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Assessing VGK’s Options Without Mark Stone And Max Pacioretty

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The Golden Knights came into this season touting “the deepest forward group in team history.” Due to a rash of injuries, that depth will be put to the test quickly this year and may ultimately determine the fate of the Golden Knights’ fifth season.

With Alex Tuch sidelined until at least January and Mark Stone and Max Pacioretty seemingly joining him with serious injuries, the options are starting to look limited on Pete DeBoer’s lineup choices.

Eventually, he’ll get Nic Roy, William Carrier, and Mattias Janmark back, but even then, it’s challenging to come up with a lineup that will truly strike fear in an opponent.

Here’s the most likely solution Vegas could turn to.

Marchessault-Karlsson-Smith
Janmark-Stephenson-Dadonov
Krebs-Patrick-Kolesar
Carrier-Howden-Roy

The Misfits return to the top of the lineup and will have to carry a massive load both offensively and as the clear best defensive line of the four. The good news with this group is there isn’t a major weak spot. Sure, there would likely be games where certain lines struggle, but as long as the Misfit Line produces, they should be able to survive.

The next option is to swap a Dadonov and Kolesar in the middle-six to try and build an offensive line and a defensive line.

Marchessault-Karlsson-Smith
Krebs-Patrick-Dadonov
Janmark-Stephenson-Kolesar
Carrier-Howden-Roy

This roster is a bit more similar to the first season, but it would be asking a lot of Krebs, Patrick, and Dadonov to score on a nightly basis.

Either way, with the toughest matchups every night, the trio of Smith, Karlsson, and Marchessault may not see the same success they did in 2017-18. Balancing the lineup could be necessary, which may roll out this way.

Marchessault-Patrick-Dadonov
Janmark-Karlsson-Smith
Krebs-Stephenson-Roy
Carrier-Howden-Kolesar

This group certainly would be a bit trickier to defend against, but there are question marks up and down the lineup. Without a single line with any history together, it’s a lot to ask for all four lines to find chemistry quickly.

And of course, all of this is assuming there’s not ever another player missing out of this group of 12 fowards. If they lose one more, even for a game or two, they’d have to turn to one of the rookies (Leschyshyn, Rondbjerg, Dugan, Dorofeyev, Elvenes) or a more veteran option (Quinney, Baerstchi).

In the end, if it does indeed turn out to be true that both Pacioretty and Stone are out for months, rather than weeks, the Golden Knights may be forced to make a trade to keep the season afloat.

They have a pair of high-end prospects performing well in other leagues, Brendan Brisson and Ivan Morozov, plus they have another 1st round pick from 2021 in Zach Dean and a full collection of picks in 2022.

They’ll never find a true replacement for Stone, Pacioretty, or even Tuch, but looking at how the lineup may have to roll out, and understanding just how thin it stands with the injuries already sustained with 80 games still left on the schedule, pretty much anyone can help.

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77 Comments

  1. MD

    Welcome to the reality of the NHL — injuries happen, and sometimes in bunches. Let’s see how much quality depth this organization has. They have plenty of bodies, but it’s what they can actually do in games that matters.

    • THE hockey GOD

      Too bad the team doesn’t haven’t anything to show from their inaugural pick from Calgary which they wasted on old d man who is now doing TV car commercials.

      maybe they sign used up forward bobby ryan ?

    • THE hockey GOD

      spot on MD

    • Zeke

      We have a banged up team, and they’ll play like a banged team. It wouldn’t surprise me if we play sub .500 hockey into Nov.

  2. Daryl

    It’s going to be a very long 2 months!!!

  3. phantom major

    even when they all were healthy except for Tuch, the preseason and first 2 games were clear indications that the magic was gone. the hustle, work ethic, desire, and chip-on-shoulder attitude are gone…replaced by big comfy longterm contracts of $millions that has turned the Knights into spectators on ice, watching, waiting and reacting to the opponent, instead of taking charge and being the first on the puck, the first in the corner, etc

    no. what I see, even without the recent stars injuries, is a team that has tuned out the drone behind the bench, and needs a huge wakeup call.

    maybe the kids from Henderson can temporarily put some hustle into the bottom 6 forwards, but they are simply not talented enough to do much against top 6 opponent lines and players.

  4. Skeeter Thompson

    Ken- If Stone, Patches and Tuch are all on LTIR, could the Knights afford a decent pending UFA without shedding any other salary (just trading futures/picks)? Say Nashville or Calgary start off really cold and want to build for the future and VGK has $21.25M of salary on LTIR (between 61, 67 & 89). We could afford Forsberg or Johnny Hockey and their $6M pro-rated contracts, right? How would it work when everyone got back and all the salaries hit? Can they only be over the cap when guys are on LTIR, or does being under the cap via LTIR accumulate so they can be over by a little later?

    PS- Sounds like both of those guys (FF & JG) want to win and would sign with a contender for a reasonable hit. Maybe let Reilly walk and dump Carrier at the end of the season and sign Forsberg long term? Sounds good to me!

    PPS- What if we got an even more expensive guy in a trade (say, IDK, a 24-yr-old C who makes $10M/yr) and he happened to need a surgery that would put him on LTIR for 8-10 weeks. What if this guy and our 3 expensive injured guys were all on LTIR at the same time and came off about the same time. Could we afford that without having to dump $10M in salary when everyone gets back?

    PPPS- I’ve turned this into a podcast answer. Sorry!

    • Until they all come off.

      • Skeeter Thompson

        In that case, it sounds like Patches, Tuch and Eichel would all magically be available the day after the regular season ends. Thanks for the tip, Bolts!

        • Daryl

          Not sure who all they could get but I’d be careful about missing the playoffs firstr

    • Vlad

      Time to wake up and smell the coffee. Expecting Krebs to score goals?? My god! Last 8-10 games what does he have? Maybe 2. Shots on net? His best shot on net is the one that went off his face. His give away a and turnovers dwarf the number of shots he has scraped up. Last night when he played for the HSK he was in the ice for every single goal Colorado scored! Even back in junior he was a league leading “minus” player. He runs around the ice like a banshee but accomplishes nothing. His play forces his line mates to cover for his weak play bringing the offensive capability of the line down to simply survival. He isn’t a Cole Caufeild, Nick Suzuki, Perfetti or any of the other truly young great players. The only thing that can help Krebs is hope and that usually leads to disappointment as it has so far

      • THE hockey GOD

        @Vlad, maybe they showcasing him , dangling him for trade bait , and hope they don’t see what the rest of us have seen (to date).

    • THE hockey GOD

      I like Johnny Hockey ! He’s my grand son !

  5. THE hockey GOD

    Jesse Granger
    @JesseGranger_
    ·
    1h
    Healthy forwards on the Golden Knights active roster (7):

    Karlsson, Smith, Marchessault, Stephenson, Dadonov, Patrick, Kolesar.

    Injured forwards (7):

    Stone, Pacioretty, Tuch, Roy, Carrier, Howden, and Mattias Janmark is in COVID protocol.

    Someone with their head up their bum will some way blame this on FO and coaching staff. Wait for it.

    • THE hockey GOD

      and no 71 just got crunched into boards in practice, it’s like they are shooting themselves in the foot on purpose

    • Zeke

      Well here’s what you asked for, its the FO and DeBoer fault. Poor player & money management will give you poor results. They may not be apparent just yet but they will.

    • Daryl

      The FO has done a HORRIBLE job, but this one isn’t on them. NOW, let’s see if they can fuck it up and do something else bad while these guys are all out!

      • THE hockey GOD

        yeah getting to finals, semi finals twice in a short existence is a HORRIBLE JOB

        only in minds of people with their brains up their bums.

        • Daryl

          And just think how far they could hashes gotten if the FO didn’t screw up so much. Thankfully VGK plays in the Pacific

          The only ones who think the FO have done a great job are clueless fans, especially ones loving in Cali

  6. phantom major

    Of course, finding healthy players from their AHL affiliate in Henderson is something that’s easier said than done. After making their season debut last night, NHL.com’s Patrick Williams relays (Twitter link) that the Silver Knights are missing a total of 14 players due to injury while the team announced yesterday that head coach Manny Viveiros is taking a non-COVID medical leave of absence and is out indefinitely. It has been a tough start to the season all around in the Vegas organization.

    • THE hockey GOD

      @PM sounds like Covid, no way 14 players get injured all at same time, unless they were in same car/bus accident, God forbid.

    • Daryl

      I say bring in Engo to coach the team….

  7. THE hockey GOD

    Prospects Report

    Brendan Brisson:
    Brisson wasted no time entering his name on scoresheets this season. The 19-year-old forward opened the season with the University of Michigan and was honored the Big Ten First Star of the Week. Brisson registered five points (3G, 2A) in a two-game sweep against Lake Superior State, which leaves him tied for first in points-per-game (2.50) in the NCAA. All three of his goals came on the power play, including the game-winner in Saturday’s contest.

    Jackson Hallum:
    Hallum, another 2020 Vegas draft pick (91st overall), has come out of the gate on fire for the Green Bay Gamblers of the USHL. In five games, Hallum has recorded nine points (7G, 2A) which puts him second in the league in scoring. Four of those points came in a four-goal performance during a 6-3 win against the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders.

    Lynden McCallum:
    The surprise player of the preseason for Henderson has newcomer Lynden McCallum. McCallum, who spent three full seasons playing juniors with the Brandon Wheat Kings of the WHL, joined the Vegas rookie camp roster and is signed on a try-out basis. Was no. 1 start of game.

  8. A VGK Fan

    I bet they regret letting go of Patrick brown

  9. We’re screwed. They way the Knights have played pre-season and the first 2 games they won’t beat Seattle this year. I’ll be at the St Louis game on Wednesday. Not looking forward to a 6-1 loss that I expect. Every part of the game has been weak so far.

  10. LVsc

    I watched the HSK game last night. they gave up 51 shots, they were clearly outskated by the Colorado Eagles, in the 2nd period especially, but they still won the game mainly because of the goaltending of Logan Thompson. this is nothing new, because last season they quite often gave up over 40 shots and Thompson won the goalie of the year award in the AHL

    and of course the VGK gave up 47 shots to LA Kings, so the VGK netminders should expect some very busy days ahead

    • THE hockey GOD

      @LVsc, there are shots , and there are shots. How many were quality shots ? (please don’t say all, because shots have a chance to go in) .

      I couldn’t find the game, how many quality shots did both teams have. Let me try to find the stats box score and see if they list them(AHL boxes are terrible). The shot plot shows most of Eagles shots from further out. Hard to judge quality scoring chances, not listed. Oh well. I will watch replay.

      I see HSK got two of three game stars, hmmmm.

    • Vlad

      And who was in the ice for every single Colorado goal?? K r e b s

  11. Mike StG

    Unfortunate yet interesting developments. Patch is probably out more like 2 months. Stone looked pretty bad. An abdominal tear could be 2+ months, maybe even surgery.

    Lineup change possibilities:
    – Karlsson line is back to #1.
    – Dado to RW2. Either Krebs to LW2, or (preferably) Patrick to C2 and move Chandler to LW2. Chandler’s speed on that line wouldn’t be as impactful as with Patch & Stone, so he could go to wing to employ Patrick’s center skills.
    – Maybe they add a vet for bottom 6 who can play up and down the lineup? Can’t play 3 or 4 prospects/rookies every night.

    Possible team adds (on 1 yr contracts):
    1) Brandon Pirri – could play on VGK and HSK, alternating as needed. Good shot.
    2) Artem Anisimov – plays C or LW, played last year with Dadonov. Defensively not a liability.
    3) Eric Staal (yes Daryl I’m finally on board) – big, tough center, still a threat to score. Would be a good 3C or 4C option.

    I guess we keep our fingers crossed that Stone has a short term injury. Otherwise some decisions will need to be made on team structure for the next 2 – 3 months (which could be as much as half the season).

    • Vlad

      Putting Krebs on line 1,2 or 3 will only bring those lines down. People need to start seeing him for what he is. Has averaged LESS than a shot a game. And he is your go to guy for offence??? Apparently scoring goals is becoming irrelevant in Vegas.

      • Mike StG

        Vlad, Krebs has played a total of SIX (6) NHL games. Maybe give him a chance to at least play 20 games before crapping all over him and throwing him out with the garbage?

        By your high standards Jack Hughes and Alexis LaFreniere should have been cut last year from their teams and maybe playing in the Latvian hockey league now. Sheesh!!

        • Vlad

          If Vegas wouldn’t have drafted him he wouldn’t have even been picked in the first round. He was in the top 3 of worst plus/minus stats in the whl for his last 2 seasons. And some think he should be a first or second liner??? Best of luck with that. Trade trade trade while you can still get more than a bag of pucks

          • Mike StG

            Vlad, you’re completely wrong about the draft of Krebs. He was projected Top 10 in the middle range (5th or 6th) before the entry draft. When he was injured during a game by a skate blade a few weeks prior to the draft his projections fell. The injury was to his Achilles which raised concern.

            By the way, Krebs is the BUF ask in an Eichel trade. Don’t know the source of your dislike of Krebs, but it’s pretty extreme and without basis. I for one am glad Vegas is not willing to part with Krebs.

            My preference is that he stay on L3 and probably on wing, which is how most teams onboard young centers due to the responsibilities of the center position in the NHL. Bringing them up to play wing first enables them to get used to the speed of the game. Eventually I think Krebs is a 1C or 2C on this team, but it may take a couple seasons to see his real potential.

          • Daryl

            @Mike,
            I think Krebs might be able to get up to 2C I’m just not sure beyond that. Not because of his skills but de to his size and strength. Even if he only gets up to 2C he’s worth keeping

        • Vlad

          All these injuries may be the best job saver for mcrimmon and deboer cuz at least they can use it as an excuse when this all goes down in a burning heap of dung

  12. Vlad

    Does everyone hear that? Listen close. It’s Marc Andre rolling on the floor laughing. Karma

    • THE hockey GOD

      @Vlad I hear his agent laughing and penning another cartoon.

      • Rob S.

        You geniuses do realize that the sainted Fleury gave up four goals in the first 11:25 tonight and was pulled from the game, right? After giving up three in the first 9:34 in his only other start on opening night last Wednesday–both losses. Yeah, the struggles this season are all about Lehner. Idiots.

        • Daryl

          While don’t agree with the other poster, I’m curious if you watched the Hawks game or only went off the scoresheet? I ask that because 2 of the goals were odd man rushes, one goal was deflected off his own defenseman and the other goal was all MAF.

          And let’s not forget our own starting goalie was pulled after 2 periods against a much weaker team then who MAF faced

        • Agree. Off to a bad start in Chicago but only two games. Look, at his age in twilight of his career. We will always love him for what he meant here. Unfortunately that gaffe behind the net against Montreal may have cost a trip to the finals. That was painful and probably played a role in the decision to move him once and for all.

    • phantom major

      Fleury ain’t laughing at anything right now. he is behind 3-0 to Pitt in the first 7 mins after getting blown out by Colo Avs

      that defensive disaster the Blackhawks are a goalie nightmare.

      • phantom major

        make that 4-0 in the first 11 mins

        and he just got pulled from the game

        • Daryl

          They lost to COL 4-2, I wouldn’t call that a blow out. VGK just got demolished by LAK. COL is better than the LAK. The defense for the Hawks is horrible which is going to really hurt MAF. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see how it unfolds

    • knights fan in minny

      flower getting blasted 4-0 tonight in the first

      • Daryl

        That he is… granted only one was all his fault. Two odd man rushes, a goal being deflected by his own defenseman, and a player left wide open 10 feet in front of the net. If he can’t get some defensive help this could be a long season for him

    • Vlad

      All these injuries may be the best job saver for mcrimmon and deboer cuz at least they can use it as an excuse when this all goes down in a burning heap of dung

    • Galdom

      Fluery wasn’t laughing last night. He got pulled after letting in for first period goals.

  13. Tim

    The MAF curse is in full bloom. Patch and Stone out for who knows how long is 15 million sitting in the hospital ward. Pete knows his team he’s not a dummy with law degrees in two counties but I do question if we don’t have a better option then Howden. What a fine mess you got us into this time Stan. I may be a long cold winter.

    • Rob S.

      Yeah, because no other hockey team ever has serious injuries, right? Geez, folks! Can’t we at least get a month into the season before we declare it an unmitigated disaster? It’s not good right now, but let’s see how this plays out. Maybe some young guys get a chance (and, no, Krebs getting shuffled between 3rd and 4th line wing is not what I’d call getting a chance), or maybe everybody gets and stays hurt all year and we approach Buffalo-level suckitude–but there are *80* games to go. Some seasons, it’s just not your year, but it’s a little early to make that pronouncement yet.

  14. Vlad

    Between pre season and regular season games how many shots has krebs had? Barely any. And despite this some think he is a 1C? That’s laughable. Beyond laughable. Cole Caufield. OT winners. Shots all game. Goals. And then there is krebs? A junior league leader in minuses. First HSK game and he is on the ice for EVERY colorado goal. Has the heat in Vegas already started melting common sense away?? Goals win games. And there will be few from krebs.

    • Rob S.

      Krebs also scored to win the game in the fourth round of the shootout last night, no? So he’s a complete loser and “laughable” as a 1C because he’s played half a season there and has fallen on his face…oh, wait, he’s barely played C at all; in fact he’s been shuttled between 3rd line wing and 4th line wing, playing with players who have little offensive skill. And he’s played…what?…six regular season games (4 last year and 2 this year by my count)? Yes, let’s definitely conclude he’s a bust. Wow…really? He’s no Caufield, but few are. Give him a chance.

  15. The Knights are in serious trouble this season. Without these key players in the game, and without Fleury, the Knights will lose a LOT of games. Watching the games so far this season has been….painful. Worst move: losing Fleury. Major mistake. He was the bedrock of the team. I expect a meltdown and a coach firing by mid season…

  16. Galdom

    You whiners are a bunch of retards!!!

    Players get hurt. It’s a physical dangerous sport. You are all in need of some mental help.

    Embrace this as a glass half full scenario.

    First of all, this organization does most things right. That’s why they’ve been one of the best teams in the league since they entered the league.

    They’ve been very hesitant in the past to give younger talent a chance and part of the reason is because most of the lineup spots have been taken by established players that have done their job.

    Glass half full. These injuries happened early in the season and these guys will be healthy by the time the games really count. Peyton Krebs and Nolan Patrick get a real opportunity here. We could find out what they are made of now rather than over three years with sporadic playing time like Cody Glass.

    For the most part, every single player in the NHL is ultra talented to be playing in the best league in the world. If Chandler Stephenson had never been acquired from Vegas he would still be a fourth line forward on Washington. Can probably say the same thing for William Karlsson if he was still on Columbus.

  17. Galdom

    As a fan I want management to have at least a 65 to 70% success rate when it comes to transactions. (Trades and free agent signings). That’s a pretty high standard because 31 other teams are trying to win but I think this management team seems to exceed that.

    In regards to not resigning the right players and moving the right guys due to salary restrictions they have virtually made every correct decision. It would have been nice to keep David Perron, but not resigning James Neal was the right move.

    They’ve dumped the right players. Erik Haula and Colin Smith are borderline useless right now and would have been a burden on the salary cap. Nate Schmidt was one of my favourite players and even I questioned whether him being a casualty for signing Pietrangelo would be the right move. It absolutely was. By year three, Schmidt was surpassed by Theodore and is basically a number four defencemen right now. Hard to see him go but quite honestly he’s just not that good anymore. That would’ve been another drain on the salary cap. Anybody miss Cody Eakin. I don’t.

    I love Ryan Reaves. Who doesn’t. But any halfway intelligent objective observer can see that his role has diminished on this team especially in last year‘s playoffs. Keegan Kolesar is cheaper and better. Marc Andre Fluery. It’s almost impossible for this fan base to look at that guy objectively. That’s managements job. This will be proven the right move as well. He’s 36 years old. I love the flower but that mishap in the playoffs killed them against Montreal. Are we really just going to pretend that didn’t happen? It will be nice to not hear from his agent anymore either. He was especially quiet last night after Fluery got pulled in the first period.

    • THE hockey GOD

      @gal, welcome to jungle, smart , wise post.

    • Daryl

      That agent still has a client on VGK team. We don’t know as yet if getting rid on MAF was the right move or not. Yes his blunder hurt the team but let’s not forget they still win the next game which means you can’t put the loss of that series on him, unless you are the one and only thg. Management made some huge mistakes also that you overlook, like resigning Reaves to a bigger contract. Doing the same with Holden. Both who just sat on the bench. Signing RL in the first place. Wasting the money they saved once they traded away MAF. Letting Brown go.

      I could go on and on

      • Galdom

        VGK is 174-95-24 in their history. 293 games. It’s the 4th best record in the NHL since they have been in the league. The very best record of the Western Conference teams.

        During that time they have played 66 playoff games. Only the Tampa Bay lightning have played more playoff games with 69. So our Vegas Golden Knights have played more playoff games than 30 other teams in the NHL.

        I just don’t see the doom and gloom and negativity with this franchise. I’m trying really hard to see it and I can’t find it.

        You are all obviously free to do as you wish but I suggest that you enjoy this competitive window while it lasts. Because what are you going to do at the end of the window when they have to retool again. If you can’t enjoy this I don’t think you’ll ever be happy.

        With a hard salary cap you can’t always be good. There’s going to be peaks and valleys. This team will probably not be great in 2024ish.

        • Daryl

          The thing about stats, as anyone who’s ever taken a statistics course in college can tell you, is that they can be manipulated to say whatever you want and they very rarely give half the story. This isn’t to take away from what VGK has accomplished in any year, but they place in the Pacific which is the worst conference in the NHL by everyone’s standards outside of the conference. I honestly believe there isn’t a team in this conference that would win any other conference or possibly even come in 2nd. So while stats look great, they are a little misleading.

          VGK, and yes the FO, did an amazing job in the first year. They out performed every aspect of the game. I’ve given the coach and the FO loads of credit for that season. I’ve also given the FO credit for signees like Stone and Stephenson. Just because I mention several negatives from the the FO doesn’t mean it’s all negative, although I do believe there is a bigger negative impact than a positive one.

          After that first season, and especially the last 2 season, the team has underperformed, at least where it matters. The team lost back to back season series to teams they never should have lost to. Some of that is on the HC and some of that is on the FO. People like THG can blame one person (simply b/c he has a hard-on for that player), but the truth is, it’s more than just one player or play. I do not think PDB is a great coach, a good one yes but not a great one. But I put more of the losses on the FO than the coach. Players were over exerted and completely exhausted simply b/c of the mismanagement of the FO. They have pretty much put all their eggs into one basket and it backfired on them

  18. Mike StG

    Daryl,

    While I agree with some of your points there are some things that also factor in:

    1) You conflate the Pacific Division and Western Conference. The WC has had several very good teams. In 2019 in the bubble they lost to a Central Division team in the WC Final. In the realigned West they beat very good MIN & COL teams but lost to the Habs who are typically an EC team.

    2) Vegas’ record over the past 3 seasons was not purely against Pacific teams. Last season the Honda West consisted of some very good Central teams – besides those mentioned there were STL and DAL who they dominated. But maybe last season should be ignored given the impact of Covid. Prior to that Vegas played the typical schedule – 4 games against Pacific, 3 vs Central, and 2 against EC teams. So the majority of their accumulated record was against the full spectrum of 30 other NHL teams. To simply claim that they were in a weak division ignores that fact.

    3) You blame their loss to “teams they should never have lost to”. But that could be said of the Avs, who lost to Dallas & Vegas in the last 2 playoffs. Does that make Joe Sakic a horrible GM and Bednard a lousy coach? And consider, their top line consists of high 1st round picks – Nate, Miko & Gabe. Plus more in Makar & Biram. The Leafs haven’t won a playoff round in decades – even with Matthews, Marner & Tavares the last 3 seasons. Does that make Dubas and Keefe a couple of bums? It’s not reasonable or logical to say so. When will you hold the players accountable?

    4) On another post in this article you say the FO made “huge mistakes” when they resigned Reaves and Holden to “bigger contracts”. Okay, so Reaves signed 2 yrs @ 2.8 and again for 2 yrs @ 1.8. So what is the overpay on average, maybe $1M AAV? Holden was signed for 2 yrs @ 2.2 and again for 2 yrs @ 1.7. So what is the overpay there, maybe $700K AAV? So overpaying them both for 2 yrs (doesn’t include last year when their contracts were renewed for lesser amounts) by about $1.7M was a “HUGE” mistake? Exactly what player that would’ve changed the outcome could they have signed for $1.7M? Pretty big exaggeration- “huge”! Plus Reaves did play most of the games, and Holden had value to the team (mentoring young Ds and playing well in playoffs).

    5) As far as signing RL, it was clear that Subban was not the answer for the post-Fleury era. And it was reasonable to think Fleury would not be able to maintain the same level of play as he aged. RL was a reasonable choice. McPhee has said they use analytics in evaluating players, and Lehner has the highest save percentage of any goalie in the league over the past 3 seasons, and the highest save% on the PK as well. Whether or not other teams signed him long term is irrelevant. The Isles could only keep either RL or Greiss, and neither of them are playing now for NYI. Also, Greiss doesn’t have a long term contract still, whereas RL does. The Hawks had Crawford returning and it looked like he was fully healthy again, so it didn’t make sense to sign RL. As much as I cherished MAF as the face of VGK and the soul of the team I don’t think acquiring RL was a bad decision. In fact, it was less about “win now” and more so a decision about the team’s future.

    6) I truly believe the FO thought Glass would break out and realize his potential last season. Everything they did from Year 1 was geared to that end – signing Stastny for 3 years, about the time when Glass should have been ready to assume a Top 6 role at C. It didn’t happen (for many reasons) and they were forced to move on. Covid and the resulting cap freeze was another unknowable factor that affected the options available to the FO, and not just Vegas.

    Bottom line is the FO has made decisions they felt would improve the team and give them the best chance to win. Every contending team tries to do the same. Things don’t always go as hoped or planned, and any FO has to deal with those unknowns. We don’t have the benefit of knowing all the information that went into their decisions, so as we are all just looking from the outside it’s presumptuous to castigate them for decisions they’ve made.

    • Daryl

      I’ll make this somewhat short as I’ve had a very long night at work and it’s a Sunday.

      1) I never thought MIN was that good (good but not in same lvl as gk or COL) they just seemed to have VGK number. COL was a different story. Myy point about the Pacific is it is very easy to win the conference. After the first round then yes the games to get a little harder. How many in conference games are played compared to OOC?

      2) STL was down after losing a couple players. Still a good team but not as dominate as seasons before. I’d also have to go back and look at who VGK played in those OOC games.

      3) would not say Sakic is a horrible coach but if he can’t get his team over the hump and stop laying eggs, he could be gone also. As for the Leafs, I probably would have fired their coach by now.

      4) VGK was already in a tough spot with the Cap. Yes I thought resigning Reaves was a waste of money, even at his close to $2m. Then you have Holden at $1.7 who eventually was nothing more than taxi squad. Most of you know my thoughts on Engo but VGK could have signed him for $700k and got the same from him that they did from Holden and saved a million. If they didn’t sign Reaves that would have saved them close to $3M.

      5) I honestly believe the RL signing was an over-reaction to the bad couple months MAF had. MAF contract was up after his year and VGK could have signed him to a similar or lesser contract than they did RL. Not only that just having both on a Cap ridden team was a huge mistake. I agree Subban wasn’t the answer, but think of the money saved if they didn’t sign RL and found another backup or even brought up Thompson for spot duty. Once RL was signed VGK had no choice but to trade MAF, which at that point was the right move.

      6) I was never a huge fan of Glass and didn’t think he would be better than a 3C. Unfortunately I was right. VGK to a calculated gamble on him and it didn’t work out.

      I completely agree with you on your last paragraph. I don’t blame the FO for trying to make moves, so when I say the FO made bad mistakes, it’s only based on my personal opinions f the situation and how I think the outcome of those decisions worked out. For the most part, my opinion of my opinions on certain transactions were correct (ie Suzuki, Stephenson, Holden, Reaves, Perrom)

    • Rob S.

      Now, now, Mike. There you go again with facts and logic instead of “Lehner sucks,” “Glass/Krebs/(insert the name of the next young VGK player who isn’t MacKinnon or Hockey Jesus here) sucks,” “the FO sucks” from our “fans” who think it would forever have been the magical year of 2017-1018 if we’d just left the Golden Misfits alone. Why, dontcha know, we would have won three consecutive Stanley Cups with “chemistry,” heart, and…unicorns and skittles, I guess. One thing the Covid shutdown showed when our station replayed VGK games from previous seasons was just how truly untalented that first team was. (After all, there was a reason everyone thought VGK would be bad that first year.)

      Look, that really was a magical year, but it was a one-off. It’s gone and it’s not coming back. This is pro sports and it generally operates in a cold-eyed reality: acquire more talent (which VGK has clearly done), design a system that plays to the strengths of your talent (the jury is still out on this one), and play hard (which is true more often than not, but can be an issue).

      We have an incredibly spoiled fan-base. (In that sense, all the early success might have been a bad thing.) You see them on here every night. I commend their passion, but I worry what they are going to do when we really *do* have some bad years.

      • Rob S.

        Oh, and since Daryl brings it up…Suzuki. Do any of you think he would have amounted to anything had we kept him? He would be just like Glass and, maybe, Krebs (jury still out). He wouldn’t have amounted to much because we don’t seem to know how to develop young forwards. The reason he “showed out” is because he went to Montreal who, due to a dearth of talent, had no choice but to play him–and play him regularly, in responsible minutes, and not have him worry about getting jerked out of the lineup the first time he turned the puck over.

        Yeah, alright, I have my own issues with the FO. 🙂

        • Daryl

          So Rob, what you are saying is the this coaching staff isn’t able to develop players?

        • Tim

          Rob I’ll bet the farm Montreal wanted Glass but we gave them the cancellation prize Suzuki how did that work out for us.

      • Daryl

        Now now there ya go again Rob… Not actually reading anyone’s posts and just rambling on. No where did I say RL or anyone other player, coach, or FO sucked. I guess I could be as blind as you and not have any issues what anything. Must be so nice to live in your world.

  19. Galdom

    Some half decent points made that are better than just negative whining. Pacific division is garbage this year but San Jose used to be a much better team and they play teams from the entire league. This is a spoiled fan base that doesn’t appreciate what they have a had.

    For the second straight year they have lost to two teams that I feel that they were superior to as well in Dallas and Montreal but they still made it to the final four.

    But that Colorado series was amazing. I think Minnesota was quite good last year. After a slow start they were pretty much on par with Colorado and Vegas for most of the year.

    I honestly do respect all of your opinions but I just appreciate having a management team and ownership that is so dedicated to winning. At times they may be a little too dedicated and obsessed which is why they had moved a lot of youth for veteran help. I guess I respectfully disagree with the criticism of it. Being born and raised in Toronto I know what a horse crap organization looks like.

    At the end of the day we all want the same things. Golden Knights championship. So I appreciate and encourage debate.

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