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A Realistic Approach Is Required For VGK At Trade Deadline

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Cup or Bust.

That’s how the Golden Knights approached the offseason. That’s how the Golden Knights entered the season. And that’s how the Golden Knights looked at the opportunity to trade for Jack Eichel. But that’s not how the Golden Knights should be looking at the upcoming trade deadline.

Riding a three-game losing streak, a 4-8-1 record since Mark Stone was placed on LTIR, and a 10-12-4 run since the calendar flipped to 2022, it’s time for a true reality check on where this season is headed.

The Golden Knights started last night’s game missing eight players from their regular lineup and then saw Max Pacioretty exit in the 2nd period with what is his fourth separate injury absence this season. Vegas does not have a single player who has played in every one of the team’s first 60 games and they have only rostered the same lineup in consecutive games on six occasions this year.

Health is obviously the greatest concern for this team and no matter how optimistic a person wants to be, it seems inevitable that the 2021-22 Golden Knights are never going to be operating at full strength.

So, that brings us to the players that are on the ice. Quite frankly, they look nothing like a Stanley Cup contender. Heck, they don’t even look like a team that belongs in the playoffs. Injured or not, if you have legitimate Stanley Cup aspirations, you can’t spend two months getting waxed by legitimate playoff teams while playing 1-goal games, that you’re often on the wrong side of, against teams vying for lottery balls.

Each and every season the Golden Knights have been in existence, they’ve been buyers at the trade deadline. The past four seasons, they’ve traded away a total of eight picks in the first three rounds to acquire the likes of Tomas Tatar, Mark Stone, Alec Martinez, Robin Lehner, Nick Cousins, and Mattias Janmark. This year, they continued their buying streak giving up another 1st, a 1st round prospect in Peyton Krebs, and Alex Tuch for Jack Eichel.

So, in total, just during the season, Vegas has sent out:

3 Active Roster Players (Tuch, Subban, Lindberg)
2 1st Round Prospects (Krebs, Brannstrom)
2 1st Round Picks
5 2nd Round Picks
2 3rd Round Picks

Now as the deadline approaches, they very well may buy again. But they shouldn’t, and in fact, if anything, they should sell. A cold, hard, realistic approach is required at this trade deadline.

The chilling reality is, this team can’t win if they aren’t healthy and they probably aren’t ever going to get healthy.

Yet, as we head towards the deadline, the “bust” in Cup or Bust still may be on the minds of those making the decisions. It’s not fantasy to believe that a team headlined by Jack Eichel, Mark Stone, and Alex Pietrangelo and supported by Max Pacioretty, Shea Theodore, Robin Lehner, William Karlsson, and Jonathan Marchessault could be good enough to win the Stanley Cup. But, it probably is fantasy to believe that team will ever see the ice in the 2021-22 season.

This deadline, the Golden Knights front office has to play the probabilities, and those numbers say they have a far better chance to win next year or even the year after than they do this year. Yes, it will mean accepting the massive bust that this year will represent, but failing to recognize it will be much worse.

Whatever can be done to improve the 2022-23 Golden Knights must be done at this deadline, even if it comes as another major blow to this year’s team.

It’s a chance to reload, retool, and reshape a roster utilizing a period in the NHL calendar the Golden Knights have never been able to use to improve the future of their team.

If that means trading the expiring contracts, so be it. If it means being on the selling end of a blockbuster by moving a player who isn’t viewed as part of the future, do it. If it means making hard uncomfortable decisions that will damage this year’s team, fine.

What it doesn’t mean though is giving up on this season. That glimmer of hope might get a bit dimmer but if it’s a 1% chance or a .01% chance, there’s still a chance. The players and the fans can still take the insanely optimistic approach that everything will fall into place and this will be yet another amazing chapter in the story that is the Golden Knights.

But the front office can’t take that approach. Reality must supersede fantasy.

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85 Comments

  1. Jerry Crowell

    The team has done this to themselves, injuries or not. And they way some of our top guys get hurt all the time, may be a peak in their future also. We need to re-tool now.

  2. Herby

    VGK are 4-8-1 since Eichel‘s debut!
    Eichel can not carry a team. Never could and never will.
    That is the reason why he never makes the playoffs.

    • Galdom

      Herbie, there isn’t one single player in the history of the NHL that can carry a team. This isn’t basketball. Mario Lemieux arguably the second best player in the history of the sport didn’t make the playoffs in five of his first six seasons because one guy can’t carry a team.

      • Ulf

        While I generally agree with your comment, there are clear cases of a player carrying a team short-term (as in a game or two, even a series in the case of a goaltender).
        Patrick Roy and Dominik Hasek are two fairly “ recent”examples of goalies that took the team on their backs and got them further than they should in the playoffs.

      • VGK FAN

        Dominik Hasek absolutely carried an incredibly weak Buffalo Sabres franchise for years.

    • Ty

      He shouldn’t have to carry this roster, and I’ll give him a pass in Buffalo. I think it’s more telling how much VGK misses Stone.

  3. knights fan in minny

    landeskog out knee surgery they will be looking

    • George L.

      Cup with a TEAM or bust with a collection of individuals more beat up than Mike Tyson’s sparring partners.

      Fire McDeboer and explain how important trust is to the fans that have been constantly lied to and mislead.

      Valiant my ass.

      • Nick

        Well said. Funny how Foley in his commercial says honestly is his number one thing. Well maybe he should adhere to being honest. Finally fire McCrimmon who ruined this team and it’s chemistry.

      • BigZzZz

        Let’s trade the players that are consistently injured. Patches and Panda come to mind. They aren’t doing any good sitting on the bench.

      • THE hockey GOD

        firing people won’t bring injured players back off the IR

        • Daryl

          That is true… But firing a coach for one who knows what he is doing could bring wins. Bring in a coach the players will play for and want to win for

    • Scooter

      Enter Claude Giroux …

  4. I am ready for the yard sale. This team is too beat up, poorly coached and in cap hell. It will be more fun watching some former players compete on their new teams for a cup. Haula & Nosek with Boston, Gallant, Reaves with the Rangers.

  5. Tim

    Ken, good article basically the same thing I’ve been saying. I never thought we were a cup contender this year starting in goal then the injury bug and the writing was on the wall. The big point you missed Ken that I addressed earlier is this. With Patch, Dadonov, Martinez, and Lehner signed next year and beyond how much retooling can you do. No one wants any of those 4 players at the salary they make, or there age, or physical condition. So think about this Ken we gave up to much to sign these 4 players now if there’s any chance of trading them we’d have to give up how much to get rid of them. Now if that’s not bad deal making I don’t know what is. Now Ken let’s say somehow we dump those 4 here would be my next step in a retool.
    We’d have there 22 million cap space.
    ( Reilly Smith for a Rangers goalie we save 2 million cap space )
    ( Karlsson with term trade for first round draft pick we save 5.9 million )
    ( Theadore with term trade for 2 first round picks we save 5 million )
    ( Janmark for ? we save 2.5 million in cap space )
    ( The keepers are Petro, Stone, Eichel, McNabb, Whitecloud, Marchy, Carrier, Stephenson, Brossoit, Thompson )
    ( The marginal cheap players keep or trade as you see fit. )
    Hague, Coghalan, Kolesar, Roy, Howden, Hutton, Amadio, Lescyshyn, Patrick, Rondbjerg, Miromanov,

    Now we’ve kept what I’ve thought were the best players dumped the dogs and traded for draft picks and leverage, so we now have a little north of 40 million to spend wisely on talent in there mid 20’s enough of this over 30 bullshit.

  6. Erik d

    Do you think a team with essentially 2 gms on the hot seat for this season is going to follow through with this, after all they are the 2 making the decisions and they are the 2 that spent foleys money on a cup or bust season, therefore they are the 2 who stand a large chance of being unemployed come seasons end if we don’t make the playoffs, will they actually take that risk for this franchise?

  7. LVsc

    very telling that Ken says nothing about the shitty coaching, and how big of a factor it is.

    case in point…..Van changes coaches, gets much better, Edm changes coaches gets better, Mtl changes coaches, gets much better

    notice that those teams are in Canada, where the pressure from the media is much greater than here. here the media just ignores the big elephant in the room, DEBORE

    but don’t forget folks, DEBoring always schmoozes with the reporters when they ask a question, so they simply ignore his failed system, his failed lack of emotion to lead or inspire a team, and his failed assistant that he brought here to run the PP….enough said.

    • Injuries is a valid excuse. But, the players that are out there should show some passion. They should be the first to get to loose pucks. The passing isn’t minor league worthy. This team is going through the motions.

      DeBoer has lost the locker room. That much is obvious by the blank stares on the bench and look on the ice.

      This team would jump into high speed if they brought Manny up from Henderson for the remaining 22 games.

      • phantom major

        don’t forget, the 2019 St Louis Blues won the Stanley cup after changing the coach and the goalie in mid season, going from last place in their division to the cup

  8. FG

    This is a front office that took a team that made it to the Stanley Cup final in their inaugural year with tons of cap space, draft picks and no bad contracts, to a team now in it’s fifth season that is in a freefall out of the playoffs significantly over the cap, has multiple bad contracts, and short on draft picks and high level prospects. Not to mention the disenfranchisement of the fan base. Welcome to the downfall of the Knights.

    • phantom major

      it is also the front office that brought in De Boer, to add to the misery list.

    • Tim

      FG, Well said that is it in a nutshell it could not be expressed any clearer, Bravo.

    • Syrix

      Clearly not a long term hockey fan lol. Anyone who has watched hockey or followed any team for more than 5 years knows this is par for the course in the NHL

    • sb

      Stop spreading rumors. The fan base is not disenfranchised.

  9. Tyler Durden

    You could have Scotty Bowman coaching this team, but if the players don’t perform how is that that the head coaches fault? Sounds like the GM McCrimmon is getting the wrong type of players.

    • LVsc

      if you can’t see the 1-3-1 trap bullshit, if you can’t see the pathetic PP bullshit, if you can’t see the players tuning him out and coasting, then you are missing a lot.

      • Tyler Durden

        That’s the GM job to get character players. GM failing in that too.

        • Daryl

          It’s the coaches job to put players in a position to win… PDB is failing

          • Tyler Durden

            How do you know he isn’t? PDB isn’t on the ice skating around during the games The players are, and they aren’t getting it done.
            Hearing lots of excuses from them and no results.

          • Well, it’s either the players or the coaches – or both. If you are giving a pass to the coach then the I guess it has to be McCrimmon’s fault for putting shut shit players out on the ice (2.14 goals per game average in 2022)!

            No one gets a pass from me. They are all at fault.

            As for DeBoering and The Panda. There’s a reason why neither of these clowns have found a home during their NHL careers, and now we are seeing it first hand.

          • Daryl

            @Tyler…
            He has Kolesar on the PP…. He isn’t getting it dome

    • Daryl

      Schemes, matchups, among other intangibles are on the coach. PDB has a history of decline throughout his career. It was also PDB who brought in Spott, and kept him, even though his PP philosophy isn’t working

  10. LVsc

    games in hand for the teams competing for the Vgk playoff spot=

    Pacific—-Calgary 3……LA 1…..Edm 2….Van 1

    Central—-Nash 2…Dallas 4

    iow, the Vgk are doomed to fall right out of it at the current pace.

  11. THE hockey GOD

    article makes too many generalizations,

    doesn’t specifically address how to get this done without

    sending the team on road trip , in low rider van, to REgina.

  12. THE hockey GOD

    The Ukrainians are killing more of the orcs’ generals every day, then VGK have players coming off the IR.

    Until the team puts a completely healthy line up on the ice, I am willing to wait.

    Knee jerk reactions don’t get you anywhere. Emphasis on the word “jerk”.

    • THE hockey GOD

      Missing in all of this is FO assessment of the injured players. Are they going to be back everyone at 100% healthy, or are some players going to have to retire to the
      55 and older senior care facility ? Who is going to trade for people in the old folks facility ?

      That is
      key question that needs to be addressed. Having 9 players out of line up is a BIG
      BIG question mark.

    • Daryl

      Knee erk reaction kind of how they did with MAF and PDB????

  13. BigZzZz

    Let’s trade the players that are consistently injured. Patches and Panda come to mind. They aren’t doing any good sitting the games out.

  14. Blitz

    The front office got rid of a (winning) coach the players loved, got rid of players the players loved, then got rid of the face of franchise that everyone in the NHL loved. Brought in a coach neither fans nor players wanted. They shit where you ate. Simple as that. When’s the last time players screwed with each other during a press conference? Used to happen all the time. Everyone was having fun. Hell even Stormy was part of that. She was awesome and her leaving was a huge loss. The new chick sucks and still wears her fucking mask on TV like a woke idiot. Actually, that’s it! That fucking girl is the reason we are losing. Stormy was the heart of this team. I watched Stormy all college football season on ESPN. She’s still an excellent journalist/sideline report. No surprise. Woke mask girl ruined an entire franchise. Good job mask girl.

    • knights fan in minny

      stormy was the bomb

    • Julie

      I don’t even know Mask Girl’s name. Does she have one? Maybe it’s “I Kild Vegteam”. Oh, that was funny, thank you, Blitz.

      • Blitz

        It’s got to be something like “The Masked Knight Slayer” or something very serial killer like. I just checked out facebook, with my morning coffee, and one of the first things I see is Mask Girl interviewing Hutton in what looks like a mall in Columbus. It’s like being interviewed by Kenny from South Park. What is she even saying? Pure evil!

    • THE hockey GOD

      yes Stormy was great, farce of franchise not so great.

      • Julie

        No one is knocking on Lehner’s door.

      • Daryl

        How far did we get with the farce of the franchise? How far have we gotten since??? How much are we spending for a replacement to sit on the bench

  15. Harris Umar

    OMG MAN how much longer are y’all not gonna blame Theodore for his horrible defense I told y’all it is his fault why the team are bad and he needs to leave the team including Pacioretty and Janmark keep the guys with longer contracts and get rid of DeBoer along with McCrimmon they both lost it man they gone

  16. sb

    It’s the injuries. Those on IR and those playing injured. If this team was healthy, they’d be in 1st place in the Division. My gosh. Nine starters out and then blame the coach? There is no team in the NHL that would win consistently with nine players out. In early December, DeBoer had coached his 82nd game for Vegas. His win percentage was .730. Only Scotty Bowman has coached 82 game seasons with a higher win percentage. Why is Vegas losing? Nine players out. And Scotty isn’t coming out of retirement. Maybe those PLAYERS earning $5, $7 and $9 million might start earning their paychecks. That would help. Oh, and DeBoer is to blame for that?

    • Danny Gallivan

      funny how Fla, NJ, and San Jose ALL fired De Boer, your great hero behind the bench.

      what say you now, huh?

    • Daryl

      Keep defending a mediocre coach who hasn’t accomplished anything. His record declines every season. And to say VGK would be in first without the injuries is pure speculation and no facts to back it up

  17. sb

    Trade Karlsson to Nashville for the rights to Forsberg. Somehow move Dadonov this off season. That’s $11 million to resign Forsberg. Move Stevie to Line 2 Center.

  18. After watching the last home games acouple coments usually one or two bad shift changes a games two that i saw cost us goals and i understand another on the road the other night . The PP ,i always say we should decline any penalties as we used to have a better chance of scoring five on five or short handed and now thats gone . How a coaching team at this level can not figure out how to coach a pp is a mystery to me . Doing the same thing over and over and expecting diffrent results it defined as insanity . its debours job to figure this out and he is failing I will give them a couple more games but some key players and the coaching staff are on thin ice with this fan, I was a Flames fan for fourty years im looking back over the fence these days . Fix it and fix it fast the bloom is off the rose.

  19. Jose

    This is what an expansion team should be going through VGK have been lucky in the past. Pay your dues like every other team and when you win the cup it will be more meaningful to the fans! I didn’t say players but fans.

  20. THE hockey GOD

    Danilov, head of the National Security and Defense Council: “NATO will protect its convoys with weapons for #Ukraine. If even one bullet, one shell falls on a convoy, it will be considered a violation of the fifth article”.

    Ukrainian trying to get NATO involved. Look out.

    • We have to hope that there are sufficient controls in place that prevent Putin from using nuclear weapons. Having experience myself in the US Military, there are protocols in place that prevent any President from using them on his own. There is a higher risk of nukes being used by dictatorships. In the case of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, these weapons were used during a declared war. Also, those nukes were like firecrackers compared to the planet killers that are available today. Let’s hope sanity prevails. When will man ever stop making war for land & profit? It’s absolutely disgusting and inconceivable after the world wars and conflicts of the last century. Nope, apparently we didn’t learn (Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Bosnia). Just awful. This is why we shouldn’t have “leaders”. They are corruptible. We need people like THE hockey GOD to lead us!

      • Julie

        Luckily, we have The Atlantic pointing out how climate change will be worse if nuclear bombs are used.

        • The good thing, I guess, is that mankind will no longer be harming the climate afterwards because there won’t be any. Only roaches and crocodiles will survive the nuclear winter.

    • Daryl

      I have to say this…. The direction the US is going is a fucking joke. My son, who is 14,has had teachers, school administrators and students make comments how some of his shorts that are made by Southern pride. One of which is a dog laying down in a field. They actually tried to make him go home because of it. I went down there and went off on the principle and another faculty member then had to get escorted out by a fellow officer. This is getting out of fucking hand

      • Never heard of Southern pride clothing. But, if it promotes hate it doesn’t belong in our schools.

        • Daryl

          Sorry, the brand is straight up southern…. And it has absolutely NOTHING to do with racism.

          Just like the word “Dxie” is from the south and has nothing to do with racism. Just like the Confederate flag itself has nothing to do with racism. Problem is, thanks to the media and way too many uneducated people, they want to make anything from the south to be racist.

  21. The sad thing is that the injuries are going to be used to excuse that absolute horrific coaching clown show we’ve seen for two years. That means that this Clown Show behind the bench will be there again next season.

    The lack of scoring didn’t start with the injuries, you can trace this problem to the firing of Gallant.

    • Daryl

      We had a such a great PP with a full roster didn’t we??? Yet somehow it’s the injuries as to the reason our PP sucks

  22. Galdom

    I’m going to continue following Knights Fan In Minny’s advice by not watching the VGK. Fans will be even more depressed after they lose to Columbus who is not even going to the playoffs and dangling players out there to sell. Max Domi, Joonas Korpisalo and Dean Kukan.

  23. Galdom

    They will lose not because of Lehner but because……….

    They can’t score.

    The power play is useless

    • Please make sure you lead in on every response….”I LOVE LEHNER” we already know that. I am now of the belief that Lehner is part of the problem – in the locker room and on the ice. The heart and soul of this team was ripped out and sent packing. That is part of the problem as to why this team has no chemistry. The players who used to actually get the team motivated are gone or injured (Stone & Martinez).

  24. THE hockey GOD

    another one bites the dust, 10 regulars OUT now

    Ben Hutton is in COVID protocol.

    Daniil Miromanov was at morning skate today in Columbus, so expect him to fill Hutton’s spot.

    and breaking news, AVS call out VGK for “faking” Stone’s back injury

  25. THE hockey GOD

    AVS calling out VGK
    on “fake” injuries

    I don’t know if this is what the #Avs are doing, but I’d push back on saying Mark Stone’s back injury isn’t legit. Vegas is struggling mightily and is in danger of missing the playoffs. Why would they be keeping out their best player and team captain?
    Quote Tweet
    Alternate Captain #126
    @OriginalSixClub
    · 2h
    Replying to @Peter_Baugh
    He’ll be back just before the playoffs, but will be held out as a precaution. Legal cap circumvention and there is nothing wrong with it. He’s having surgery, the Avs are assuming a risk. Far more legit than Mark Stone’s bad back.

    • THE hockey GOD

      Peter B is talking about surgery to AVs captain-

    • Blitz

      Jokes on them then, because without Stone VGK probably won’t be in the playoffs. Hard to use the cap loophole when you don’t even make the playoffs.

  26. Galdom

    Who cares what the avalanche think? If they are afraid A first-round matchup against VGK then obviously they are mentally weak and the VGK still in their heads.

    • Daryl

      Agreed….

      Most of us have questioned the severity of the injury, especially if he is able to return for the first round but with the possibility of VGK missing the playoffs, there is no way they hold him out

      We will never know how bad his injury is, and it will be on him to live with himself knowing he isn’t an honest person by staying out, if he is not injured

  27. I keep feeling like they’re gonna come out of it but it’s been exactly the opposite. I have no evidence to support that they will recover but I keep expecting they will. Seems like everything that can go wrong has. That can’t go on forever right?
    RIGHT????

  28. Blitz

    Wow, VGK are the favorites in Columbus at -165. Now down Hutton, who has been a bright spot, if there is even one, on the defense. I do think Vegas will win 1 of the next 2 (CBJ/Jets), but which one is the question. Vegas can win this game, but not sure how the hell they are the favorites. What do the line makers know that I don’t.

  29. That pretty much says it for us fans. Been one tough season all around. Of all the players, I can really see the pain and disappointment most on Marchy’s face–i feel bad for him, he gives 100% every game, with passion and desire. The guys must feel like their team is falling apart, one hurt player after another. Fans getting impatient. Frustrated. Mgmt, ditto. Making decisions in haste, under stress. IS PATIENCE NOT IN HOCKEY VOCABULARY??

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