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Appreciating Michael Amadio

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Earlier this year head coach Bruce Cassidy referred to Michael Amadio as “Plan E” when it came to finding a third player on the line with Mark Stone and Chandler Stephenson. In other words, he was barely even considered for the spot and it took multiple injuries and failures of other guys for him to get his chance.

For the first few months of the year, Amadio couldn’t even secure a consistent place in the lineup. He was a healthy scratch 14 times in the first 30 games of the season. In his first 20 games he played, bouncing around the lineup including games with William Karlsson and Jonathan Marchessault as well as a few with Jake Leschyshyn and Jonas Rondbjerg, Amadio scored just one goal and added two assists. He was averaging just over 10 minutes of ice time per night and carried a -4 rating.

Then, in Game 35, it happened. He was bumped up to the 1st line to play with Stone and Stephenson and from that moment, he has taken off. Amadio quickly rattled off five goals and eight points in his first six games on that line, saw his TOI increase more than six minutes a game to 16:18, and went from a shooting percentage of 4% to 26%.

It wasn’t just dumb luck or being in the right place at the right time either. Amadio fundamentally changed the way he plays the game to succeed alongside his elite linemates.

(Amadio) came up as a junior guy and minor pro and he was the guy making the plays to the guy going to the net. Now, the shoe’s on the other foot so he has to be that guy to go there and he’s bought in well. Give him credit for changing what he has to do to compliment a line. -Bruce Cassidy

There’s no better graphic indication of this change in style than looking at where Amadio’s 5-on-5 goals have come from this season. Here’s the chart from

Amadio’s 15 goals this season have come from an average of 16.4 feet away from the net. For comparison sake, Smith’s have come from 20.4 feet away, Marchessault’s 20.7, and Eichel 24.7. VGK’s best “crash the net” player William Carrier’s number is 16.5, a fraction worse than Amadio.

(My goal this year was) just to have a better year than I did last year. I thought last year I made some strides in the league so this year I just wanted to come in and play consistent and play the same way every night and I think it’s paying off. -Amadio

It hasn’t been just offense though. Amadio has quietly become one of Vegas’ best wingers along the walls as the Golden Knights try to break pucks out of the zone. These types of plays not only relieve pressure in the D-Zone, but they also often lead to transition chances, where VGK thrive most. Here are two examples, one from each of his first two shifts last night.

He has excellent hands which allows him to take care of the puck in tight spaces. Typically we only celebrate nifty puck control when it leads to goals, but plays like the two above are just as important to winning, especially in the playoffs.

Amadio’s emergence as a legitmate top-six option has given Bruce Cassidy many more options in his lineup. Recently it’s allowed Ivan Barbashev to go down to a 3rd line role playing with Stephenson and Kessel, and when Mark Stone comes back, the options will grow even more.

The Golden Knights sit one point away from winning the Pacific Division and clinching the #1 seed in the Western Conference. They would not be here without the rise of Michael Amadio.




Goalie Interference – Season 2 Episode 28 – April 12th, 2023


  1. vegas fan in

    a very nice surprise playing with 2 very good players helps

  2. Jailbird

    He has played hard and smart. Always seems to where he’s supposed to be. Congrats for him, he deserves credit for his play!

  3. vegas fan in

    waiting for the people who said the kings would be ahead of vegas to apoligize

    • Sharks Score 4 in 5

      Wait, are you talking about one guy 6 years ago? Why would anyone owe YOU an apology?

    • Sharks Score 4 in 5

      Wait, are you talking about one guy 6 years ago? Why would anyone owe YOU an apology?
      Besides, aren’t the Knights basically the Kings now? Amadio, Hutton, McNabb, Martinez, Quick and coach Stevens.

    • Sharks Score 4 in 5

      Wait, are you talking about what one guy said 6 years ago? Why would anyone owe YOU an apology?
      Besides, aren’t the Knights basically the Kings now? Amadio, Hutton, McNabb, Martinez, Quick and coach Stevens.

  4. Roberto

    Most of the focus is on deals for guys like Eichel, Pietrangelo and Stone, but the front office deserves a ton of credit for its work in the margins getting a lot of guys who have vastly exceeded expectations like Amadio.

    VGK have never been shitty enough to have a #1 pick. Or a few top picks in a row. But they’ve done a nice job hitting on top picks that enabled deals, and later round guys who’ve chipped in and helped get Ws. Some deals have certainly not gone VGK’s way, but the way the team is run make me really enjoy being a fan.

    • SMH

      That was a very well-worded post, Roberto, and I fully agree with you. The front office is not beyond criticism, but the relentless bashing of it by some on this board in recent years has been childish, with newbie fans spoiled by the Cup Finals run in year 1. The first 6 years of this franchise (5 playoffs, 1 just missing the playoffs by a whisker when half the team was injured most of the year, and 3 deep playoff runs so far) may be overall unprecedented success by an expansion team in history. And like you, I have had a total blast following and cheering on the team for 6 years and counting, and am totally stoked by the current team and their amazing success so far this year. Cheers!

    • Sorvino

      Roberto, They have the best front office in the entire league.

  5. Emmanuel

    Im glad he’s having a career season but its a CAREER season. I hope they dont go overboard and overpay him down the line. There ARE a LOT of concerns about him, his past play, the slow start, the low assist total in the top six, the low production on the bottom six. I also never hear anything conclusive about this defensive play. Hes the only player on the team I couldnt come up with an answer to the question “Whats his role”? He’s a total mystery to me…..

  6. THE hockey GOD

    Ken fails to mention that Amadio , along with Smith, work their a$$es off in nearly every practice.

    More than that Gusov guy who just skated around the face off circle.

    Where is Gusov now ? Probably on the Russian Front with Col. Klink and Sargent Shultz ??

    • THE hockey GOD

      i am remiss, JE is also one of last off the practice ice

      he is relentless during practice.

    • Sorvino

      Ben Hutton is also an unsung hero for this team. Great seventh man.

  7. Rashaad

    Here’s a different take on tomorrow nights game from the Seattle Kraken’s perspective. If they lose tomorrow, they will have a 0% chance of playing the Oilers in the first round. But if the Kraken beat the VGK, there is a good chance they will end up playing the Oilers in the first round.

    Methinks the Kraken should not be motivated to win tomorrow night.

    • I was speaking to a few of their reporters and they all agreed beyond a shadow of a doubt that they’d rather play Edmonton than Vegas. They know as well as we do that the matchup between the Golden Knights and the Kraken is not good for Seattle.

  8. Tim

    Beat Seattle tonight and let the chips fall where they may. Whoever we play in the first round could be problematic because we’ve had our issues in the playoffs before. Losing to Montreal to go to the Cup finals showed me the Knights can take a dump at anytime. That series was ours for the taken and yet we let it slip through our fingers. The Knights have had a nice year let’s hope it doesn’t end to quick.

    • Jailbird

      Yes we had that series, it was Flurey that let it slip thru his fingers, if you recall? We have done quite well in the playoffs. Year one, finals. Year two, that horrendous five min penalty. We have never lost in the first round. I can remember a number of very good teams that have, over the past five years!

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