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Golden Knights With The Most To Gain/Lose With The Coaching Change

Somehow almost every player I picked ended up in this picture. (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Often times when teams swap coaches they see a shift in usage among players on the roster. Some guys see dramatic upticks in their ice time while others watch their’s decrease or even diminish entirely.

Of course, we still don’t know who the next coach will be, but we do know who benefitted most from Pete DeBoer’s system and who didn’t. So, here are the four players with the most to gain and the four with the most to lose as the Golden Knights switch coaches.

Most To Gain

William Karlsson

It’s no secret Karlsson’s best days in the NHL were under Gerard Gallant. The forecheck-reliant, free-flowing, transition-heavy style fit Karlsson’s game perfectly. Not only was he at his best offensively, but he and his line of Misfits were always the best defensive line as well. Under DeBoer, it often felt like Karlsson was overthinking the game which led to hesitancy in the offensive zone in favor of making the “right” play to keep them safe defensively. This seemed to sap his confidence which has proven to be a huge factor in Karlsson’s success. The new coach will likely improve his power play numbers as well. In his first two seasons in Vegas, Karlsson notched 15 PP goals in 164 games. The last three years, he had five in 186.

Jack Eichel

It’s not like Eichel struggled under DeBoer, he clearly didn’t, but there’s a pretty good chance a new coach will tailor his system more to Eichel’s skillset than we saw from DeBoer. Center was a demanding position defensively under DeBoer, and that simply isn’t Eichel’s strong suit. He’s likely to be matched with at least one stellar defensive winger, which under a less defensive-minded system could free up Eichel in the offensive zone. Also, there’s a good chance the new coach is less reliant on working the puck from low to high which very well may unleash more of Eichel’s creativity.

Evgenii Dadonov

There’s a real chance that DeBoer had nothing to do with Dadonov’s struggles in his first season with the Golden Knights, he might simply be over-the-hill in his hockey career. But there were flashes of Dadonov’s skill, especially in transition, that might be able to be harnessed a bit more by a system not forcing him to stand up at the defensive blue line. Statistically, he was actually pretty good, notching 20 goals and 43 points in 78 games, but the Golden Knights proved what they thought of his season when they tried to pay to give him away at the deadline. Now, they might be stuck with him, and the new coach could lift his game.

Dylan Coghlan

Coghlan just wasn’t a great fit for the style of play DeBoer preferred out of his defensemen. He consistently had trouble making the proper reads in the defensive zone and his responsibilities going backward appeared to thwart much of what he’s capable of doing going forward. There’s no doubt Coghlan has quite the offensive arsenal, but he has to get a lot better in his own end if he’s ever going to get enough ice time to show it off. Maybe a new defensive system fits him better and he can become the player most hoped he could be.

Most To Lose

Zach Whitecloud

Before Pete DeBoer was named head coach of the Golden Knights, Whitecloud had just his one “thank you for signing with us” NHL appearance under his belt. Despite the struggles the Golden Knights were going through defensively in the 19-20 season, Gallant always preferred Nic Hague over Whitecloud. But the moment DeBoer got the job, Whitecloud became a staple in the lineup. He grew to become an everyday player and an analytic darling as he pitched in much more offense than was ever expected of him. It’s not only DeBoer leaving that could hurt Whitecloud too. Ryan McGill, the assistant coach in charge of the defense, is also out, and he undoubtedly had a massive impact on Whitecloud’s development. All signs point to Whitecloud still being an everyday player for the Golden Knights, but there’s a chance he’s not the perfect fit for the new system like he was in the previous one.

Keegan Kolesar

Like Whitecloud, Kolesar had played just one NHL game prior to DeBoer’s arrival in Vegas. In camp of 2020-21, it appeared certain he was going to be waived and head back to the AHL, but he stayed with the big club seemingly out of fear of the team losing him on waivers. He worked his way into the lineup, averaging about six minutes a night for his first handful of games before he gained the trust of DeBoer. He stuck with VGK all of that season and then became a no-brainer to be in the lineup every night in 2021-22. He was consistent through the season and definitely seemed to be headed in the right direction as the year progressed. Not all coaches value that style of player, especially as his finishing ability continues to lack, but he does seem to have the backing of the front office which should help.

Michael Amadio

Claimed off waivers in 2021-22, Amadio stepped right into the Golden Knights’ lineup and rarely came out. As the injuries continued to pile up, he proved to be the best option for the elevated role. For a while there, he was pushing 15-16 minutes a night which is basically unheard of over the course of his career where he averages less than 12. He was defensively responsible, willing to go to the blue paint, and skated well enough to keep up with anyone DeBoer stuck him with. History tells us Amadio is not the right fit for many coaches in the NHL. Despite the extension, it wouldn’t be surprising if he’s a healthy scratch, on waivers, or a Horsie at different points next year.

Ben Hutton

Hutton was a God-send to the Golden Knights last year as he went from sitting on his couch wondering if he’d play hockey at all to a top-pair defenseman much of the year for the Golden Knights. In the DeBoer system, he was a perfect fit to pair with a top player like Alex Pietrangelo. He wasn’t the perfect player (very few who enter an NHL season without a contract are), but he was so much more than serviceable for the Golden Knights under DeBoer. He parlayed that into an extension which has him set to make $1.7 million over two seasons ($850k AAV) whether he plays for the Golden or Silver Knights. Like Amadio, he’s proven to be fairly easily replaceable and the new coach may choose to do just that in favor of a player like Coghlan, or a more unproven option like Daniil Miromanov, Kaedan Korczak, or one of the many other prospects.


Golden Knights In No Hurry To Hire Next Head Coach


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  1. THE hockey GOD

    if this doesn’t justify why teams don’t release injury data, I don’t know what does

    Frank Seravalli
    #NHL is aware of this clip and the apparent targeting of #LetsGoOilers Leon Draisaitl’s ankle. Safe to say Player Safety / Hockey Ops / Officiating Depts are in communication and will keep an eye out for the same in Game 4 and beyond.

  2. Tim

    I agree keeping injuries close to the vest in most cases one case I didn’t agree with was Alex Martinez 50 stitches in the face and missed 57 games. It was the type of injury a team couldn’t take advantage of but we were kept in the dark 5 million shot in the ass. Did it cut his eye or cut into his scull or just his cheek and pretty boy needed many plastic surgeries to make him pretty again. If it was just his cheek then in his mind hurray for me and fuck you and the team then he’d be on the trading block. Problem is 34 years old with 2 years left on his 5 million contract. Hey anyone been watching the Rangers, Gallants not doing to bad for a Vegas Golden Knights reject and he’s up for another Jack Adams award how could that be. He’s a players coach and we sorely miss him but management again new better.

    • Blitz

      How can you not watch Gallant kick the nut sack of the VGK front office with every win? His turn around of NYR is awesome and he might just win the Jack Adam. Sutter getting ran over by EDM might help his case. Regardless, even the nomination is awesome. WAR TURK!

      • Tim

        Blitz, Amen just another one of we know better then you mistakes. Lets add them up Gallant, Perron, Tatar, Fleury, Lehner, Nosek, Reeves, Haula. In reality there two crown jewels are Stephenson and Stone which were good trades. Patch, Petro, Martinez, Dadonov, and the jury’s out on Eichel could have done much better with patience. The idea of trading is getting a team down at the time Ottawa and Arizona ect. for examples and make them offers in your favor not the reverse which we seem to do all the time.

        • Jeff

          You have a problem with Pietrangelo and Martinez? Patches with 194 points in 224 games as a Knight is bad?

          Why did you need more specific injury information on Martinez? Just a need for useless information?

          You’re crying about letting go of Reaves? Wow….

          You sitting there worrying about what Gallant is doing with a totally different team and thinking it somehow relates to the VGK? The Rangers happen to have a real good lineup with one of, if not the best goaltenders in the league. They should be winning.

          How long are you planning on crying about a goalteander in the last year or so of his career? He’s gone, the team needed a goalie of the future. Did Lehner work out? Who knows, he was injured all season. If he doesnt workout who cares…move on, you sure have a solid rookie biting at his heals.

          If you continue to look back at all the players that go through ANY hockey system you’ll be spending a lot of time worrying about crap that doesn’t matter and happens to every single franchise. There’s good and bad in every single move EVERY team makes. All you try to do is win as many of them as you can. No one has a crystal ball. No one.

          • Tim

            Yes my friend I have a problem with patch when the monies on the line in the playoffs he’s a no show. The cost to acquire Patch was a steep price to pay. Then his 7 million contract now compare to David Perron over 240 points age last 4 years would have cost us nothing except 4 million a year now you tell me who got bunged holed. By the way Gallant is a players coach did you get that same feeling about DeBoer?

          • Jeff

            Not every coach is a “players coach” and how would you know anyway, are you in the locker room? And who cares what Gallant is or isn’t….he’s not our coach any longer so why worry about it? You seem to spend great deal of effort in worrying about what has happened. What has happened and who doesn’t play or coach here means nothing. Welcome to the NHL with extremely high coach and player turn overs. Especially a team 5 seasons into its existence.

      • Nicholas R.

        This is a regular season award. Playoff performance has no bearing on the outcome, voting is already done.

      • THE hockey GOD

        blah blah blah

        NY Rangers were on upswing before GG went there.

        • Tim

          THG, No they weren’t Quinn had them playing like shit hence he was fired and in walked Gallant. And if the Jack Adams award is for the regular season as Nicholas R. stated who gives a shit he was still nominated. I love how some people can’t call a spade a spade they have to do an end run not to admit Gallant has done a great job. We’ll never have another players coach like Gallant unless by some act of God we get Q. Lets hire Paul Maurice DeBoer’s best buddy now that makes sense, How about Rick T. another under 500 coach who’s going to lead us to the promised land. They had the best and a 4 game losing streak doomed him after what he did the first two years. I told you before don’t play games in Vegas or you’ll be looking at a half empty arena. Take my almost 60 years in the valley as a warning like I said check out UNLV football and basketball programs no one cares. There was a time believe it or not when the Rebels basketball team was bigger and more popular then the Vegas Golden Knights this town was rocking but that was a long time ago.

          • THE hockey GOD

            “THG, No they weren’t”

            yes they were, they had talented team. and coaching change
            really didn’t matter. Every one in league knew the Rangers were up and coming.

      • Vic

        Gallant’s intensity during a game helps flame up his player’s emotions (needed ingredient to win playoff games). Whether it’s screaming at a ref, an opposing player or lecturing his own players, the guy has what it takes and the success to prove it. The intensity comparison with the most recent VGK coach is astounding. The guy looked half dead most of the time.

        Another hard to watch item…When bringing Kane to Vegas was mentioned, people said he was a cancer. Some said, give him chemo and sign him while understanding he wouldn’t come to Vegas due to gaming issues. Was nice to dream. By the way, the type of cancer he had is called…..Conn Smythe candidate neoplasm.

    • THE hockey GOD

      @ Tim
      I believe that the VGK training / medical staff is cause of many of the problems we’ve seen. Especially RL. Normally for a player to get dressed for game the training/ medical staff have to clear them. NOT THE COACH. As well as the player themself. So all this crap that it was coach’s fault, is just that, crap.

      The same with calling on when players will return. Injuries are fickle, especially to those to the head. NHL has concussion protocol, and that is not on the training /medical staff. that is on the NHL. If a player can not pass it then so be it. The fact that the team doesn’t report it is just a case of protecting their asset value.

      • Tim

        THG, Your whole post made sense maybe our extraordinary about of injuries and the amount of time to rehab can be blamed on a medical staff which may not be up to par.

  3. knights fan in minny

    new coach clean slate for everyone

    • THE hockey GOD

      new day
      fresh starts
      wash under your arms
      and all your cracks

      • vegas fan in

        what is wrong with you

      • knights fan in minny

        what does wash under your arms and your crack have to do with my post your humor is old and stale you need a new act or a rest home i suggest rest home

        • THE hockey GOD

          sorry i couldn’t think of anything that rhymes with new coach, clean slate for everyone

          except for late, hate, mate, crate, rate, bait, Kate, ate, Zake, wait, Nate, date, fate, gate, etc.

  4. DMR

    Do not understand the fascination with Kolesar, who’s a pylon with concrete hands. Hoping he finds himself on a different team this summer.

    • A Fan

      Hopefully he’ll be where he belongs next season, with the Silver Knights.

    • THE hockey GOD

      DMR “power forwards take time to develop”

  5. Tim

    For those who don’t realize an athlete is an athlete and this thought it takes bigger forwards longer to develop is nonsense. I’m referring to Kolasar he can’t put the puck in the net at 24 he won’t put it in the net at 28 he’s holding a spot that might be better served by Brisson, Morozov, Dorofeyev, at least they’ve proven they can put the puck in the net.

    • THE hockey GOD

      ” Brisson, Morozov, Dorofeyev, at least they’ve proven they can put the puck in the net.”

      pee wee league doesn’t count

      • Tim

        Pee Wee league don’t you think thats a little harshTHG? I don’t know Brisson was one of the highest scores at Michigan who also had the #1 and #2 pick in this years draft and Brisson went toe to toe with them. Pavel led the Silver Knights in scoring not bad, and Morozov is a little bit of an unknown quantity. Those are facts not your famous fake news BS so you have them classified as Pee Wee’s I have them classified as bonifide potential Golden Knights.

        • THE hockey GOD

          I reserve judgement until they get to big leagues, I have seen so many “flash in pans” not pan out. Pardon the pun.

      • Thg- l just recalled you acquired your hockey knowkedge, limited as it is., as a goalie in a pee wee league. Not sure that makes you qualified to make remarks like you did above.

        • THE hockey GOD

          hd biker, you “recalled” erroneously AGAIN.

          IT was in Flin Flon on Lake Geechiegoomie in the summer of 57. Get it right next time. Geez, I can’t rely on you for ANYTHING !!

          I think I need a new “wing man”.

          • knights fan in minny

            maybe a rubber room

          • I dunno, but thg, you are being so…NICE! and pretty damn funny at times! I, for one, like this new guy…

  6. THE hockey GOD

    Russia says it will pay dollar-denominated foreign debt in rubles, a move that is likely to be seen by foreign investors as a default.

    The U.S. Treasury Department led by Janet Yellen allowed a license to expire Wednesday that permitted Russia to keep paying its debtholders through American banks. The license applied to American investors and international investors who have dollar-denominated debt or bonds.

    The Russian Finance Ministry said it will pay in rubles and offer “the opportunity for subsequent conversion into the original currency.” The ministry didn’t give a timeframe for that to happen.

    IMO Actually the ruble is “quoted in Russia” at a very high rate, but that is because it’s not trading on any international markets. If it does, it’s value will go through the floor. The Russian ETF , RSX, was halted on American exchanges in February and hasn’t traded since. It’s value is virtually non existent .

    • THE hockey GOD

      maybe NHL should pay it’s Russian players in rubles ???

    • The West settles payments using with a basket of debts from each jurisdication called Special Drawing Rights.

      The New East, consisting of Russia, China, and India have established a new currency exchange based upon a basket of commodities.

      The West has now set its sights on losing the currency war with the New East.

      • THE hockey GOD

        b rad lee
        I would pit my green back and Canadian Loonie against non existent Russian Ruble, the manipulated Chinese Yuan, the Indian rupee and basket of ‘commodities (coconuts, spice, tea, beans, rice, curry powder, etc) any day of the week.

  7. Jeff Gross

    Finally, someone understands that both previous coaches and a new coach will both affect the Golden Knights going forward. For these reasons alone, Barry Trotz is the absolutely worst coaching possibility being considered. Fundamentally, whatever Trotz’s merits (and we don’t believe there actually are any, except he’s a famous name), his own personal style and history are *not* compatible with who VGK is and who VGK will be going forward. We like Joel Quenneville much better, but there are definitely many great coaches out there for the VGK braintrust to consider when selecting Pete deBoer’s replacement.

    • THE hockey GOD

      john tortorella
      or Mike Babcock

      team needs a good butt kicking , no nonsense coach.

  8. Native_VGK

    Joel Quenneville should never coach again. Covering up sexual abuse is not forgivable. How could any player or fan ever trust that guy again? If any team anywhere hires him again they deserve a losing season and protests outside their arena. There are always stupid hot takes in the comments here, but that one takes the cake.

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