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Praise Be To Foley, Vegas Golden Knights Hockey Website

Author: Jason Pothier Page 1 of 113

Mitch Marner Extension Or NMC Unlikely To Scare Off Vegas’ Potential Pursuit

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The Golden Knights are facing many franchise-altering decisions this offseason, but they aren’t alone. While Golden Knights fans are anxiously waiting for a Jonathan Marchessault extension, fans in Toronto are hoping their team unloads one of the NHL’s top line forwards. After another first-round exit Toronto Maple Leaf center Mitch Marner has become the target of local fans. The career 1.11 points per game player would be a fit for any team, including the Golden Knights. However, it would take some creativity by both clubs.

It’s a huge couple of days on the calendar that I think are under the radar. A lot of the things that end up happening at the Draft or on July 1st, those conversations were born this week in Buffalo at the combine. You can see all of the agents talking to GMs, GMs meeting with GMs. It’s all sort of playing out this week. – Pierre LeBrun on TSN OverDrive

Now, there is nothing directly linking Vegas to Marner, but I think all of us would agree, you cannot count the Golden Knights out on any available player. You name him, Vegas inquired. So, it’s safe to guess both first-round victims have been in communication. Like LeBrun reported, maybe the seed was planted for a future transaction.

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Report: Bruins Eyeing Goucher For Open Play-By-Play Position In Boston

From @DavidCGoucher on Twitter/X

UPDATE: Goucher confirmed on the Mercedes in the Morning show on Mix 94.1 FM that he is staying in Las Vegas with the Golden Knights.

This offseason was already expected to be tense but it might have gotten even more distressing for Golden Knights fans. With less than one month to sign franchise leading goal scorer Jonathan Marchessault, reports have surfaced indicating beloved television play-by-play announcer Dave Goucher could be on the move as well.

Over the weekend, The Boston Globe reported the Bruins and their broadcast partner were actively pursuing the New England native.

NESN and the Bruins have reached out to Dave Goucher, who is very familiar to Bruins fans. He called their games on the radio from 2000-17 before he was hired as the TV play-by-play voice for the expansion Vegas Golden Knights, where he calls games with former Bruins defenseman Shane Hnidy. His ecstatic “Bergeron! Bergeron! Bergeron!” call of Patrice Bergeron’s overtime goal to cap a comeback against the Maple Leafs in the first round of the 2013 playoffs is among the most iconic in modern Boston sports history. –Chad Finn on Boston.com

Goucher became the voice of Vegas hockey in 2017 and was immediately embraced by the fans. Starting with that magical 2017-18 run to the Final. For seven seasons, Goucher’s been on in thousands of households across Las Vegas. Usually, starting at 7:08 PM.

While there’s no indication the play-by-play announcer will take the open Bruins job, the executives at NESN believe he’s the perfect fit. If so, you can’t blame Goucher for listening. The position is coveted and it’s his hometown team.

Goucher enjoys his job in Las Vegas, but he and his wife are New Englanders who still spend their summers in Rhode Island. He would be the ideal choice, and hopefully the Bruins and NESN will make him an offer worthy of his talents. –Finn on Boston.com

Finn most likely has inside information from both parties, and his report over the weekend suggests there’s a possibility the Golden Knights will be searching for replacement for Goucher. I’m certain he’ll be torn if he’s offered the job.

The thought of losing Marchessault is already keeping VGK fans up at night but losing Goucher would make it even worse. The perfect scenario is for Goucher to be on the call next season for when Marchessault scores his 250th career goal. One holding a golden microphone and the other in his best-selling golden #81 sweater.

2017 Draft Class On Full Display In 2024 Western Conference Finals

Photo from ESPN broadcast of 2017 NHL Draft

The Golden Knights have been awarded pretty much every trophy the NHL has to offer, including, of course, the Stanley Cup. It’s historically the best seven season start to any NHL franchise in modern history. This its why it continues to be bittersweet watching the Western Conference play out, especially if you believe the Golden Knights are as good as the two teams remaining in the West. Besides the desire for back-to-back Stanley Cup championships, VGK has had quite the storied history through 632 NHL games.

Most Postseason Wins Since 2018

  1. Tampa Bay – 62
  2. Vegas – 57
  3. Colorado – 49
  4. Dallas – 45
  5. Boston – 43

The organization has accomplished so much in such a short time that its small list of failures has become magnified. For instance, the franchise’s first NHL draft in 2017. It’s a draft that has shaped the league and the Golden Knights left with their hands mostly empty. As the conference finals play out, it’s hard not to imagine how much deeper Vegas would have been this season if more than just Nic Hague remained with the organization. Keep in mind, the Golden Knights front office had 12 selections in seven rounds.

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NHL’s Business Booming In VGK Era

Credit: NHL TV commercial

It’s no secret, the NHL is the least profitable, poorly marketed, and the lowest draw of all four professional sports leagues in North America. However, according to the Associated Press, business has picked up across the National Hockey League. It happens to coincide with one of the league’s freshest markets throwing one heck of a Stanley Cup championship parade in 2023.

We’ve seen an influx and a growth of female fans, diverse fans, They’re finding our product, they’re falling in love with it, they’re starting to watch more. -Kyle McMann, NHL Development to AP

Two years ago, we reported that it was estimated that 40% of Golden Knights fans are made up of women. After Vegas’ Stanley Cup championship, those numbers have most certainly increased. When you add young kids and newcomers to the sport the population of VGK’s community continues to rise. In turn, so are other NHL markets.

New fans, new franchises, and new broadcast partnerships aided the league’s latest boost in revenue and viewership. Sure, the sport may have seen a bounce back from the pandemic but let’s not forget the Golden Knights’ impact on the bottom line.

Business is booming for the NHL, which has bounced back in a major way from the pandemic. Backstopped by new media rights deals, digital dasher boards and helmet and jersey ads, and buoyed by an overlap of generational stars, ratings are up, attendance set a record and revenue is at an all-time high — an estimated $6.2 billion annually.

Trying new things, including puck and player tracking and cartoon versions of games to draw in younger fans, has set the table for this success. Decades since the experiment of the glowing puck, experts credited the league for attracting and retaining a bigger audience in a crowded sports marketplace… the league has done a good job reaching beyond traditional markets, overcoming some of the unavoidable shortcomings of being expensive to play. –Steven Whyno on APNews.com

Vegas may turn off some snobby traditionalists, but last year’s Stanley Cup Final was the second most-watched series since 2020. And in 2018, Vegas’ five game series against the Washington Capitals had the second-highest ratings since 2015. In seven seasons, hockey enthusiasts have gotten used to seeing Vegas deep into the postseason. The NHL has benefited from their competitive play.

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Dallas’ Run To The Conference Finals Painful Reminder For Vegas Fans

Photo Credit: Ken Boehlke, SinBin.vegas

Growing up in Boston I witnessed my share of shortened seasons. Historically, after a Bruins postseason exit, my father would begin rooting for the team that eliminated them from the playoffs. It was his way of coping after another failed season by the B’s. On May 5th, after the Golden Knights were eliminated I gave my son the same advice. Now, I’m dealing with a hockey-crazed eight-year-old breaking curfew in hopes that the Dallas Stars capture a Stanley Cup trophy of their own.

You get both previous Stanley Cup champions [in Vegas and Colorado]. What a gauntlet. I just couldn’t be prouder of our group… we’ve got a mix of older and younger guys, but they were just fantastic. Just hard to believe with a gauntlet like that, that you’re only halfway there. But we’re going to enjoy and need the time off here, and get ready for the next round. -Pete DeBoer, DAL coach

However, watching Dallas’ run to the Western Conference finals is truly bittersweet. Most will agree, had Vegas beaten the number one seed in Game 7, they would be looking at their fifth conference finals appearance. After the Avalanche lost a top player to another postseason distraction, the Golden Knights probably would have found their way back to the league semifinals like the Stars have.

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Sportsnet Weighs In On Future Of Chandler Stephenson And Jonathan Marchessault

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

We’ve been very open with our feelings about getting a deal done with unrestricted free agent Jonathan Marchessault. Sure, we know the organization would prefer to keep the 2023 Conn Smythe winner but as Vegas fans have heard over and over again, ‘hockey is a business.’ Understanding that, it’ll be a challenge getting deals done for Marchessault, Chandler Stephenson and the rest of VGK’s unrestricted free agent.

[Vegas] will be hard-pressed to re-up Marchessault, centre Chandler Stephenson and rental Anthony Mantha now that [they’ve] locked up Noah Hanifin. No one would blame the late-blooming Marchessault ($29 million in career earnings) for pulling an Alex Killorn and taking the best offer available. –Luke Fox on Sportsnet.ca

In the eyes of Vegas fans, they would like to see #81 cash in but in Las Vegas and as a Golden Knight. Sure, the fans desire isn’t necessarily VGK’s front office priorities, but they are aware of the negative attention they’ll receive if they let Marchessault walk. It will infuriate a fanbase that’s been giving almost everything they could want in seven seasons. However, a year-old Stanley Cup trophy won’t satisfy the void of the franchise’s most beloved and decorated player.

The Conn Smythe–winning Marchessault is an original Misfit integral to the defending champions’ off-ice culture and on-ice success. No doubt, in a cap-free world, the sides would be content to extend their relationship beyond this season. Yet one only need to look as far as Reilly Smith, GM Kelly McCrimmon’s 2023 cap casualty, to see the line between sentiment and business. –Fox on Sportsnet.ca

To a lesser extent, Stephenson is another Golden Knight that fans would like to see return next season. However, with only a certain amount of capital, both UFA’s are tied to one another.

The demand for both centres and proven post-season performers remains sky high in the NHL. The Detroit Red Wings splashed $25.5 million at centre J.T. Compher in 2023’s free agency, and his previous best was 52 points. Bottom line: There will be a robust market for the two-way Stephenson if he remains unsigned by July. –Fox on Sportsnet.ca

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Marchessault’s Low Mileage A Draw For Vegas And Other Suitors

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

As we all know by now, Jonathan Marchessault was a late bloomer. He dressed for just four NHL games before the age of 25 and didn’t hit the 70-game mark in a season until he turned 26. It was probably a frustrating journey. Well, maybe up until his 30-goal breakout season in Florida which captured the eyes of the Golden Knights. Since then, it’s been gravy for Marchessault. He’s become a fan favorite, a 40-goal scorer, a Conn Smythe winner, and a household name.

Now, it’s time for the player, his agent, and the Golden Knights front office to decide on the future. Sure, Marchessault is 33 years old and coming off his best season as a pro, so it’s reasonable to be concerned with his age, term, and future value. If Vegas uses a traditional evaluation they would likely pass and let the player walk. However, if they factor in intangibles such as character, leadership, and career usage, then re-signing Marchessault should be the first decision made this offseason.

Don’t forget he didn’t become an NHL regular until he was 27. There’s an argument to be made that the mileage on him is not as great as the mileage on other 34-year-olds. I’ve heard that they were really having a difficult to time to find a term. –Eliotte Friedman on 32 Thoughts Podcast

Unlike most, Marchessault has seen much less wear and tear than the average 33-year-old NHL player. For example, Jordan Eberle was born in 1990 and has played 380 more games than his fellow millennial. Sure, Eberle was a coveted prospect and a rookie by age 20 but he has fewer postseason games, goals, points, and hardware than Marchessault. He may have more NHL service, but he hasn’t impacted the league like Marchessault has. And in 38% less ice time.

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