we know how good the top Pacific teams are but what about the lower tier. How good can the Flames, Canucks, Oilers and Coyotes be? Sure we see young skilled talent in Calgary, Edmonton and Arizona but will they compete? That’s a question The Creator should ask as well. Can the bottom four rosters ever win in a top heavy division? I don’t think so. John Gaudreau is an amazing talent, but who protects him? And I’m not talking about Marty McSorley, goon protection crap. I’m talking about giving Johnny space on the ice to use his speed, and skill. There’s a rumor Milan Lucic may be interested in Calgary. He’d be the perfect line mate for Gaudreau. Lucic can score, and he scare the bleep out of opposing players. The power forward would automatically make Calgary more physical. Something they’re not known for. Same goes for Edmonton. Connor McDavid may take over the league, but he’s gonna need help. Issues The Creator might have when he drafts a top three pick. You need to protect your assets Bill.
When Las Vegas drops the puck in 2017 (assuming an announcement comes “some time in June”), the rest of the Pacific Division will be licking their chops. Established teams will be looking to pad points against the new team. That’s a normal process that any expansion team goes through. Call it growing pains. How can Creator and Co. prevent this? Well, let’s be honest it’s gonna be tough. Top NHL teams have a hard time figuring out Jonathan Quick, a roster of unprotected players probably won’t do any better. It’ll also be tough keeping Scorey Perry, and Jumbo Joe off the score board.
Maybe there is a way Las Vegas could be competitive. The Creator’s staff should design a roster strictly built for the Pacific Division. That means defense, size and physicality. Chances are the starting goaltender won’t be a top ten goaltender, so he’ll need help. Building a blue line with experience and size can help Las Vegas stay competitive. Top Centers Ryan Getzlaf, and Anze Kopitar take over games offensively, a strong backend can keep the score close. I know he’s not popular, but a guy like Dennis Wideman could be unprotected and fit well in Las Vegas. A Defenseman that could be unprotected and would be a dream come true for Las Vegas is the Duck’s Simon Despres. The 6’4, 24 year-old blueliner might be a victim of Anaheims crowded backend. The Ducks will be upset letting Despres go and could be part of the Las Vegas’ first pairing. Who knows maybe Shea Weber could be available. Size and defense.
I could do this all day, Dustin Brown, Jakob Silfverberg, maybe even Rick Nash could be left unprotected. All three forwards would fit perfectly. Silfverberg is part of the most effective checking line in hockey. Nash could provide offense, and size. Brown, well, you know how I feel about him. It’s not about the score sheet for Dusty. At average NHL size, the Kings Captain plays with more physicality than anyone in the league. He leads the box score in hits annually, and is a two-time Cup winning Captain. He’s a pretty good leader. The Creator, fans, and the league want Las Vegas to compete right away. Building around the division is one way to achieve that goal.
The first step to our mock draft is to establish the list of players that will be available for the Las Vegas franchise to draft. To do this, we decided to have a blogger from each team represent their own franchise and select the players that will be protected from the Mock Expansion Draft available player pool. To see the rules which were followed to protect players, hit this link.
The first priority for the Vancouver Canucks in the expansion draft will be protecting their up-and-coming young players.
Jacob Markstrom’s expected to be the goalie of the future in Vancouver—by 2017-18, Ryan Miller will be 37 years old.
On defense, top pair Alex Edler and Chris Tanev will be retained, as will Luca Sbisa and rookie Ben Hutton. Dan Hamhuis is headed towards free agency, but has been a long-time anchor of the team. It’s more likely that Yannick Weber and Matt Bartkowski would be made available.
Up front, Brandon Sutter and Bo Horvat are the building blocks down the middle, supported by impressive prospects Jake Virtanen and Jared McCann. Sven Baertschi is a talented scorer, but has yet to produce since joining the Canucks, so he’s a young player that could find himself on the hot seat.
With their elite skill level, the Sedin twins and Radim Vrbata would be retained, as would younger two-way forces Derek Dorsett and Jannik Hansen. By 2017-18, Alex Burrows will be 36, Chris Higgins will be 34, Brandon Prust will be 33 and Adam Cracknell will be 32—leaving them all at the tail ends of their careers and thus, exposed for the expansion draft.
The entire list of unprotected players that will be available for Team Lane and Team Pothier to select from can be found here.