Praise Be To Foley, Vegas Golden Knights Hockey Website

Boehlke: Reaction To Trade Deadline Moves

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The Golden Knights have made four moves in the past week adding a forward, a defenseman, and a goalie while subtracting one forward in Cody Eakin.

Let’s start with the big one, the addition of Robin Lehner from Chicago for Malcolm Subban, a 2nd round pick, and prospect Slava Demin. There is no arguing that the Golden Knights got a lot better in this trade going from Subban to Lehner, but this deal comes with a lot of baggage. No, I’m not referring to anything regarding Lehner’s past, he’s proven to have overcome any concerns there and has been incredible in the past two seasons, I’m talking about a goalie controversy.

For three seasons the Golden Knights have had a clear hierarchy between the pipes. It’s Marc-Andre Fleury’s net and whoever is healthy fills in behind him. Now, things have changed. There’s a legitimate argument that Lehner should be the starter right away. He was better last season, he’s been better this season, he’s younger, and he has far fewer games on his body. But, can you really just cast aside the undisputed leader of the franchise heading into the team’s third playoff run, and can you do it this late in the season successfully?

It’s going to be a tough balance, and one that is only going to get tougher as the games grow in importance. Pete DeBoer doesn’t have to choose his starting goalie for Game 1 of the playoffs right now, he has time. But, what if one doesn’t emerge as the clear cut starter? What if they are both great? He’s going to have an incredibly tough choice and one that will have an impact on the locker room. Then, once we get there, how quick is the leash on whoever is in the net?

In theory, these are good problems to have as any coach will tell you that it’s better to have too many good players than not enough. However, we aren’t talking about a 2nd line left-wing or a 2nd pair defenseman, we’re talking about the most important position in the game. Also, these aren’t no-name guys, one is the face of the franchise and the other is the big trade deadline acquisition. One has to ride the pine and there will be an emotional backlash that comes with it. It’s a delicate balance and DeBoer and Dave Prior have to get it exactly right.

There is good news though, the Golden Knights are WAY better equipped now in the event they receive poor goaltending. With Fleury and Subban, if Fleury played poorly, or got hurt, the Golden Knights season was likely sunk. It’s not that Subban was terrible, but this team needs high-end goaltending if they want to hoist the Cup and he’s never proven to be able to provide it consistently. At best it was a massive question mark, now it’s anything but. If either Fleury or Lehner struggle, there’s a hell of an option to turn to (basically the opposite of the Sharks situation last year).

In that sense, the move is terrific. It’s a great insurance policy that proves the Golden Knights are all-in on winning the Cup this year. They just have to do it, otherwise, all eyes turn to Lehner’s pending free agency and that might end up becoming an even more sticky situation than the goalie controversy between now and May.

Next, there’s the forward swap. Personally, I thought the Golden Knights got better simply by removing the temptation of playing Cody Eakin (he’s been that bad), but now they add a legitimate replacement for less cost both against the cap and in trade value. This is a great move for the Golden Knights as it adds depth, it paved the way for the moves of Martinez and Lehner, and it got rid of a player they just couldn’t seem to ever figure out wasn’t cutting it this year.

Finally, we’ve got Martinez… and only Martinez. I’ll admit, he’s been impressive in the first few games both chipping in offensively with a pair of terrific reads jumping into the play leading to goals and with his shot-blocking ability in his own end. I’m still not convinced he’s the lock-down defenseman he once was, but he’s better than Jon Merrill, Zach Whitecloud, and Deryk Engelland. So, once again, the Golden Knights got better.

The price of two 2nds remains high, however, with the Lehner move the Golden Knights have shown they are 100% in go-for-it mode. With that in mind, I’d rather overpay for Martinez than be left at the alter with no defenseman when the deadline struck midnight. Future be damned if you have a legit chance to win the Stanley Cup, which this team does.

Which brings me to my final point, that they still may have come up short. The prices for the puck-moving D-men ended up being fairly insignificant in relation to everything else the Golden Knights did. Erik Gustafsson went for a 3rd, Sami Vatanen for a 4th and a pair of prospects, and Tyson Barrie was kept as an “own rental” in Toronto. If you are going to go all-in, go all-in!

This team would be stacked if they could have pulled off a move for that final d-man. Of course, the cap still needed to settle, but if they had to Ryan Reaves’ $2.85 million deal is still on the books and Nick Cousins can serve that role (at least the hockey part). Instead, when the playoffs start, Merrill, Whitecloud, or Engelland are in the lineup, and we’ll probably see all three if the run is as lengthy as we hope. The Golden Knights exited the 2020 Trade Deadline down just one future pick. If they were willing to dip into the rental market, why not dive in headfirst and really sell the farm?

All in all though, there’s no reason to be upset with the Golden Knights haul at the deadline.

They’ve just got to win 16 playoff games, otherwise, all this positivity will turn quickly.


2020 Trade Deadline Roundup

Next Podcast #188: Deadline Extravaganza


  1. Brian

    What a move with Lehner. They say he’s got a BIG personality in the room. Fingers crossed it meshes with the other big personalities in the room.

  2. Ken, you have been trying to move Reaves since he was acquired. I dont get. he had a career year last year, seems to be playing well this year, and gets nothing but love from team mates from what i have seen. He constantly seems like the first one to the puck in the O zone and there is a bit of electricity whenever he is out there.

    why do you hate Ryan Reaves Ken?

    • Because he gets paid 2x what other players of his caliber do.

    • James

      Reaves isn’t worth 2.75, not even close. If he resigns hopefully its 1.25 at most.

    • Hate the contract, not the player or person. I believe the money would be better served elsewhere. The biggest pitfall of a salary cap system is that it makes us grade performance/replaceability against a contract.

      All I’m trying to say is that they had the money to make another move and a big move had they wanted to go that route.

      • John christiano

        Yee of little faith. The game is the game! Let it be! This is big business. Way back since the acquisition of Stone management has made good heads-up moves that have done nothing but strengthened the team for the present “CUP RUN” . There’s a reason they keep Reaves (for now) and who better than management knows what he’s paid and what they’re getting for the money.
        Have faith in their judgement. They’ve made solid moves thus far. To them he has value (maybe not “value added “) but value nonetheless by the metrics of their hockey judgement. And that’s good enough for me.
        Plus he’s exciting to watch!!!

  3. DOC Williams

    As I thought, you already trying to stir up stuff regarding Flurey vs Lehner. That will work it’s self out over the next 6 weeks. I quit reading after I saw THAT attempt to start controversy. Not sure why you have the need to constantly have the need to do that.

    • Scott

      And yet you always feel the need to stir up stuff too. Why read his stories if you always disagree

    • Anthony Petrillo

      He flip flops on everything he says. Just listen to past podcasts. Jason P is the only one who keeps it real.

    • John Christiano

      Hey Doc., couldn’t agree more. What rivalry?! These guys know what they’re playing for just like Ken knows what his role is ….to be controversially “analytical”. And he’s pretty good at it… after all he got us talking him down…see what a good job he does?
      It will all play itself out when we “hoist da cup”!

  4. Gotta think Lehner is insurance for this year and resigned to vie for #1 next year (unless Flower leads us to the cup).

  5. DOC Williams

    After I saw the above comment from John, I went and read about your Reeves comments.. John is right. You have a problem with Reeves that borders on infatuation? He serves an important role on this team and does it very well! Once again I say: Guys that have never actually played the game, have no understanding of the physical side of the game (including fighting). Ken, you are a great stats & analytical guy. But not so good relating to the heart & emotions involved in playing this game!

    • Juan

      Why was Carrier the only one to seek any form of retribution on Acciari after his dirty hit on Roy the other night? Why was Carrier the one who fought Brendan Lemieux after he elbowed Cody Glass in the head? Why was T.J. Oshie left alone after he single-handedly bullied our whole team earlier this season in Washington? If we are going to overpay for Ryan Reaves because of the importance of this enforcer role, shouldn’t he be enforcing? He’s an exciting player. When he scores, T-Mobile erupts and it is awesome. I get why he’s a fan favorite. Heck, I get swept up in it too. The fact of the matter is that he makes too much money for his skill set. Ken isn’t a hater for pointing that out. You can like and support a player without liking his contract. Reavo is a big boy. He doesn’t need everyone crying anytime the media rightly calls out his bloated salary.

      • THE hockey GOD

        i agree 110% , and when he does fight an opposing team player, it gives the other team a boost !! So what does that tell you ???

  6. Chris Tettamanti

    Ended up being a three way? Got Martins Dzierkals from Toronto.

    • THE hockey GOD

      this other guy was once a prospect, now he’s unlikely to even make the NHL according to several analysts , so to say he’s organizational depth is a stretch.

  7. Trades

    very simple response to the manufactured goalie “non-controversy”…..remember the Pittsburgh Penguins winning 2 Stanley cups with Fleury watching Matt Murray in goal???

    BINGO !!

    whoever wins for the Knights, either one, will be great, and they will both get a ring. period.

    • Trades

      Oh, and one more thing.. This internal competition will be GOOD for Fleury. It will push him to be better. It will push BOTH of them to be better.

  8. Eric

    I’m interested to hear about the reason for Ken’s apparent dislike for Reavo. Personally, I love him. He gives 100 percent effort EVERY NIGHT. He is a fourth liner so we aren’t expecting 20 goals a year right? and lately the 4th line is looking like the 2017-2018 version. His goal against TB the other night was pure effort. I’d like him to sign a team friendly extension (maybe 1.75 a year?) and finish up his NHL days here in Vegas.

    • Trades

      the 4th line is starting every game, so the coach is certainly happy with his play. yes, just as Holden got a new deal today for less money, the same may happen with Reaves for next year. He and Carrier provide a very necessary ingredient to the team.

    • Chris Tettamanti

      This year at $2.75m for a fourth line winger is too much. 100% or not.

    • I don’t hate the player and I’m in favor of them re-signing him if it’s less than $1.5 million per year. I hate the contract that he signed. I believe that is replaceable production and I don’t believe in the role of an enforcer in 2020. The point I am trying to make in the context of this article is that his money could be used better elsewhere. Reaves to Carrier (or Roy or Brown or Zykov or whoever) is not nearly as big a dropoff as Gustafsson or Vatanen to Merrill.

  9. Dean

    I’m wondering what you think Lehner’s long term future with the Knights is? To resign him, it seems like we’d have to commit $13-14 million of cap space to the goalie position which doesn’t seem likely? It seems like a steep price to pay for a rental to only play backup goalie for the last two months of the season and not see the ice in the playoffs? Do you think there’s any chance that Fleury has informed the team he plans to retire after this season? It doesn’t seem likely but this deal makes no sense otherwise?

    • I believe they view this as a rental.

    • Vgk4life

      Lehner is going to really love being in Vegas… which can mean very bad things for his career. Solid player, tremendously talent, but Vegas is not Chicago. I’ve lived in both for 20+ years. Lehner is going to have to have someone keep an eye on him.

      • Juan

        The guy has very publicly worked tirelessly on his issues for the past 2-plus years. He has brought a lot of attention to mental health and substance abuse problems. He hasn’t backed down and has been brutally honest about his prior struggles. He has done nothing to suggest he can’t live in this, or any other city. Your comment belittles his heroic efforts and is flat-out disrespectful to the man.

  10. Walt

    Situation in the net is simple….They coexist or one plays more than the other. It works for some teams already. If things don’t work out coexisting, it may be time to say goodbye to Fleury. Similar to the situation with King Henrik in NY, changes are coming. He can run for governor and win if he wants, or he can retire and go back home leaving us with excellent memories. The fear of a goalie controversy is far exceeded by the one two punch the VGK have for the next few months at least. The minor league pipeline is average, so game on for who will be in the net for the next few years. Hoping for the coexisting option, at least for a while.

  11. Fleury hasn’t played well enough to be upset about competition. The starting goalie has to produce or seasons have unhappy endings. A two-headed monster at goalie is a good thing. I hope!

    I would like to hear more about Cousins.

  12. Tim

    Ken your in the minority I also love reeves. So what they pay him a million to much look at the energy he brings and the fear he puts in the opposition well worth what he makes. I see they signed Nick Holden for 2 more years. I’m OK with that he’s having a good year.The big one Lehner great addition no question about it. The Nick Cousins trade from what I read has grit and likes to get in your face sounds like a Golden Knight to me. Once again George and Kelly pick guys who they feel can help the team and I wouldn’t be surprised if Cousins elevates his game to another level.

  13. JV

    It cost a 5th round pick as well. Guess that was for Laffs getting involved and eating salary. Surprised the team gave up that much for a 2 month rental ( 2nd, 5th, Subban, and Demin). They could possibly re-sign Lehner to a long term deal if he’s willing to wait 2 years to be the starter, but it would have to be backloaded as much as the CBA allows until MAF contract expires. And Lehner wants a long term deal

    • Don’t all you realize KEN is a fisherman always trolling a bite. That’s his thing and he gets lots of takers. He throws a line out and everyone can’t wait to bite. He stirs the pot to create interest in what is and isn’t going on and in all probably you may never know what his real thoughts or opinions are.

    • John c

      JV…Lehner is a talent that deserves a long term contract (assuming no demons surface, can happen u know) he’s shown he’s got the stuff!
      I think it’s a great move by management for both the here and now and the future.
      As far as what they gave up to get him is concerned….if we win THE CUP with him….we’ll get indicted for robbery!!

      BTW…after the deal…VGK DROPPED TO 5-1 to win it all….somebody likes the moves!!!!

  14. Trades

    Lehner has spent the last 2 years sharing the net, one with the Isles and Greiss, and one with the Hawks and Crawford.

    He is used to the situation…the 1 and 1A tandem is fine with him.

    • John c


      Fleury throws down the gauntlet ….

      Great game!!!

  15. Vena

    As of today I’m finished with Ken and his cheap shots!

  16. Vgk2020

    one thing is for sure….take away the new guys DeBoer, Stephenson, Martinez, Whitecloud, Roy, Cousins, and LEHNER, and you’ve got a team that would likely be missing the playoffs, instead of leading the division.


  17. A Fan

    I get that Ken has to keep people coming and clicking on stories/tweets, he makes his living that way. If those dry up, so does he. Personally, I think George and Kelley did as good (great) as anyone could have done recently. We got rid of 2 liabilities and added some nice talent. Well done boys!

  18. DOC Williams

    WOW! Great comments! Glad to see all the Revo backers. Don’t have a single worry about the Flower/Lehner roles. It WILL work out as it should. I’m sure the plans right now is to split the remaining games down the stretch, giving flower much needed relief going into the playoffs. If one or the other has problems or one gets hot he gets more chances. They are both professionals & grown men. It’s nothing but a great BIG plus for VGK. ( The guys on NHL network let out a load gasp when the Lehner trade news came out on their monitors, it was cool, they loved the trade for us). Also, I think we are all going to love this Cousins guy. He’s a pesky, gritty hard playing guy! I was pissed at 11:45 today & ecstatic at 12:15!!!!!!

  19. THE hockey GOD

    IMHO another short term move at expense of long term, they gave up three potential positions in the organization for a potential rental : The Blackhawks will get a second-round pick, Malcolm Subban and prospect Slava Demin in the deal. Three for one. And maybe at UFA time three for none. Well I take that back, just off the wire another player was thrown in

    Martins Dzierkals C, Vegas Golden Knights
    Martins Dzierkals has been acquired by he Vegas Golden Knights.

    The Leafs got Vegas’ fifth-round selection in the 2020 NHL Draft in the deal. The move was made to help Chicago and Vegas complete a trade on Monday. The Maple Leafs have also retained a portion of goaltender Robin Lehner’s salary as part of the transaction. Dzierkals is an unsigned prospect playing in Finland’s Liiga. He has three goals and 10 points in 31 gams this year. But they lost another two organization slots in Martinez deal: Vegas has acquired Alec Martinez from Los Angeles in exchange for two second-round draft picks.

  20. DOC Williams

    And then there’s our buddy Ken. If stirring up things to get reactions for his site here, then okey dokey! I disagree often with his views, but when I want information about salary caps or rules I go to him. So Ken, you mentioned on twitter today that the 23 man roster limit ends today. Could you explain more & how that affects our guys? Thanks!

  21. DOC Williams

    The reason for todays trades are to WIN THE FRIGGIN CUP THIS YEAR!!!! We need to quit worrying about the “assets”. Let the McGMs do that. They seem to be doing a damn fine job!! I’m an old main in not so great health. Quite frankly I could care less about 2-5 years down the road. I won’t be here then. Now is when they need to win the cup, so I can experience it!

  22. Vgk2020

    from Review Journal—

    “Two weeks after the Golden Knights were clinging to the final playoff spot in the NHL’s Western Conference, they suddenly are the favorite to win the 2020 Stanley Cup.

    The Knights, riding a six-game win streak, opened Monday at the Westgate sportsbook as 5-1 co-favorites with the Tampa Bay Lightning to win the NHL title.

    However, after the Knights acquired goaltender Robin Lehner in a trade deadline deal with the Blackhawks, the Westgate made them the sole +450 favorites to win the Stanley Cup.”

  23. Vgk2020

    what the hell was Tampa thinking???

    they gave the hated Snarks a 1st round pick for the 4th line center Barclay Goodrow, who averages about 7 or 8 goals per season.

    That is the equivalent of giving the VGK a first rounder for Nosek

  24. THE hockey GOD

    need to also focus on what other teams did in this division, imho the Eskimos got a whole lot better, opps, I call them the Eskimos, Edmonton. But they are really the Oilers. My BAD !

  25. Tim

    I don’t see the problem of giving up extra picks we have acquired to make the team a contender. Stephenson a 2021 5th round pick. Alec Martinez again 2 second round picks we acquired in trades. Nick Cousins a 4th round pick, and the biggie Lehner for a second, prospect and Subban. What’s all the panic we still have all our own picks this year and next. In the pipeline we’ve got young D-Men in Whitecloud, Schulot, Coglin, Hague. Forwards we have Krebs, Glass, the 2 Russians, Lucas E who leads our AHL team in points, Jack Dugan who should be college player of the year, Roy and all these players are 22 years old or less. Then we have a bunch of college kids scattered around the country. The trades were well worth it and resigning Holden and I’m sure they’ll resign Carrier and Nosek who are solid just keeps the room united. Reeves I would sign for about 1.5 he brings something special to the team as the enforcer and he’s a fan favorite. Last but not least we have most of the core players signed long term so as we all know Kelly and George have done a bang up job from the start. Thanks you

    • THE hockey GOD

      @tim, half those players mentioned won’t be high caliber NHL players, they are selling out the franchise much like Dave Dombrowski sold out the Detroit Tigers and nearly the Boston Red Sox. You don’t throw out the baby with the bath water. Whoever is routing for short term success blindly and not seeing long term disaster is clearly not thinking straight. I don’t want to see Vegas turn into another Arizona, Detroit Tiger (losing year after year), Red wings (losing year after year), or Florida Panthers. Fact is the Caps and Oilers and Pens, as well as Islanders, among others made deals. Not as drastic as the VGK. But they all got better. So quit all this “we got better and we made good deals to win the SC this year BS. So did a lot of the other teams in the hunt but giving up much less of their future. That is topic that no one is discussing. Check back in a few years and see where this franchise is in the standings after all their proven NHL players are 3 to5 years older, 5 steps slower, and sinking in the standings.

  26. DOC Williams

    “The hockey god: huh? You just don’t make sense in your argument on draft picks. We still have our normal allotted picks in the future drafts. So, you are saying lets keep the other picks so we can go for the cup in 3-4 years! We all live in the NOW, mr god! Our top six are signed for some time. To win the cup THIS year we HAD to have help at goalie! We went and got that! Your argument is getting old and senseless. Sorry, but I’m and old man and I only care about NOW. (as do many others) So now I need to take my meds & take a nap!!!!! :)

    • Vgk2020

      also, the core players of the team are in their late 20’s, they are in their prime NOW, and it would be foolish to waste that closing window of opportunity.

    • John christiano

      Doc you should’ve been a carpenter, your hitting nails square on the head!!!

      Hockey god…..the future is NOW….we can taste the CUP!!!

      • DOC Williams

        Hey John C … Thanks for the nice comment! Now if I told you I WAS a carpenter, that would be something, huh? BUT, no no no I’m NOT. Put a hammer in my hand, I’d be hitting my thumb much more than the nail head. ha ha

        • John C

          Doc, u toooo funny!! But keep banging away at these guys (but keep your thumbs wrapped)!
          Old wisdom is the best wisdom!!!

          Let’s “Hoist Da Cup” together !!

          Big game tonite!!
          GO VGK!!

          • John C

            Hey Doc! I know the carpenter is smiling this morning!

            My question is: just a great streak or DESTINY???!!!

  27. Tim

    As I said above and Doc also said who is worried about the Knights falling off a cliff. We basically have all our draft picks for the next two years and as George has said you make trades to have extra assets to make moves when you want. To pick up Martinez, Lehner, and Cousins and not use our own picks is smart management. I’ll throw Stephenson in that mix a 5th round in 2021 how can you beat that.

  28. DOC Williams

    I hope we can all now get on the same page, in a positive way. The Knights did exactly what had to be done for us to go after THE CUP this year! Also, we only “lost” two players from roster. (Neither of which would have helped us AT ALL to get to the cup)!!!!!!!!!!! We already know: We have added 3 quality guys in #20, #23 & #90 (Lehner). AND I think you will see #21 COUSINS be a fan favorite quickly. The guy is a pesky shit that the other teams hate playing against! Now, if the heart & passion remains in our play on the ice … we are in for a very exciting three months coming up!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  29. Tim

    Ken I’ve got a question. I see Roy and Whitecloud were recalled from Chicago today. This is happening twice a week and I understand it’s salary cap related. My question is do they really go to Chicago or is it just on paper and they just put them up in a hotel in Vegas? I just can’t believe those actually fly back and fourth that much.

    • I’ve attempted to track down that answer and have run into a series of roadblocks. So, I do not have an answer for you. With the AHL moving to Henderson next year, I’ve decided to stop caring.

  30. DOC Williams

    Hey John C … Thanks for the nice comment! Now if I told you I WAS a carpenter, that would be something, huh? BUT, no no no I’m NOT. Put a hammer in my hand, I’d be hitting my thumb much more than the nail head. ha ha :)

  31. Long time Hawks fan but now VGK season ticket holder. I still follow the Hawks when the home team isn’t playing and I can say that Lehner made Cory Crawford better in goal last season the same way Ray Emery (R.I.P) made Crawford great in 2013 when they both hoisted the Stanley Cup and the Jennings trophy. Like it or not, competition is good for the team. I’m not familiar with Cousins but if he’s a Rat like David Bolland/Andrew Shaw, we need someone like that to deal with the likes of Marchand and to drive Ovey nuts.

  32. DOC Williams

    I have not a single follower on twitter. Anyone want to throw me a bone & follow this old man and his common sense views on hockey? (I know, I’m pathetic). :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén