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Cassidy Plans To Break Up The Misfit Line

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

On October 24th, 2017, eight games into the first season in franchise history, William Karlsson, Jonathan Marchessault, and Reilly Smith played their first game together as a line. From that moment on, they’ve been inseparable both on and off the ice.

I love playing with those guys. They are two great people and two great players. -Reilly Smith

The “Misfit Line” as they grew to become known through the years have suited up on a line together more than 300 times in the Golden Knights’ 439 games. On 52 different goals, the three have accounted for the goal and both assists. No other line has more than 20.

As a trio, they’ve become synonymous with Vegas hockey, and with all three under contract for Year 6, it would only make sense to continue.

Hopefully I’ll have the opportunity to play with them a lot this upcoming season. They elevate my game and I think I do that for them as well. We’re a good line and we’re tough to play against when we are all on the same page and playing quick. -Smith

However, there was one significant change this offseason that may throw a wrench in those plans. For new head coach Bruce Cassidy, the Misfit Line has never played a game, never scored a goal, or never even taken a shift together.

I haven’t seen any of it. I have seen the line together against us and I’ve seen them watching playoff hockey over the years, so I’m fairly confident putting them together that they’ll find their chemistry. But is it the best fit for the team? You don’t just put a line together because it’s good for them. It’s got to be what’s best for the team. -Bruce Cassidy

In Cassidy’s mind, there’s only one way to truly find out what’s best for the team.

I would suspect we’ll move them around. They know how to play with one another so what you’ll probably see is them spread out a little bit early on and see how that works and if it doesn’t work you always have something you can go back to. We’ll probably start camp looking at them with other people. That would be my guess. Don’t hold me to that though. -Cassidy

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

With the departures of Max Pacioretty, Evgenii Dadonov, and Mattias Janmark, the Golden Knights forward group looks a lot different now than it did last season. Players like Brett Howden, Nic Roy, William Carrier, and Keegan Kolesar are expected to be leaned on to take on more responsibility in the VGK lineup.

After a year in which the Golden Knights front office touted they were the deepest they’ve been in franchise history, this year they enter with the shallowest.

Cassidy is going to have to search for answers and it appears that means the end of the Misfits, at least for a little while.

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48 Comments

  1. knights fan in minny

    the true fan base won’t like this

    • David

      True fan’s won’t be bothered. They just want the team to succeed. The fake fans will be outraged just like they were when Fluery was traded and Pete was named coach.

      • VGK Fan

        David,

        Your comments about true fans are just plan ignorant. Everyone here wants the team to win.

        According to your comments only sheep can be true fans. It’s okay not to agree with management decision.

        I’ve been a season ticket holder since season 2 and attend 40 games a year. Which makes me a true fan. There are many season ticket holders who didn’t like the MAF trade don’t put labels on people.

      • Lou

        David, I couldn’t agree more. Too many “fans” who are more concerned with the names on the back of the sweater than the logo on the front.

    • Eichel

      Vegas has true fans? Where? They don’t even know what off sides mean. You mean Summerlin moms I believe!

    • Jester

      True fan base wants whats best for the team.

  2. Coyote

    Fire Cassidy.

    Well, not yet, but keep the Misfits together.

    • Seth Bayles

      Marchy needs to be up top with Eichel and Stone. Eichel needs a sniper and Marchy is our only pure goal scorer apart from him.

    • Stevie Ray

      I couldn’t agree more. If Cassidy made all the right moves (or an occasional right move) he’d still be in Beantown. I think Foley will whack him if he tries imploding everything the VGK has built that’s successful. Even a short leash is long enough to hang himself with. (IMO).

  3. I give coach time to experiment with lines. A new coach needs to see what he’s dealing with, and try to fix what’s broken. Obviously PP, offensive scoring, Blue Paint offense AND defense, need improvement. Changing up the lines can be a great motivator..fresh lines can mean novel, innovative play…looking forward to new ideas!!

  4. Well, keeping the line intact since the beginning hasn’t garnered a Cup so let’s try something different.

    It is called Coaching 101

  5. knights fan in minny

    new eyes new start clean slate

  6. Ken

    A new coach needs to ry different things in the beginning for sure.

  7. Well, I guess he has to do something since we are looking at a third line that will most likely be the weakest offensively in VGK short history Roy, Carrier and Howden /Amadio/Kolesar thanks Kelly.

    Out of the players listed above Roy is the only player who has scored more than 11 goals in a season.

    • Vgk fan, I think Roy will rise to the occasion and have a great year! He’s young, smart, athletic, and he has a really MEAN shot…he’ll get plenty of those shots, if he gets the ice time expected. I really like him.

      • TS,

        I like Roy also!

        VGK currently has $6.46 million in cap space remaining and only has 18 players signed. So for them to get a 23 man roster someone else will need to be moved to sign Roy. Roy averaged .5 points a game and players with similar point productions are going for $3 million.

        Lets face it VGK are not getting players for a home town discount all you have to do is look at the Howden deal at $1.5 million. Another thing to consider we had to pay Janmark last year $2 million to stay this year he signs for only $1.25 million go play with Edmonton the entire roster only has two team friendly deals #81 and #27. The lack of player development and poor trades has left this team filled with a roster of no depth and average at best to bad contracts.

        • Oops I forgot three team friendly deals, I forgot to mention #20 probably the best contract on the team!

          • Stephenson is awesome! Lightning fast, smart, great player!! Can keep up with Eichel, no problem. So glad to retain him!!

    • Oh, and CARRIER?? WARRIOR.

  8. Ron

    The best line in this arrival was that this year is the “shallowest”team as far as dept is concerned. Thanks KM

  9. We are so thin, it might be good for the team. It sucks, but what else you going to do.

  10. Blitz

    Well when you only have 1.5 lines worth of good players. I guess it is better to split them up and make 4 lines of who gives a fuck, not going to the stanley cup any time soon, anyway.

    I wonder if Cassidy regrets his choice yet.

  11. Tim

    A new coach has to see the talent he’s been given and do the best he can to make it mesh. If that means breaking up the Misfit line so be it. It should be an interesting season for better or worse come next May we’ll know which direction were going. No one likes to lose so I don’t see a rebuild with Eichel, Stone, and Petro that’s 30 million dollars that wouldn’t be happy.

    • Tim – who cares if they are happy or not – they could care less they got their big bucks in either case.

      • Tim

        hdbiker, True money given has out weighed production on Eichel, Stone, and Petro but who’s counting.

  12. Stephen

    DeBoer tried to break them up as well. Cassidy will find out what works and what doesn’t. All it will take is them to be behind in a game and the line gets reunited and hopefully produces.

  13. Perhaps it will force Karlsson to become wild Bill again, maybe he’ll start scoring again? Marchy and Smith will produce wherever they are. But put Karlsson on another line and tell him he needs to carry the scoring load,, see what happens.

  14. THE hockey GOD

    i see some AHL talent influencing the team roster early on; until I see them practice more than a few times I can’t make a solid call.

  15. Emmanuel

    I think it’s more likely the top 3 lines have 2 scorers each with a grinder, excepting the 2nd line, some of those C will have to play wing:

    Carrier – karlsson – stone

    Marchessault – Eichel – Stephenson

    ? – Roy – Reilly

    • Blitz

      Those are terrible lines. Which one is your top line? Stephenson as a winger on your Eichel line. Carrier with Bill and Stone, at least it would be exciting when they scored cause it isn’t going to happen very often. This team is not only top heavy it absolutely doesn’t have quality wingers to fill the top two lines. Do the exercise, you cannot put the top two lines together with using a player that doesn’t fit or doesn’t belong in the top two. Stephenson good center, not a great winger, Roy ok center, not a great winger. Carrier on the top two lines you aren’t making the playoffs. Who else, Howden, Amadio, Kolesar, AHL guy? No, no, fuck no, and probably not unless you get lottery lucky and/or lightning striking your ex girlfriend lucky.

      This team needs to sell its soul for another shooting winger to go on the top 2 lines.

      Stone – Eichel – New soul costing winger
      Misfit line (don’t care what Cassidy says)
      whoever – stephenson – whoever
      whoever – whoever/roy – whoever

      That is a good top 2 lines (that you can mix match whatever) and unproven or even dog shit bottom 2 lines. As soon a injuries start the top lines get the fill ins from the bottom lines and you lose.

      But no worries cause RL is going to stop every puck with his slick agility and quick glove. I mean look at those stats! Hoist the cup now.

      • Emmanuel

        It’s not about a top line. It’s about 3 balanced lines. The Karlsson line would be a two way shutdown line, it’s Possible Karlsson and Stone if healthy score 20-25 each, Carrier can work the corners. The 2nd line is a scoring line and Stephenson would be better as a winger in my opinion., Eichel at RW should be tried. The 3rd line would be what’s left over. The misfit line would be a great 2nd PP unit.

        I would love to have another scoring winger but there’s no money.
        If the team is top heavy the bottom six is going to get creamed.

  16. EK

    While things don’t look fantastic right now it’s certainly waaaaaay too early to start planning the VGK funeral. They haven’t even had a practice yet and people are wondering if the new coach regrets signing his contract? Come on people grow up, have some faith. There are always guys ready and waiting to break out and have career seasons and make huge advances in their games. Let’s Go!

  17. Cathy McGowen

    No words…

  18. Rick

    I’d put eichel on the 2nd line and then on the power play have eichel n stone together..

  19. THE hockey GOD

    year 1 , FO Great job
    year 2, FO great job
    year 3, FO great job
    year 4, FO great job
    year 5 FO sucks big one (like Biden)

  20. Tim

    You can mix and match the lines anyway you want but if elite scoring ability isn’t there how much does it matter? The question is does anyone see an elite scorer among our players. Even when Stone was at his best he was a pass first guy sad to say with a knack for defense. Theadore and Petro shoot from 80 feet and pray, Martinez probably the best D – Man with McNabb and Whitecloud bringing nothing to the offense but decent defense.

    • Tim: PDB actually had those guys PRACTICE goal attempts from the neutral zone! When I saw this thru several practices, I knew this was part of the plan..like, the plan must have been , as you said, the ” shoot and pray” plan. USELESS!!

  21. Obvious

    Ha ha ha let’s reinvent the wheel

    PRICELESS

    Wonder at what point 2 faced foley figures out it ain’t the coach….. never has been

    Thank god we’ve got that psycho in net to save the day

  22. TJW

    Fans by definition have the OK to endlessly critique I do it all the time. But seriously I cannot be upset with this organization because this owner has done nothing but try to win from day one. Everyone has seen franchises run out the same old tired crap for years with the same result and I’m thankful that ain’t us. I’m in 100% on this unit and can’t wait to see the upcoming drama.

  23. Chris

    Heard from a source this morning to keep an eye on Vegas. The silence from their FO is deafening as they placed two different packages up for CGY. Now it’s just a matter of the other teams on Tkachuk’s preferred list to put forth an offer that CGY likes more. The PR release gives the Flames a chance to stir activity and also cover in a tough situation. Timing is everything.

  24. Obvious

    Turtle ain’t worth the trouble

  25. BRUCE D SILLIMAN

    Here is a possible trade for Tkachuk:
    https://www.capfriendly.com/armchair-gm/team/3508723

    Does anyone think we can get 20 goals out of Morozov? Yeah I know we have not had good success with Russian players except for Evgeney.

  26. Tommy

    Cheer up Obvious this is gonna be a lotta fun this season. Lotsa talent on the ice with aggressive F. O. and as AJ mentioned Wild Bill can return with a fresh outlook and line. Ohhh yea big doins in the sports and entertainment capitol of the world !!

  27. Gail Sherman

    Don’t want to dee the misfit line borken up. But i do understand the reason to do it. As long as it makes the team better then let it happen.

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