**Southern Nevada Sports Hall of Famer, Steve Carp’s returns to SinBin.vegas for the 2021 season. His weekly column publishes every Sunday during the Golden Knights season and is brought to you by the Jimmerson Law Firm.**
In their brief existence, the Golden Knights have won four individual NHL awards — all in 2018: William Karlsson took the Lady Byng, Deryk Engelland the Mark Messier Leadership Award, Gerard Gallant the Jack Adams, and George McPhee the General Manager of Year.
Will Mark Stone’s name be added to the list this summer?
The Captain is worthy of the Frank J. Selke Trophy, which goes to the top defensive forward, and he should be in the conversation for the Hart Trophy which goes to the league’s MVP.
The latter might be more problematic, given Edmonton’s Connor McDavid likely has a lock on that. The Hart is supposed to be for “most valuable to his team” and it’s hard to argue against McDavid. But Stone has certainly been Vegas’ MVP this season. Yes, Max Pacioretty has more goals. Yes, Marc-Andre Fleury has been sensational in net. But when you look at the totality of it, who has done more for this team than Stone?
He leads the team in scoring and is tied for ninth in the league with 57 points. He is an excellent penalty killer. He uses that long stick to break up opposing scoring opportunities before they ever manifest themselves. He blocks shots and plays the body in his own end . He’s a +26, third in the NHL among forwards. In other words, Stone checks all the Selke boxes.
Yet, for all the good things he has done for the Golden Knights, it might not get recognized around the league when it comes to the Selke. The good folks in Canada who vote for this may not be paying close enough attention to what’s going on here, though I have faith in my Professional Hockey Writers Association brethren that they are in tune with what’s happening beyond the North Division.
That said, McDavid’s Edmonton sidekick, Leon Draisaitl, is going to get a lot of consideration, as will Florida’s Aleksander Barsov and Boston’s Patrice Bergeron (a four-time Selke winner), and Brad Marchand. Some might try and make a case for Ryan O’Reilly in St. Louis, Joel Erikkson-Ek in Minnesota, and Martin Necas in Carolina.
But here’s why Stone should be strongly considered, if not the outright favorite, for the Selke. He’s been making great plays all season. But in Wednesday’s 5-2 win over the Avalanche, a game everyone can agree was huge for both teams, Stone delivered.
Watch him here as he sets up Pacioretty for the fourth goal early in the third period:
It all starts with him blocking a shot, then winning the footrace for the puck, creating the 2-on-1, and patiently waiting before slipping the disk across to Pacioretty.
Then there’s his penalty killing. We all know how dangerous the Avs are with MacKinnon, Makar and Co. But Stone did great work in the 3:45 of ice time he accrued while on the PK. Colorado went 0-for-4 on its power play and it only adds to his Selke candidacy.
Stone has 28 blocked shots. He is not afraid to sacrifice his body for his team. That’s the kind of selflessness you would expect. And to that point, I wouldn’t even bother asking Stone what it would mean to him to win the Selke. His response would likely be, “I have different trophy I want to win.”
I’m guessing the Selke’s not even on his radar. Hopefully, he is on the radar of the voters who will decide who wins in July.
A half-full Fortress
Saturday was a big day in Southern Nevada.
Clark County approved expanding the limits of occupancy from 50 to 80 percent while reducing social distancing from six feet to three feet. Throw in some of the loosened restrictions from the CDC for those who have been fully vaccinated from COVID-19 and we’re starting to see signs of life returning to some degree of normalcy after 13+ months.
But for Golden Knights fans, normal takes on a different meaning.
In the VGK world, normal is a full Fortress — 18,000+. It means congregating in Toshiba Plaza. It means the pregame march with the cheerleaders, the Golden Knight, and Chance.
So when will we be back to normal? Sooner than you think.
The team submitted a plan to Clark County and the Southern Nevada Health District to allow more people inside T-Mobile Arena. And with the playoffs a couple of weeks away, the hope was to allow at least 80 percent in for the games in May, going to full capacity in June and beyond.
Saturday, the county approved increasing capacity to 50 percent for the final three home games (Friday and Saturday vs. St. Louis and May 10 vs. Colorado). So instead of 3,950, we’ll see close to 9,000 in The Fortress.
Even with the 20 percent — 3,950 — in the building, you can hear and feel the difference from earlier in the year when no one was allowed. The fake crowd noise piped in didn’t make for much of an atmosphere. But once the fans were able to come back in, it was a different story.
The Knights are 19-4-2 at home. They enjoy a big home-ice advantage. The players have acknowledged the crowd helps create energy for them. So imagine what it would be like with 18,000 or somewhere in that vicinity for the playoffs?
It would be great, no question. It will also be expensive. Traditionally, teams increase the price of tickets for the playoffs and the Knights are no exception. If you are offered a chance to attend, be prepared to pay considerably more than the norm.
Of course, you don’t have to buy the tickets if you don’t want to or can’t afford it. A lot of folks are still hurting financially and are out of work.
The team knows this. Yet it still has a business to run. It has been tough financially on them this year with projected losses of around $120 million. But even if there was no pandemic to impact the bottom line, the Knights would still be charging you more to attend a playoff game, just like it did the first two years.
Hopefully, those who have the means will be able to purchase playoff tickets and fill The Fortress, assuming the county and the team can reach an agreement for June playoff games and allow full capacity (or at least 80 percent). It would be a big step back toward normalcy, even if you have to keep your mask on while inside.
**Steve Carp is the author of “Vegas Born — The remarkable story of the Golden Knights.” Follow him on Twitter @stevecarp56. All of Steve Carp’s work here on SinBin.vegas is presented to you by the Jimmerson Law Firm. For over twenty-five years, the Jimmerson Law Firm has been widely recognized as one of Las Vegas’s preeminent full-service law firms. Specializing in high stakes business, civil and family litigation, the Jimmerson Law Firm has an unparalleled track record of winning when it matters most. To reach the Jimmerson Law Firm, call (702) 388-7171 and tell them SinBin.vegas sent you.**
DOC (Go Knights Go)
Stoney is just damn good!
And a great Captain!!
Disappointed in the article:
No comments about the blessings of abortion in our country?
No comments about “evil” law enforcement against heroic criminals?
No negative comments about the “violence” doled out by our Army Special Forces around the world against those who want to destroy our country?
THE hockey GOD
i can take a shot at some stuff if you want me to? but the liberals her heads would explode as they can’t handle the truth.
dun dun dun
dun dun dun dun dun dun
back to little grass shack.
Jake, Your post is stupid and disrespectful. Steve keeps his SinBin articles strictly focused on VGK and always maintains a professional view on the various hockey-related topics he writes about. You are a fkg dumb sh*t and there’s no legitimate reason for posts like yours in this venue. Keep your political views to yourself or whatever other media format you disgrace. And, BTW don’t whine about free speech. This is a private website that VGK fans enjoy, not some sh*thole site for you to spread your political manure.
THE hockey GOD
“This is a private website ” no it isn’t. This is a public forum. There is no membership, or key, or pass code required, or fee to be paid. Anyone in world can see it (assuming the subject gooberment doesn’t ban the site).
Anyone is allowed to make as many stupid or otherwise opinionated or any other comment(s) as they want too regardless of the fact that you may or may not like.
This isn’t the “Bushwood Country Club” !!
THE hockey GOD
good job cappy
“The team knows this. Yet it still has a business to run. It has been tough financially on them this year with projected losses of around $120 million” and last year 60 million or more. I have been touching on this subject at times in other posts.
Foley is not one of the top assets owner in NHL. His net worth at end of last year was projected at under one billion. More closely to 800 million. 120 to 220 million is a LARGE percentage chunk out of his bottom line. NOT GOOD. How much longer can he stay afloat ? Also, the CAP is a non player in this except to say that NHL isn’t raising it, and if owners have their say they probably won’t raise it for awhile until they re-coup their losses. Which may take years. That is stuff for another article.
On other side of coin, if we were a socialist society, not a capitalist economy, we likely would not have the VGK in VEGAS at all. Socialists can’t run s.h.i.t and every effort has failed miserably. Why some people in America support this brand of lunacy is beyond me.
Do you own a business? Do you understand the concept of cash flow and how sometimes it’s cheaper to lose money directly in lieu of shutting a business down as it actually is a less of a loss directly than the savings in overhead? In my type of business in downtime’s we take jobs at a loss in order to reduce overhead. In the end it saves us cash. Which in reality is king in business….liquidity. Mind you it’s not a viable long term solution but for a business the size of his but a couple years of loss isn’t as bad as it sounds. It theoretically reduces his overall overhead significantly. He is able to keep open lines of credit due to his overall gross revenue. If you lose the VGK organization it is a huge loss of overall revenue thus lesser lines of credit. It’s a very difficult concept to grasp unless you deal with it. It’s not something they teach you in business school.
With all that said business is much more complex than the just direct loss in revenue due to reduced attendance and league revenues. The numbers sound huge but it’s all relative. Mind you my business nowhere near that size but it’s still relative.
It’s just a thought that it may not be as bad as it sounds. Please don’t attack me.
THE hockey GOD
Ty for reply Neal.
I don’t know why my reply was not posted.
25% reduction in net worth is HUGE regardless of relative number , as you point out. It’s relative. Notwithstanding the impact of getting credit among other things, if needed, is drastically reduced impacting your ability to expand. Of course, depending on lender and previous relationship with lender. But typically they would look at such a factor.
Foley is old, younger people can make up losses over time. Older people can not, their life span earning potential is increasingly decreasing.
Look at what happened to pizza franchise owner in Detroit. The Red Wings and Tigers are surely not the same since owner passed to son.
“we take jobs at a loss in order to reduce overhead” My post was related to NHL and VGK. I don’t see how Foley can realistic use this mechanism without recourse from the NHL and players union.
“Mind you it’s not a viable long term solution but for a business the size of his ” That is what I am saying.
Imagine if you , or anyone, had to manage a business facing crazy political winds with madness of a forced minimum wage increase , especially in this environment. I am talking about main street , not Wall street. What options are there? More layoffs, contract workers ? Machines over workers? Price increases, inflation ? This impacts one ability to EXPAND and GROW the business.
This was one of the points in my OP :
NHL salary cap is critical for VGK in their current situation. NHL owners will likely not want a salary cap increase in this environment in order to make up their huge losses. Well they can’t implement the same solutions you and I can do in business. Therefore they are stuck in this salary cap limbo , for how long ? I don’t know. But it’s not good situation near term for this franchise. And how is this positive factor in comparison to leagues with no salary cap? It is not. It hurts NHL even more because teams in VGK situation are stuck, for near term future. They can not grow, they can not expand, they can not improve their product on the ice during this phase.
my other post may come through trying to say the same thing.
It wasn’t meant to be a direct comparison. It’s meant to say loss and down years are a reality in business and the strong ones (like Foley) know that. My dollars are nowhere near his but it’s really all about liquidity and cash flow. Business is business….just different scales. I could be way off base concerning his business. But when I hear about direct dollar losses I never really panic about it.
Just one other thing, the idea of taking jobs at a loss was not a comparison to VGK by itself which is a small part of his entire business portfolio. As a whole (again I really don’t know enough about his business set-up) losing money with VGK may actually be used as a positive for his entire business portfolio….short term ( 3 or 4 years). I, for instance, have several different companies incorporated into my one business portfolio. At any given time one could be, and quite frankly often does, lose money but shutting it down would decrease cash flow and gross revenue which in turn hurts the ability to get financing and raises my overhead which could, in theory, be more expensive than the actual direct losses.
I just don’t think that these couple years are really hurting him as bad as it may sound. That really is my main point.
And btw, I do own several business that are and do face all the problems you mention, (crazy minimum wages, lack of labor force, increased material, etc…) and it’s difficult. That’s why so few own and run businesses successfully.
What’s the difference between 80% and 100% capacity besides the obvious. It’s just stupid that the next step is just not 100%.
Steve, another fine read. Regarding Stone, from what I’ve read on the Athletic and other hockey media it sound like Stone will be close but won’t win the Selke. They are all biased to Eastern or Canadian teams, maybe due partly to the fact they’re often sleeping or don’t bother to watch Western teams. Add to that the bias against wingers for the Selke and it seems Stone has little chance. I guess Stone will have to suffice with the appreciation of Vegas fans and media, and possibly a Stanley Cup ring?
DOC (Go Knights Go)
Hey KEN, I have a question.
A very likely scenario would leave the Knights and AVs tied with 82 points.
This would be so if: A) – Knights split with Minn & St Louis and beat AVs & SJ. B) – AVs win all their games left with the lower teams and lose to the Knights. (all this assuming regulation wins).
If tied at 82, the Knights would have beat the AVs 5-3 in season series.
So my question: Would the season series be the first tie breaker or something else?
Scroll to bottom, tie breaking procedure
First tie breaker is regulation wins of which Colorado currently has three more than VGK.