Praise Be To Foley, Vegas Golden Knights Hockey Website

Author: Jason Pothier Page 2 of 74

VGK’s Bargain Binners Significantly Over-Performed In Cup Run

(Photo Credit: @GoldenKnights on Twitter)

This week NHL outlets compiled a team of the biggest bargains of the 2022-23 season. Unfortunately, zero Golden Knights players made the list, nor should they have. When Tage Thompson is the bargain bin’s top center, you can only imagine how skilled the rest of the lines and pairings are.

Sportsnet’s 2022-23 All-Bargain Team:


Brandon Hagel (TBL) — Tage Thompson (BUF) — Daniel Sprong (SEA)
Michael Bunting (TOR) — David Krejci (BOS) — Gabriel Vilardi (LAK)
Zach Parise (NYI) — Morgan Frost (PHI) — Taylor Raddysh (CHI)
Stefan Noesen (CAR) — Thomas Novak (NSH) — Sonny Milano (WSH)

Erik Gustafsson (WSH/TOR) — Luke Schenn (VAN/TOR)
Mark Giordano (TOR) — Rasmus Sandin (TOR/WSH)
P.O. Joseph (PIT) — Sebastian Aho (NYI)

Stuart Skinner (EDM)
Filip Gustavsson (MIN)

So, maybe there wasn’t enough room for VGK’s valued players, but several deserve praise after their unexpected production during Vegas’ championship run.

Michael Amadio
16 Goals, 11 Assists, +2, 99 Shots On Goal, 2 Game-Winning Goals, 12:13 Average Time On Ice
$762,500 Cap Hit

Amadio’s output was not only surprising in the regular season, but he continued to outperform expectations in the playoffs. In 16 games, the 27-year-old pitched in with five goals and five assists for the Stanley Cup-winning Golden Knights, including a big-time game-winning goal against Winnipeg in double overtime.

As for being a bargain, Amadio scored as many playoff goals (5) as Sebastian Aho ($8.4M AAV), Aleksander Barkov ($10M AAV), Auston Matthews ($11.6M AAV), and Tyler Seguin ($9.85M AAV) in roughly as many games. While Florida was paying Barkov $2M per goal, Vegas was shelling out $152,500 per goal scored by Amadio. Surely, to the everyday Joe, six figures to score a goal seems like a boatload but compared to others mentioned, the Golden Knights got themselves a significant discount.

Adin Hill
25 Starts, (16-7) Record, 61 Goals Allowed, .915 Save %, 2.45 Goals Allowed Average, 16 Quality Starts,
$2,175,000 Cap Hit

We’ve gone over Hill’s Stanley Cup run dozens of times since June 15th. What else can we say? The third-string (or second depending on who you ask) goaltender was outstanding and unstoppable in the three series he suited up for. Hill led all qualified postseason goalies in save percentage, goals allowed average, losses and shutouts and made a fraction of what the rest of the playoff goalies make annually.

Vegas’ backstop earned $4,780 per save, $197,727 per victory, and $1,087,500 per shutout in the postseason. Compared to the three other goaltenders to start 14 games or more, the Golden Knights barely opened their wallet for a postseason victory. The Panthers paid Sergei Bobrovsky $17,094 per save, $833,333 per win, and $10M per shutout. Seattle offered Phillipp Grubauer $15,485 per save and $842,857 per win. Western Conference Finals goalie Jake Oettinger played three more games than Hill and Dallas reimbursed him $8,510 per save, $400K per win, $4M per shutout. Looking back, Hill could be one of the biggest bargains in modern NHL history.

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VGK Drops To 2nd In Mid-Summer Power Rankings

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

It’s difficult to take any NHL power rankings seriously in early August. However, it didn’t stop Sportsnet from dropping their newest power rankings this week. Surprisingly enough, the current Stanley Cup winners were ranked second behind the 2022 NHL champions.

1. Colorado Avalanche:

The 2022 champs didn’t advance past Round 1 in 2023, but the Avs are poised to make noise again. Colorado knows captain Gabriel Landeskog is going to be on long-term injured all season, so it can stuff his $7-million salary there. Ryan Johansen and Ross Colton give a nice, new look to the centre crew and Jonathan Drouin is a fun bounce-back bet. Unlike last season, the Avs should be rested and hungry when the puck drops in October. –Ryan Dixon on

By no means was Sportsnet’s Ryan Dixon taking a swipe at the Golden Knights by anointing the Avalanche as the league’s best team going into next season. Let’s be honest, the past two NHL champs are not far away from each other. Both have an elite center, game-changing wingers, dynamic defensive units, and strong coaching. Would anyone be surprised if Colorado and Vegas faced off in the 2024 Western Conference Finals?

The Golden Knights will try to not stub their toe like the Avalanche did this past postseason by being eliminated in the opening round. Of course, four playoff series, a championship parade, and dozens of “Day with the Cup” parties may create a hangover but VGK’s overall talent should keep them in contention. Sportsnet agreed.

2. Vegas Golden Knights:

Recency bias? Maybe. But the Knights have largely kept the band together and Jack Eichel just had his coming out party in the 2023 playoffs. Mark Stone missed half the season last year and the Knights still managed to win the Pacific Division. This balanced squad is going to be right back challenging for the Cup. –Dixon on

With the exception of Reilly Smith’s departure to Pittsburgh, the core of Vegas’ Stanley Cup roster is fully intact. Jack Eichel, Mark Stone, William Karlsson, Jonathan Marchessault, and Alex Pietrangelo are all returning for a back-to-back attempt in 2024. Coach Bruce Cassidy will need repeat performances from all of his players, especially in net from Adin Hill, who was handsomely paid after his all-world postseason performance.

Expectations are high for Eichel and his linemates to lead the Golden Knights’ offense as they did in the playoffs. Pietrangelo will be relied upon to carry a heavy workload again and Stone will try and stay on the ice for as many regular season games as he can. As long as all of them are dressed for Game 1 of the 2024 NHL playoffs, Vegas will be considered a favorite to repeat, no matter where the out-of-town media has them ranked by April of next year.

For the record, Edmonton was listed third on Sportsnet’s power rankings. Considering how that econd round series played out, Vegas shouldn’t worry about dropping beneath them.

Stone: “We Just Never Felt We Were Going To Lose”

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

This summer the Canadian province of Manitoba has seen its share of the Stanley Cup trophy and then some. Champions Brett Howden, Keegan Kolesar, and Mark Stone headlined the celebration parades in their hometowns or rinks where they began their NHL dreams. Vegas’ captain made a pit stop at his family’s favorite golf course to share the Stanley Cup trophy with friends and family. Stone sat down with Andrew Patterson of Winnipeg Sports Talk to chat about his championship run and being able to bring the Cup back to his hometown. (You can watch the entire interview below.)

The hardest part of the Cup run was in between periods between the 2nd and 3rd, trying not to laugh or smile and stay serious. We knew the game was over, 6-1 going into the 3rd period. We made it 7-1 early. It was hard to play that last period to be honest with you. Our heads were going all over the place. It was awesome. –Mark Stone to Winnipeg Sports Talk

Vegas’ heart and soul donned a two-toned Golden Knights hat with the Stanley Cup trophy standing an arm’s length away as he chopped it up from Breezy Bend Country Club in the Winnipeg Metro Region. Stone was candid and admitted winning 16 games wasn’t all that hard. Especially, since Vegas never faced an elimination game. The World Champions never doubted themselves, well, except after losing 5-1 to the Jets in Game 1 of the playoffs.

I came home and kind of laughed with my wife, maybe it was going to be a short playoff run for us, but we turned it around pretty good. Looking back after that, we didn’t face any elimination games and it went pretty easy for us actually. Winning is contagious. We want to do it again. –Stone to Winnipeg Sports Talk

While the journey began with an embarrassing home loss, Stone mentioned how he had full confidence in his teammates after they performed so well in his absence. After healing from his second back surgery in under a year, VGK’s captain knew he’d return in time to lead his club to a deep playoff run.

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Sportsnet Recogonizes Hill As Top 2022 Offseason Move

(Photo Credit: @TheRunninRebels on Twitter)

You’re not going to find a fan in this region that will disagree about the importance of acquiring Adin Hill last summer. The Golden Knights surprisingly added a fourth goaltender to their roster via trade with the woeful San Jose Sharks. San Jose’s front office were likely satisfied to receive a fourth-round pick for a player that was not in their plans, while Vegas got a future Conn Smyth candidate in return. Looking back, it’s as lopsided as a deal can but in reality, neither FO believed Hill would do what he did in the postseason.

Tops among this group has to be Hill, who was plucked from the San Jose Sharks by Vegas in August for a fourth-round pick. The journeyman backup had played five seasons when that trade sent him to Vegas, having spent the first four years of his career in Arizona before a 2021 trade had sent him to San Jose. He’d excelled in brief spurts for both clubs, but overall had gotten little opportunity to prove what he was capable of. –Sonny Sachdeva on

To be fair, the national hockey media hadn’t realized before Vegas’ championship run how high Hill climbed to be in the starting role by Game 2 of the second round. Of course, the third-string goaltender was highly profiled in the later rounds, but the general public hadn’t caught up with his rise.

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VGK’s Top 6 Stanley Cup Playoff Moments

(Photo Credit: @_jkarsh on Instagram)

After eliminating four opponents and recording 16 Stanley Cup Playoff wins, the Golden Knights racked up dozens of special moments to choose from. We cut them down to the Top 6 of the playoffs but the list is truly incomplete. We could do a Top 6 Fan Moments list or a Top 6 Jonathan Marchessault Moments list. The options are endless. Sticking with the formula, here are the VGK’s Top 6 Stanley Cup Playoff Moments.

6. Hill Bag Punches the Panthers in SCF Game 4

Cup-winning goaltender Adin Hill took plenty of liberties in the playoffs, especially in the Final. Hill wasn’t having any of Matthew Tkachuk or Sam Bennett’s antics, so he used his blocker, glove, and fists to stand his ground. In Game 4, the Golden Knights goalie lost his cool and went into full Mike Tyson mode. After Bennett ripped Hill’s helmet off, the Panthers forward likely wished he hadn’t. With the help of William Karlsson, Bennett was savagely beaten to the ice with bare knuckles. It was a sight to see and VGK fans loved every minute of it.

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VGK’s Top 6 Stanley Cup Playoff Quotes

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

We’ve covered goal-scoring, playmaking and goaltending so let’s focus on off the ice. During their eight-week run, the Golden Knights had many memorable quotes throughout the postseason. In fact, there are enough comments from Golden Knights players to fill out a Top 26 list. However, let’s focus on VGK’s six most entertaining quotes of the 2023 Stanley Cup playoffs.

6. Pietrangelo Shrugs Off Slashing Suspension in the Second Round 

It is what it is, I’m not going to sit here and dwell on it. The league took care of it, so we’ll move on… There have been a lot of shots both ways, I’ll just say that. It’s pretty obvious what’s going on, there’s some premeditated stuff coming at me but (the Department of Player Safety) didn’t really seem to care in the meeting. I’ll get up and take it. I’m not going to lay on the ice like we’ve been seeing. I’ll get up and play the game the way it needs to be played. At the end of the day, we’ve got a job to do, they’ve got a job to do. – Alex Pietrangelo

When lead defenseman Alex Pietrangelo was suspended for his slash on Edmonton’s Leon Draisaitl in the second round no one was surprised. It was a heat-of-the-moment situation and unlike anything Vegas fans had ever seen before from #7. However, Pietrangelo stated his case to the NHL’s Department of Player Safety, and they required the d-man to sit for one game, much to the chagrin of the Oilers and their fans. When asked, Pietrangelo didn’t hold back.

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VGK’s Top 6 Stanley Cup Playoff Saves

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The success of the Golden Knights goaltenders in the 2023 playoffs will be talked about for years to come. Heck, it’s already being studied by other organizations. We’ve gone over the top offensive plays, so let’s turn our attention to the few that kept the puck out of the net.

6. Brossoit Dazzles in Game 2 vs. Winnipeg

Golden Knights fans will never forget which goaltender began the 2023 Cup run. Adin Hill earned Conn Smyth votes and a massive post-playoff payday but Laurent Brossoit will always have a special place in team history. Brossoit started eight games, eliminated Winnipeg, and picked up another win in the second round. In his group of playoff games, Vegas’ opening goalie made a few outstanding saves that some might have forgotten. His stop in a deciding Game 5 is worth watching on a loop. After making the initial save, Brossoit was forced to desperately slide across the crease and stop a wide-open shot. The Jets offense was stunned. If it hadn’t been a blowout, LB’s save would have been ranked higher.

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VGK’s Top 6 Stanley Cup Playoff Assists

(Photo Credit: @_jkarsh on Instagram)

Yesterday, we went through the Golden Knights Top 6 goals of the postseason, today it’s time to pick some apples. We took a different approach when selecting six elite playoff assists. Many were picked because of their pure beauty not their impact. Others were a blended mix of spotlight skill and the game situation. So, let’s start dishing.

6. Stephenson and Howden Assist Stone’s Second Goal of Game 2 vs. Winnipeg

After a disappointing Game 1 loss to open the postseason, Vegas’ captain knew he needed to steer the ship. Mark Stone did just that in Game 2 of the opening round vs. Winnipeg. In the final period, Stone assisted on Chandler Stephenson’s tiebreaker and wrapped the game up with two goals. Brett Howden started the rush from the defensive zone and flipped it over to Stephenson on the wing, who found Stone for a perfect tap-in down low. Each forward touched the puck and it resulted in a point for the home team. Even though it’s a different sport, coach Norman Dale would’ve been proud.

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VGK’s Top 6 Stanley Cup Playoff Goals

(Photo Credit: @_jkarsh on Instagram)

It’s been more than a month since the Golden Knights raised the organization’s first Stanley Cup. It’s been an incredible summer in Las Vegas while the championship parties roll on in VGK players’ hometowns. So, let’s stretch the fun out a little longer with a series of Top 6 moments of the Golden Knights’ thrilling Stanley Cup winning run. Of course, we chose six over five because of The Creator‘s sixth-season championship proclamation.

6. Michael Amadio’s Game 3 Double-Overtime Winner vs Winnipeg:

After blowing a 4-1 lead the Golden Knights were forced to fight off the tenacious Jets in sudden death. After several hit posts in the first overtime, Vegas woke up and took care of Winnipeg three and a half minutes into double OT. The series was essentially done after Amadio’s dart.

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It’s Unrealistic, But Tarasenko Addition Could Be The Difference VGK Needs To Become Back-To-Back Champs

(Photo Credit: @_jkarsh on Instagram)

In order to win back-to-back Stanley Cups, the Golden Knights will need a lot to go right and receive contributions from their entire roster, like what occurred in the 2022-23 season. If we’re being honest, not many predicted Chandler Stephenson to land on 49 helpers, and nobody expected 16 goals from William Carrier and Michael Amadio. We could keep going. Consider this, Nic Roy, Phil Kessel, Paul Cotter, Keegan Kolesar, Pavel Dorofeyev, and Brett Howden combined for a total of 62 regular season goals. It was the complete opposite of what the Golden Knights got back in the 2021-22 season. Looking back, the production from depth players was one of the reasons Vegas was the last NHL team standing.

So, will relying on the returning cast of offensive characters be enough in 2023-24?

It’s no secret that one of the league’s most dangerous snipers over the past ten years is still without a contract. To NHL standards, Vladimir Tarasenko is considered long in the tooth but still a valuable commodity for any team in need of offense. At this moment, the 16th overall pick in 2010 is mulling, listening, and seeking the best deal for him and his family. Most teams, including the Golden Knights, would love Tarasenko’s services but only a handful can fit him in their salary cap plans for next season.

It’s been reported that the 31-year-old is seeking an annual salary of $7M or more. The majority of NHL teams have nowhere near that much cap space, most notably the Golden Knights. Tarasenko silently stuck to his guns by turning down several offers close to his price point, including one with the Carolina Hurricanes. While he could still end up in Raleigh, the career 270 goal-scorer hasn’t given up on his desired compensation. Which leads us to Vegas.

With little to no wiggle room, it would be unlikely the Golden Knights could agree to terms with Tarasenko and his new agents. Remember, Vegas was rumored to be a possible suitor for the Russian native at the trade deadline so there was interest back in March.

It’s hard mentally a little bit to change things. For me, I like old stuff. I use old equipment for many, many years. I cannot switch. But I’m happy for a new challenge. -Vladimir Tarasenko

Tarasenko to Vegas does actually make some sense, assuming his price comes way down. His new agents have worked plenty of deals with the Golden Knights (and Vegas drafted one of their sons). Also, Tarasenko would be reunited with former Blues teammates Alex Pietrangelo and Ivan Barbashev. Based off his words, being comfortable and quick adjustment might be enough to convince the All-Star winger to consider Vegas. Finally, there’s the most obvious reason, the Golden Knights are the reigning champions. If a player is looking for a place that will give him a chance to win, there’s no better place than Vegas right now.

Now, let’s step out of Xanadu for a minute. Vegas has already moved cap space in order to keep Barbashev and Adin Hill. Eliminating more money would be difficult without touching the Cup-winning core. Without taking a significant discount, convincing Tarasenko to forgo more money in order to make another cup run seems unrealistic. Golden Knights fans would love to see Vladdy light the lamp in Las Vegas but it’s an impulse purchase their favorite team doesn’t necessarily need. Heck, if Vegas’ depth scorers continue to produce, the 2023 Stanley Cup champions will be in a position to repeat.

It’s good to be a Golden Knights fan right now.

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