The Golden Knights have a little more than two weeks to make any final adjustments to the roster they hope brings them back to the playoffs and on another long run.
If you’re looking at your team, if there’s someplace you can make that tweak and you can do it, you do it. If you don’t, you’re getting complacent because there are always ways you can improve your team. –George McPhee on Bob McCown Podcast
The former GM and current President of Hockey Operations have proven his belief in this concept over the first five seasons in Vegas. The Golden Knights have been active at every trade deadline, typically buying one of the most significant pieces on the market.
This year however, they sit in a bit of a different spot than they’ve ever been before, which will make life a little more difficult on McPhee and GM Kelly McCrimmon come March 3rd.
(A trade) would have to make perfect sense because we’re looking at Stone and Thompson and what are the timelines, is it becoming clearer when we can get them back? So we’re trying to buy time to figure that out. LTI becomes a factor. If Mark’s coming back, we may not do anything because we were a pretty good team when everybody was in (the lineup). The injuries complicate things, but that’s life. –McPhee on Bob McCown Podcast
While the optimism around a potential Stone return in the regular season is fantastic, any chance of it happening certainly muddies the water for the upcoming deadline.
We have (cap) space because of Mark Stone, but if he’s coming back sooner than later then we don’t have space, so that’s where it gets complicated. –McPhee on Bob McCown Podcast
The Golden Knights have not been afraid to majorly exceed the salary cap using loads of LTIR space, but they may be a bit more hesitant after it backfired last season.
Beyond Stone, Vegas also has a decision to make between the pipes. Logan Thompson’s injury has been termed as week-to-week which has thrust Adin Hill into the starter’s role. Laurent Brossoit will step into the role as the backup and could easily take over as a temporary starter if Hill stumbles. The Golden Knights purposely entered this season with an abundance of goalies after losing Robin Lehner for the season and it’s finally paying off.
I don’t know that we’d be trading for another goalie. –McPhee on Bob McCown Podcast
It’s a crucial deadline for the Golden Knights as they’ve made aggressive moves in the past to keep the Cup window open and must eventually deliver on it. The team on the ice has shown flashes of brilliance and clearly sit in a comfortable enough position to warrant another big deadline move. But injuries, inconsistency, and the looming future all make the ulitmate decision at this trade deadline all the more difficult.
It sounds like the Golden Knights are planning on being patient, using all the time allotted to gain as clear a picture as possible before they make their move.