The NHL trade deadline is a week away and it could be another active one for the Golden Knights. Since their first trade deadline in 2018, Vegas hasn’t been shy adding players to their already competitive roster. The first season Ryan Reaves and Tomas Tatar were acquired to give the coaching staff extra skill and muscle. On last year’s deadline day, the Golden Knights traded and signed Mark Stone who quickly became the face of the franchise. Needless to say, the players and fans are anticipating the front office to be calling and texting other general managers.
I’ve been on every end of that situation, buying and selling, or standing put. In terms of rumors you don’t hear too many playing in Vegas as opposed to playing in a Canadian city. On trade deadline having the TV on in here, you heard about the possibility of getting a guy like Mark Stone. I’m sure once we get closer to the day maybe we’ll hear a little more. In terms of what we hear with outside noise, we don’t as a player in Vegas and that’s a nice thing. -Pacioretty
Max Pacioretty has seen his share of deadlines come and go in his 12-year career. The 31-year-old has been on both sides of the scale, teams that were buyers and teams that were sellers. Even for a veteran the trade deadline period can be a bit stressful, knowing a teammate or potentially himself could be dealt to another club.
It’s a pretty crappy feeling when you get the day off and you’re all hanging out, which has happened to me, and everyone has got their phones on. Seeing guys drop like flies getting traded to other teams because your team is selling. That’s the worst feeling in the world and you never want to be in that position.- Pacioretty
That isn’t the case for Vegas, nor has it been in team history. Pacioretty and his teammates expect the Golden Knights to be heavily involved, even if a trade doesn’t materialize.
We like what we have in this room. If there’s a piece to add I’m sure they’ll make it. They’ve always done a good job of knowing where to add or how far to stretch as to what we need or not. Management has always done a great job in that regard and we trust them this year as well.-Pacioretty
Last season the Golden Knights were given an immediate upgrade when Stone was brought over from Ottawa. Not only did the front office acquire a highly-skilled player but they signed him to an eight-year deal. Addressing the 2019 playoff run, and the future. The move was a big boost for a contending team preparing for a playoff run.
Often times when you do get a piece that can contribute, it’s a message from up top saying ‘we believe in you guys and we want to contend this year.’ Rentals are one thing and obviously they do serve a purpose but it seems like if we can get a guy for longer term it’s more bang for your buck. Going about it the way they do with trade and signs, similar to myself. It’s not just ‘oh we’re going to go for it this year.’ It’s more of ‘we see an opportunity to make this team better this year and in the long run.’ It’s a really smart way of going about it.-Pacioretty
On the other end side of the equation is the mentality of the roster if the Golden Knights front office decide to stand pat. The same way a move could jolt a locker room, it can have the same effect by not buying at the deadline. It’s another signal the organization truly believes in the current roster and their chances in the postseason.
Yeah definitely. We like what we have. If you try and speculate as to what you need or what you can afford, more often than not you’re always wrong. I don’t know how all of that cap space works, saving days or whatnot, that’s not my department. Any team will say that in a salary cap world there’s always an area that you can improve because no team is perfect top to bottom. It’s impossible with a salary cap. I’m sure if they feel like there’s any area they can improve, and if not that’s fine, we like what we have in here and still like our chances.-Pacioretty
Pacioretty and his teammates are confident in the current roster’s capabilities, but no doubt they’ll be keeping an eye on the NHL Network next Monday. Not so much for a teammate being shipped out, but for the new face that may be coming in. It’s hard to imagine the front office making another franchise-altering acquisition like last February, but whatever happens, trade or standing pat, it’ll be fully endorsed by the locker room.