This season, diehard VGK fan and legendary combat sports columnist Kevin Iole will be delivering columns a few times a month on Sundays.
Many of my friends around North America who are hockey writers have dismissed this year’s version of the Vegas Golden Knights as a Stanley Cup contender out of hand. And while I’ll go on record here saying VGK shouldn’t bother making arrangements for a parade down the Strip in the summer, I think my colleague’s assessments are off-base.
Injuries are a part of hockey — of any sport, really — but the VGK’s injury bug this year has been far worse than what could realistically be expected.
This team if fully healthy has the capability of being a Stanley Cup champion. Oh, it has holes. Goaltending has been far too inconsistent. It could use size, particularly in the bottom six. Its speed isn’t what it once was and there are teams that can skate rings around even the healthiest version of the Golden Knights.
The Knights are technically still alive in the playoff hunt, and we’ve seen over the years teams that no one expected to come close get hot at the right time and win it. Remember a healthy Jim Valvano running around the court in Albuquerque, N.M., looking for someone to hug after his North Carolina State Wolfpack won the NCAA men’s basketball championship in 1983?
The Florida Marlins finished nine games out of first in 1997, their fifth season of existence, but made the playoffs and won the World Series. The New Jersey Devils had only a .542 winning percentage in the lockout-shortened 1994-95 season, but went 16-4 in the playoffs to win the Stanley Cup despite finishing ninth overall in the regular season.
So it could happen for the VGK this year. But will it? As the late WWE legend Gorilla Monsoon often would say to his sidekick, Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, “Highly unlikely.”
Given that, I’m thinking about next year already. With that in mind, I’m going to break down which of the current roster should return for next season’s run at the Cup, which shouldn’t, and then later, look at five players they might look at acquiring who shouldn’t cost a ton. They’re going to have salary cap issues next season, too, folks, so keep that in mind.
DEFINITELY SHOULD/WILL STAY
1. Jack Eichel: He should be the franchise player starting on Day 1 of training camp next season. He has been good mostly, great at times, maddening at others. But remember he’s playing with a new team after having a neck surgery no player ever had before and he had to adjust to a new system and new teammates. The first day the Knights step onto the ice at City National Arena in September, Eichel had best be the team’s clear best player. If he’s not, that will mean big trouble for years to come.
2. Mark Stone: He has a $9.5 million contract as well as a no-movement clause, so he’ll be back. That contract may look funky in the last couple of years of it, but if the Golden Knights are going to make a run at the Cup in the near future, they need Stone playing how Stone can play and can’t trade him.
3. Alex Pietrangelo: See above. Pietrangelo has an $8.8 million contract that probably won’t wear well, and a no-movement clause. But he’s an elite player still, a great leader, and someone they’ll need if they have a hope of lifting the Cup in 2023.
4. Zach Whitecloud: He’s a bargain at $2.75 million and he gets better every year. Teams that win Stanley Cups have plenty of guys like Whitecloud on the roster.
5. Jonathan Marchessault: This is a team with no shortage of players who could be captain, but Marchessault is among them. He’s made the most out of the talent he’s had, he competes ferociously, and while he may be due for a bit of a decline, he’s a heart-and-soul guy you can’t give up unless you’re overwhelmed in a trade offer. For a team looking to win the Cup, the Knights can’t afford to move him, nor should they.
6. Chandler Stephenson: He’s not as good as he looked at the beginning of the year when he was playing lights out, but he’s a very valuable guy who can play up and down the lineup, provides needed speed, and most importantly to this particular roster, has a salary-cap friend cap hit of $2.75 million.
PROBABLY SHOULD/WILL STAY
7. Shea Theodore: His lengthy goal drought is inexplicable but when he’s healthy and on his game, he’s a borderline No. 1 guy who fits well as a solid No. 2. He could bring a lot in a trade given his youth, but his skating is something the Knights will need with a lot of the core aging and slowing down.
8. Brayden McNabb: He’s been the same guy since Day 1: Physical presence, great penalty killer, reliable night after night and a terrific leader. Signed at $2.85 million, there’s no reason to walk away from him.
9. Max Pacioretty: In the last five seasons, including his final season in Montreal, Pacioretty has missed 18, 16, 0, 8, and now, 43 games. He’ll play most of next season, the finale of a $7 million a year contract, at 34 years old. So those facts alone bear consideration to moving him. Teams who need a consistent goal scorer, a boost for the power play and some tenacity would line up. But those are why the Knights need him, too. So unless GM Kelly McCrimmon can hit a home run on a trade, he should remain a Knight.
10. William Carrier: I struggled with this one greatly. Carrier’s energy and tenacity is invaluable, but he can’t finish and is injury-prone. He has two more years left at $1.4 million a year. I’m not opposed to moving him if they can bring someone in who has his kind of size/speed and grinding ability. But I think he should stay.
11. Logan Thompson: He will have a cap hit of $766,667 next year and he’s proven he’s good enough to be, at worst, a very reliable backup in this league. He may be something more, but he’s not yet. But at that price, pencil him in for the No. 2 role if not a 1B role next year.
12. Robin Lehner: Lehner is no favorite of the VGK fans, who seem to blame him for not stopping every shot he sees, rising gas prices, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. That’s no reason to trade him, though. Now, there was no reason to acquire him when McCrimmon did two years ago, and that move and subsequent ones made as a result of it have cost this franchise greatly. But Lehner has proven in his career he’s good enough to win with when he’s on his game. They could have won with him in the bubble. If they could make a move for a goaltender they can sign to be 1A or clearcut No. 1 who comes in cheaper than Lehner’s $5 million, move him. But if you pair him with Thompson, the tandem makes less than $6 million combined and that’s not bad.
13. William Karlsson: I have loved having Karlsson on this team for nearly every moment since he’s joined it. He’s a low-maintenance guy who plays in both ends, brings needed speed, and has the ability to play up and down the lineup. But he doesn’t score enough for my liking to pay him $5.9 million a season, and he’ll turn 30 next season. He had a dip defensively for a while, but he seems to have righted that problem. Bring him back.
14. Alec Martinez: He’s making $5.25 million and on a cash-strapped team, it’s awfully hard to write that check to a player who will be 35 next year. But if they move him, they’ll desperately miss his willingness to dive in front of 95 mph pucks, his battle level, and his contributions on the offensive end.
15. Michael Amadio: He’s got more skill than the normal 11th or 12th forward and he will cost the team just $762,500 next year. So lean toward keeping him but there are better players out there.
16. Dylan Coghlan: He’s a right-handed defenseman and that alone earns him credit. He only makes $762,500 so he’s affordable. He’s never going to be a No. 1, No. 2, or even No. 3 defensemen, though he could develop into a No. 4 or No. 5 guy. His status depends on what they do with other guys, but if they keep the expensive ones, keep him for inexpensive depth.
17. Ben Hutton: They probably only need one of Hutton and Coghlan will be 24 at the start of training camp and Hutton 29. That probably gives Coghlan the edge, but Hutton is solid depth at a reasonable cost.
PROBABLY SHOULD/WILL GO
18. Evgeni Dadonov: He’s played perfectly fine except for the lengthy goal drought in January/February, but he makes $5 million next year and he’s 33 years old. He’d be a good guy to have on a third line except for his cost. I would hate to have to give up a pick to move his deal. He teetered for me on the 50-50 category with Probably Should/Will Go. But cap issues win out and so they’ll likely move on from him.
DEFINITELY SHOULD/WILL GO
19. Nolan Patrick: Yeah, he played for McCrimmon in junior. So what? He showed little in Philadelphia and less in Las Vegas. They can use that $1.2 million he’s owed next year for someone who might make it into the lineup more than every two months. The trade of Cody Glass for Patrick is one of McCrimmon’s worst, and Glass is verging on being a bust.
20. Laurent Brossoit: Logan Thompson outplayed him and makes a third of the money he does. He’s as good as gone already.
VGK FREE AGENTS
21. Reilly Smith: He’s in a lot of ways the heartbeat and the conscience of this team. Bring him back if feasible, but contract talks could be contentious.
22. Nicolas Roy: He should be a priority. He’s a greatly improving two-way player. He’s going to cost a lot, lot more than he does now, and how much determines whether they should keep him. But they should try.
23. Nic Hague: He’ll likely be back and he made strides before he was injured. His foot speed is an issue, but his size and shot are valuable weapons.
24. Brett Howden: He showed spurts. No huge problem either way.
25. Keegan Kolesar: You look at the size and the speed he has and your mind races. But he hasn’t developed like I’d hoped. He’s not bad, but not great, and is he ever going to be more than he is now? Eh.
26: Jonas Rondbjerg: Re-sign him to a two-way deal.
27: Mattias Janmark: Probably pass unless you can bring him back on an even cheaper deal than the $2 million he made this year.
28: Jake Bischoff: Goodbye.
POTENTIAL FA ACQUISITIONS
I’d like to see the Knights get bigger and quicker among their depth forwards and on their defense. Here are a few players with a relatively low acquisition cost who should be worth exploring if they hit market:
1. Nico Sturm, F, Colorado: He’s 6-3, 210 pounds who’s good in his own end and would create matchup issues at 4C. He shouldn’t cost a lot.
2. Paul Stastny, C, Winnipeg: When the VGK signed him in 2018, he was a No. 2 center who could potentially bump up to No. 1 in a crisis. Now, he’s a 3 or a 4. But if you could get him on a team-friendly deal to play in the bottom six and be available to move up short-term if needed, is it worth it? Perhaps.
3. Calle Jarnkrok, C, Calgary: He’s probably going to be too rich for the VGK’s liking, but it wouldn’t hurt to call. He’s smart, versatile and would fit into this bottom six perfectly.
4. Zach Aston-Reese, LW, Anaheim: He can’t score but he’s physical and fast and a great penalty killer.
5. Nick Bjugstad, F, Minnesota: He’s massive — 6-6, 220 — and he can skate. He’d be another good fit on a re-tooled fourth line, though he doesn’t play the physical game you think he would when you see him.
**You can find all of Kevin’s tremendous boxing and MMA work at Yahoo Sports here.**
Re:Lehner Another injury prone player. Could have won the Cup with him in the bubble perhaps but he was out injured during a part of that run. Since signing him how many games has he missed due to injury?
Good article but it would have been better(or maybe just easier for me) if you had the salary of each player so we could see how much those deals equaled out to… Now I have to write down each name and go look up their value
Here you go Daryl
Wow, for me it is just too early to start talking offseason moves. I am not going to dig into this too much except to say —- STOP FUCKING STOP looking for shiny new toys. STOP IT NOW.
The Front Office already sent our toughness packing. All of a sudden we’re going to go out and shop for Reaves 2.0? I don’t think so. If we can get someone in return for Dadanov maybe. Zach Hayes is 6-3 and 231 lbs. Zach is 22 years old. In 82 games he has 4 goals, 11 assists, but more importantly he is a +25. He is on an entry level contract through next season at $805,000.
I’d like to see this guy getting minutes and experience.
THE hockey GOD
R R prefers the grubby, smelly, old , dirty, non shiny, homeless players off the street.
You know it
we know it
everyone knows it .
Can’t do any worse than the new shiny toys we keep going after
I’m with you… I wanna see Hayes get a shot and see how physical he can be. I had high hopes for Hague but he is one of the sftewt big guys I’ve aeen
Agree on Hayes R-R
What is it with this guy and his ‘shiny new toy’ thing? This is one of the most ignorant descriptions of a hockey player ever. This description has zero relevance to hockey. Highly talented players that can brought in to remedy holes on the team are not ‘shiny new toys’. They are the missing pieces that bring a team closer to winning the Stanley Cup. It’s exactly the thing that every team in the league tries to do. Calling Jack Eichel a ‘shiny new toy’ is absolutely ignorant. Eichel IS a great player who is filling the biggest hole on this team since Year 2. He’s a great player, not a shiny new toy.
Hi sb. I think the reference to shiny new toy is the VGK going after an unrestricted free agent simply because he is the best one available and not necessarily because of need. For example, Alex Pietrangelo is an extraordinary defenceman but the minute that he was brought on board, Shea Theodore has become less relevant. Did we really need Alex Pietrangelo or did we want him because everyone else did.
You totally missed the point, 100%. Jumped all over the post without looking at it in the larger context of what it actually says, which is that the turnover in the VGK roster hasn’t been about just filling “holes”. This front office doesn’t seem to be looking to fill holes at all. They’re simply throwing dollars at the possibility of a cup. You fill some holes, sure. But that’s not what has been happening in Vegas.
If you take a look at all of the acquisitions since McCrimmon took the reigns, only Jack Eichel fits the bill of filling a legitimate hole. He’s the only legit 1st liner currently on the roster. None of the others, Pacioretty, Stone, Stephenson or Dadanov have the credible statistics of a 1st liner. These weren’t poor pick ups, but I would argue that the team would have been just fine had they not gone after these players. And by fine, I mean playoff competitive.
No team can continue to thrive when it is constantly throwing players overboard that are productive. In our case, I believe that all of these moves have had negative impacts on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th lines. This amount of roster churn has also been negative for the defense and in goaltending.
Too much roster turnover. That’s the point. In year 1 we were close to a cup. This front office is knee jerking and I don’t see much reason behind what they are doing, other than Eichel – which was probably the best move they have made.
NOPE NO NO NO THIS IS WRONG THEODORE NEEDS TO LEAVE THE GAY FAGGOT NEEDS TO FIND ANOTHER TEAM HE COSTS THE TEAM SO MUCH MONEY THE KNIGHTS SHOULD RELIEVE HIM OF HIS CONTRACT
Marc Andre Fleury fans……..
Well he help stop the Los Angeles Kings today?
Yep, he gave up 1 SH odd man rush, 1 PP and 1 even strength goal.
I really like this MIN team and NO, t has nothing to do with MAF. They remind me of old time hockey. They have players like Deslauriers, Bjugstad, Foligno, Duhaime…. Players that will stick up for teammates and aren’t afraid to drop the gloves. I’m not sure they have the talent to win the Cup, but I like the toughness on the team
Wrong again the 3rd winningest goalie in NHL history adds notches win #515!
Do you also troll the Minnesota, Chicago and Pittsburgh sites?
OH FOR FUCK SAKES!!!! FARCE OF THE FRANCHISE LETS IN THE FIRST SHOT ON GOAL. SHORTHANDED GOAL!!!
1-0 KINGS LEAD
I despise Fluery and everyone knows that but can’t he at least play well today so everyone can tell me to shut the f%#ck up. We need a Minnesota win.
Galdom – why do you hate Fluery given he is not even around any more. Maybe you explained previously and l just don’t recall. Is it sour grapes or something?
I’m obviously losing my mind today but I’m agitated because he’s been absolutely brutal in a game that we need Minnesota to win. Hopefully Fleury has a great second and third period. I hate him but I am rooting for him today.
MIN won, so will you shut the fuck up???
Yes because Minnesota won
I would like to hear thoughts about HSK players who need contracts esp those who played for VGK this year, particularly Miromanov
Jonas Rondbjerg, Jack Dugan and Danil Miromanov are on expiring contracts and they will all be likely brought back at league minimum 2 way deals.
THE hockey GOD
most if not all the HSK players will never make it to NHL
i would expect a complete re build there.
VGK has yet to produce a single forward capable of playing in NHL, to date.
Nic Roy. Played in Carolina’s farm system then Vegas’s farm system in Chicago before playing in the NHL.
THE hockey GOD
Nic Roy was product of Carolina farm system, not VGK farm system. He earned his bones when he won the Calder Cup for Carolina. And hasn’t done much since. Very inconsistent player. I would put him as fourth liner at best. He’s playing well above his station due to all injuries in Vegas. HE certainly doesn’t match up well with no.9, so far.
Hey gang I got some outstanding news. On the second shot of the game by the LA kings they scored again. The Minnesota Wild may be out shooting the Kings 6-2 but the Kings lead 2-0.
THANKS FARCE OF THE FRANCHISE!!!
And now the Kings are going on the power play.
THE hockey GOD
@galdom, I forgot about this, was watching MLB today. How about those mets ?
meet the mets
meet the mets
oh shoot they lost today.
3-2, wild down by one, kings usually fold in second half of game
in another game of note 1 -1 smashville and the pens with out pens.
I’m a diehard Blue Jays fan but the Mets are my second favourite team as I have a lot of family that lives in Long Island.
MIN won, so there’s that. MAF gave up a shorty, a PP and an even strength.
He was horrible in the first period. I don’t give a shit if he gave up one goal in three different types of situations. I actually watched the game and Minnesota dominated the entire 60 minutes and then had to come back down 3-0. But credit to Fleury for at least not falling apart and playing better for the rest of the game. Did you see the third goal he let in before making any comments.
And the Los Angeles kings score again. 3-0 Kings in the middle of the first period. And this was the worst goal yet. Clear shot from the point it wasn’t that hard and nobody screening Fluery it just rolls in under his pad. Thanks Flower. I’m hoping he gets pulled as my nerves are getting tested. And now I turn my attention back to the Dallas Stars and I really hope they lose tonight but they play Chicago.
No bias here. Minnesota is all over the LA Kings. They should be leading 2-0 but are down 3-0. That stupid Marc-André Fleury smile may inspire Minnesota to put a good effort but he can’t stop a beach ball tonight.
No bias here. Minnesota is all over the LA Kings. They should be leading 2-0 but are down 3-0. That stupid Marc-André Fleury smile may inspire Minnesota to put a good effort but he can’t stop a beach ball tonight.
Two late goals in the 1st period by the Minnesota Wild. We got a game now. 3-2 Kings lead. Those two Minnesota goals clearly would not have been possible without the magical presence of Marc Andre Fleury.
I’m sure nobody really cares but I thought Robin Lehner made some key saves yesterday after Vegas was up 2-0. No idea why the VGK fell asleep but I believe Arizona had the next 13 shots on net. Arizona is a bad team but he still had to make the stops.
3-3 right now, but playoff hopes are dashed if LA wins today, so Fleury had better deliver.
if the Vgk can’t count on Minn and Colo to beat LA, then certainly the LA games vs Chi(2) Ana(2) and Columbus, Seattle, and Van are likely not going to help the VGK much.
4-3, Minn ahead now. 2nd period
From a podcast I heard, e made one great save…. Everything else an AHL goalie could have stopped. I didn’t see the game so I’m just going off what I heard
Darryl I don’t give a shit if some podcast told you that Lehner didn’t have to make a key saves. You didn’t watch the game as you stated.
Jesse Granger who watches every game seem to think differently by the attached tweet.
And the even strength goal that Fleury gave up today was pathetic but I am glad that Minnesota won. It was a week shot from the point. I hope you’re making comments with actually viewing and not what a podcast says. Fleury was terrible which is why I was freaking out and I actually was watching the game. And who cares if you give up an even strength goal, a power-play goal and a shorthanded goal. Every team is going to find themselves in those situations every game. That doesn’t give you permission to play poorly and be down 3-0 while your team was dominating play. And when you asked me for that link on expanded goaltending stats you could see for yourself that Fleury is just about the worst goalie in the league when his team is shorthanded. Yes it’s tougher when you are shorthanded but he is still worse than all his peers in those situations.
I actually like Minnesota as well. Very good team. They should’ve won 6-1 today but I’m absolutely ecstatic that they beat the Kings. And I’m glad that Marc Andre Fleury after being horrible in the first period played better for the rest of the game.
So who’s lying. The podcast who told you that an AHL goalie could’ve made all those saves or Jesse Granger who said that Lehner made key saves, plural saves. This is the shit that gets me going.
Today I said the Fleury played like absolute garbage in the first period as his team was down 3-0 but at least played a little bit better the rest of the game. That’s actually true.
I guess you are going to take the podcasts word because it supports your position. I think most of us respect Jesse Granger and know he watches every minute of every game closely
Relax, I’m not trash talking your boy RL…. As I said, I didn’t watch the game I was simply going off what was said in a podcast. As for who was lying, I’d say neither as everyone has their own perspective of what they see. Granger is a huge RL supporter and I’ve seen him make comments about RL saves that I just had to laugh at. RL may have made some huge saves, I have no idea.
As for what MAF let in, what’s filunny to me is when RL let’s in a goal, it’s always the defenses fault. If uts a breakaway, it’s the fault of the turnover. If uts a PP goal, then uts the fault of who made the penalty. MAF let’s in 2 special trams goals and both are HIS fault. You say he let in a sift even strength goal, I believe it, it dies happen to every goalie. I was working and didn’t get to see the goal.
My whole point is how it’s always with one goalie and never with the other. RL gives up 1 goal on 30 shots so it must have been his great play. He gives up 5 goals on 20 shots and uts because the defense played like shit!
I see your point
Loll you like Lehner. This overweight dude that can’t move and is made of glass. Ishh
Any opinions on who should start the next game in goal for the VGK. I don’t wanna hear from people that think Lehner gives up five goals every game and should be Laurent Brossoit’s back up.
I think Pete DeBoer is going to roll out Lehner every single game but in my opinion I think Logan Thompson should start the next game against the Canucks and have Lehner go back in against Calgary. I still don’t know if Lehner is completely healthy and I don’t want Thompson getting cold. Intact, if the plan is to start Lehner every single game which I don’t agree with, I would have Thompson starting games with the Henderson Silver Knights so he stays sharp.
You roll with Lehner until the back-to-back DAL/CHI games. Then you check to see if Lehner is up for a back-to-back. As long as The Walrus is healthy you have to play him over Thompson.
The only reason Thompson gets in a game is if Lehner is injured or can’t go on the back-to-back. You ride your starting goalie at this point all the way to the end.
I like your idea…. Thompson is good enough to win the next game and let RL go up against the Flames. Then rotate the two on their back to back. If RL isn’t filly healthy then he shouldn’t be playing but they need to give Thompson some ivlce time just in case
Fleury bent but didn’t break. Time for me to keep my word and not speak of it. Minnesota won which is awesome!
I for one would love to see you stop trolling the 3rd winningest goalie in NHL history but I doubt you could make it more than 2 days.
Seems that if Lehner starts every game left, he’ll only get hurt AGAIN and be of little use. LT has earned his place as goalie backup, and he should give Lehner a break down the stretch. A team can’t hope to win multiple straight games with a tired, overworked, and possibly injured (again)goalie, which I fear Lehner will be. LT needs to
be ready for the playoffs we all hope for, but he won’t be, if he stays on the bench.
THE hockey GOD
they may use him in two out of these three up coming games , devils , black hawks (last of back to back), and perhaps the sharks.
PDB likes to ride his starting goalie as long as he can. I still see him flexing his shoulder every so often. I don’t think he’s 100% , probably around 99.95 %
Thg, that would be wise, I think, to keep LT relevant– we’re gonna need him if we get to playoffs. Lehner needs a reliable backup, and LT is that guy.
If the Kings lose today we will only be two points behind them but we will actually have a game in hand on them. For the first time in a while the Vegas Golden Knights have control over the fate.
Let’s all enjoy this. It’s like our playoffs are starting early. Pistol Pete was always very optimistic. Good for him. All I care about now are wins. I don’t care if they go 0-6 on the power play against Vancouver and they look like garbage as long as they win.
MAF Just made a couple of some nice saves.
LA Kings 3 Mid 2nd
Appreciate that Galdom.
knights fan in minny
knights fan in minny
Btw Preds get just one point vs. Pens and have only one game in hand now.
Stars have two games in hand but play Lightning on Tues. meaning if they lose and we win Tues. we’ll be in the second WC. Preds also play Tues. but it’s the Sharks. I believe Preds have an even tougher schedule than Knights.
As for Kings if they lose to MIN today which is nearly certain and we win Tues. we will be tied and will remain so if the Kings lose to Avs Wed. After that however our schedule is tougher than theirs. It won’t be easy. WC might become the most likely. Above all we need to win win win!!!!
Whoops…did not see Stars are playing CHI. If they win that means VGK can only tie for the WC with a win Tues. vs. VAN, however today’s game leaves Stars with just one game in hand. Currently 2-2 go Hawks go!!!
Now it’s in their own hands. Come on Knights make the sleep deprivation from watching worthwhile.
Wow– you have real dedication, UK VGK! Great to have fans from across the pond! I usually fall asleep during game,and end up watching it again at midnight, anyway! GO KNIGHTS!
Playoffs is certainly looking a little bit more attainable now. Going 6-1 will do that.
Stone on the way back hopefully. Not that he’ll have an immediate impact but with luck might.
If this continues Hdbiker7851 might begin sweating lol. Imo he wants in the worst way that his claim VGK has a ZERO chance of making the playoffs get validated! Just kidding buddy!!!!
Kings blow 3-0 lead allowing six unanswered goals. Talk about crapping one’s self! Hopefully portends the rest of their schedule!!!
the hockey god
busy watching sunday night noir
Backing into the playoffs.
Remaining games. We are now in control of our own destiny over the Kings.
Magic Number is 18. Win all 8 games and we are definitely in. On the other hand, the Kings have the easiest remaining schedule having already lost to the Wild today. We still have 5 games against playoff teams.
Great article. Before we address any players, let’s talk front front office contracts. VGK should move on from McCrimmon before any decisions are made about our players. Given what happened last year, I am concerned about more of the same.
I’m not saying they should get rid McCrimmon’s, given all the injuries this year, but I do like what Billy Guerin is doing not sure about his contract though.
knights fan in minny
billy g is a breath of fresh air here in minny after to many years of fletcher they can do some damage in the playoffs you are right daryl no one will push them around
Before we address any players, let’s talk front front office contracts. VGK should move on from McCrimmon before any decisions are made about our players. Given what happened last year, I am concerned about more of the same.
Such as acquiring Forsberg if that is on the radar? That would be risky. Could work great or not so great. I can forgive him the Dadonov and Brossoit moves. There was reasonable hope behing both imo. Always easy in hindsight to be critical. Personally I like the Eichel move.
Eichel haters silenced.
11 G/8 A/+4 in 25 games is decent for a guy who missed the last 31 games of 2020-21, camp, preseason and the first 47 games of 2021-22.
Who here hates Eichel… some, myself included, wondered if the price was worth what they would have to give up, but thanks to using LTIR we won’t have to worry about it. I don’t remember anyone saying Eichel wasn’t a great player. Sometimes your reading comprehension needs a little work!
Daryl cut me a break pls. I was not the one who called out the Eichel haters, I was merely responding to sb’s post with an update on Eichel’s VGG stats. I think you may be slightly paranoid or defensive. My posts, sometimes I think you think I am insinuating you all the time.
Daryl, my apology if you were responding to sb’s post and not mine. This board is not formatted to create a separate thread for each response. I will add however, no reason to think sb was calling you in particular out as an Eichel hater. I can sympathize with sb though. There are several posters here who are not supportive of the Eichel trade.
I don’t know of any Eichel haters maybe some Buffalo trolls. Or maybe I’m just a little to positive but I believe Eichel has been the best player on the team since he has joined VGK. Eichel in my opinion is the most entertaining player to watch on VGK.
It’s all good… I also wish they could make this board more user friendly. I didn’t think SB was calling me out, I just don’t remember seeing any Eichel hatred. There were se eral, and I was one of them, who questioned the move based on what vhk would have to give up and the uncertainty with his injury, but I don’t remember any haters…. Unless it’s when some have questioned his attitude, but I don’t think that makes them a hater
VGK Fan, I really enjoy watching Jack Eichel play hockey. I have also seen him in numerous practices. He’s well spoken as well. Shrewd decision on his part to do the disc replacement and not the fusion. The fusion inevitably leads to further disablement and whereas the disc replacement may very well not. No question he is by far the most gifted player VGK has ever had.
Sounds good Daryl.
Here are my totals for the 2021-22 top four salaries. Draw your own conclusions. Obviously the lower the total the more cap to apply across the depth of the roster. We all know that. On the last podcast Ken mentioned VGK may try to sign UFA Filip Forsberg an idea I have had going into the TD. Substituting Forsberg for Pacioretty would increase the VGK top four salaries total to $37.3m. Note that the FLA and MTL totals apply beginning 2022-23 with the signings of Barkov and Suzuki respectively, both causing a notable increases from the 2021-22 totals.
For better or worse VGK went the aggressive acquire veteran star talent vs. the more more drawn out develop draft picks route (carries the risk of prospects who do not develop per expectations). We’ll see how quickly SEA comes along. I have developed a 2022-23 roster of 23 that includes Forsberg and is w/o Pacioretty, Karlsson, Smith, Dadonov and Brossoit. There is room to sign Roy, Hague and Kolesar.
Holding the #11 pick, CAR got lucky by winning the lottery in the 2018 draft to get the #2 pick. They picked Andrei Svechnikov which has worked out extremely well. VGK has always been good so it’s basically impossible to get low picks, however they do not always pan out such as Nolan Patrick who was picked #2 his year.
Maybe I’m totally wrong or there is just something I’m missing but Forsberg wasn’t even listed in the top 100 or just missed category see below:
Forsberg is having career year and of course its a contract year. He has never average a point a game until this year. I would not tie up 8 or 9 million into left winger and give him a no move contract. Next years team is .5 million over the cap and we only have 19 players signed.
VGK Fan, don’t think you are wrong or missing much, in fact I had even thought NSH was hesitant to give him what he wants because as you note he’s having a career year. However, he has had mostly 20 goal years and is on either his third or fourth 30 goal year. I don’t have my contacts in so I can’t be sure lol. But yeah, he may not be worth $8-9m. It’s up to the VGK scouts to figure it out. I’m sure Eichel can use an elite LW. Although he’s not in the ESPN top 100, I’m pretty sure he should be considered elite with that many goals per year. I put him in at $9m and was able to get enough under the cap to resign Roy, Hague and Kolesar. I don’t think a guy like Forsberg at his age comes up very often as a UFA. Honestly, I’m probably having a big dream with not enough info lol. My assumption has been that he’s basically a younger version of Pacioretty.
Consider, I am moving Pacioretty, Karlsson, Smith, Dadonov and Brossoit. I realize, I am strictly a dreamer and amateur lol.
Smith and Dadonov to become largely cap compliant.
Karlsson due to lack of offensive production and to create cap space.
Pacioretty due to chronic injuries and to make room for Forsberg or another 1LW replacement.
Broissoit obviously and to create cap space.
Of course if the VGK makes the playoffs and Pacioretty lights up and stays healthy, the conversation changes lol.
VGK Fan, I also found one from 2019 that said much the same that Forsberg is yet to be elite. This one is from 8/21 and this season he has broken through the elite barrier. Can he stay there is the concern. I would think he’d stand a better chance of staying there centered by Jack Eichel. Maybe $8m.
Here’s the link I forgot to paste lol.
WC race definitely loosening up some for the VGK. DAL and NSH have just one game in hand…2 pts back of DAL and 3 pts back of NSH.
DAL has 5 of 10 games vs. playoff teams (includes VGK).
NSH has 7 of 10 games vs. playoff teams.
VGK has 5 of 9 games vs. playoff teams.
On the division side:
VGK has one game in hand vs. LAK (2 pts ahead) and is even games vs. EDM (6 pts ahead).
EDM has 5 of 9 games vs. playoff teams (includes VGK).
LAK has 1 of 8 games vs. playoff teams.
LAK has an easy schedule.
Above all VGK must win…7 of 9 for 98 pts, 6 of 9 for 96 pts.
It’s going to be tough. Due to the Kings easy schedule WC may be the most likely way in.
Not to make a huge political statement, but I’m going to bitch for a second. Some of these liberal ideas are killing me and probably what has moved me from an Independent to a Conservative. I am in charge of making certain purchases where I work. If I spend over $10k I have to get 3 competing bids, one of which must be from a minority owned business. First of all, how is that even legal. Secondly, and more importantly, the type of merchandise I purchase, there are NO minority owned business in my location. I finally found a minority owned business a state away. If I could buy local, I would be able to purchase 5 items yet our Finance Dept., which is run by a black female, is requiring I make the purchase at the minority owned business and instead of getting 5 items, I’m only able to get 3 because their price is higher, plus there is shipping.
HOW IN THE HELL does that make sense to anyone???? I’ve fought with this lady for 6 months now…. my supervisor told me to go ahead an order the 3 items and to not worry about arguing with Finance any more.
It’s shit like this that is ruining our Country!!!
Daryl, I think the situation you are describing is not ideal and I sympathize with your frustration. I do not think however it is ruining our democracy and freedom. Trying to overturn legitimate elections…that is a threat to democracy. Now please, I am not implying you support the Big Lie, but manipulating the outcome of democratic elections is the most common tool used by autocrats to retain power. It’s scary to see dudes as smart as Josh Hawley and many other high profile political figures supporting the Big Lie. I am not going to argue the Big Lie on this forum but is is the only real threat to our democracy I have seen in my lifetime. I am still able to carry on my life with complete freedom…say what I want, do what I want without anyone telling me what I can and can’t do, paying taxes, obeying laws and getting mandatory auto insurance notwithstanding.
Drew Doughty out the rest of the season. Not exactly bad for the Knights.
Ladies and gentlemen, it appears that Mark Stone will be returning to the lineup tomorrow. They currently have slightly over 5 million in cap space available.
It’s believed they can clear the remaining space to activate Stone by placing forwards William Carrier ($1.4 million) and Nolan Patrick ($1.2 million) and goaltender Laurent Brossoit ($2.335 million) on long-term injured reserve.
Work that LITR! Are you sure they can place all those guys on LITR? Seems like it’s out of nowhere these guys are injured. Have they’ve been out long enough?
It’s not how long you have been out but how long you must stay out to access LTIR. To qualify for LTIR a player must be expected to miss atleast 10 NHL games and 24 days of the NHL season. It can be back dated as well. For example, William Carrier last played on March 26th, 16 days ago and 5 games missed. When he is placed on LTIR he won’t be eligible to return to the lineup until April 24th against the Sharks as he has to miss another 5 games.
There is also risk to all of all this as well. As soon as Stone returns and if he reinjures his back they can’t put him back on LTIR. His salary would count against the cap.
Also , any other player that gets hurt within the last 10 games of the season can not be placed on LTIR as they won’t qualify under the 10 game lost 25 day criteria.
Got ya…. I knew they had to.miss so many games. I thought they had to initially miss so many games also
Dadonov – Eichel – Roy
Pacioretty- Stephenson- Stone
Marchessault – Karlsson – Amadio
Kolesar – Leschyshyn – Janmark
Think I’d rather Stone be with Eichel.
PP, I feel Stone is just too slow to keep up with Eichel..and that’s on a GOOD day! Stone is a crafty player, but if he’s too far behind the play, he misses it. Eichel’s speed is a great asset– he’d need to slow it down to wait for Stone to catch up! Just an observation….
TS, that may be the case, but in an O zone possession I like the prospect of having either one of them around the net. Stone will be able to receive the Eichel passes and to pass to Eichel. I also think there will be times Stone will be able to keep up with Eichel’s rush through the N zone despite him not being as fast.
You know WAY more than me, PP! Thanks for your explanation…I’m really hoping Stone is ready to make a positive statement!
I don’t know what version of Mark Stone we are going to get but I think we all have to agree that any version will be better than Jonas Rondjberg.
Yes Galdom yes!!!
get rid of Lehner and his backup keep Thompson and sign someone like a Holtby he is only worth 2 million and he has won a stanley cup and has the same save percentage as Lehner that frees up 7.25 million right there I have seen the caps and i think i figured out how we can keep everyone it will be tricky hoping we can keep contract low by getting the team to buy into a cup run
Forsberg and Pacioretty have a nearly identical career goals/game:
Forsberg: 216/556 = .388
Pacioretty: 315/841 = .380
Through age 27:
Forsberg: 216/556 = .388
Pacioretty: 174/481 = .362
Note that through age 27 (Forsberg’s current age) that Forsberg’s goals/game is actually higher.
Forsberg (6′ 1″ 208): 456 pts/556 games (+31) =.820 pts/game
Pacioretty (6′ 2″ 217): 635 pts/841 games (+64) = .755 pts/game
As a scorer Forsberg is every bit the equal of Pacioretty and he’s nearly as big a body. Given the age difference Forsberg’s +/- could probably be considered on pace with Pacioretty’s. It’s true this breakout year he’s having elevates his career averages, however of the last eight years, seven have been 20+ goals and three are 30+. If I was VGK Scouting I might hypothesize that playing with Eichel he’ll be able to sustain or improve his performance.
Filip Forsberg certainly appears to be a six years younger equivalent of Max Pacioretty.
Forsberg and Pacioretty have scored goals at a nearly identical rate:
Forsberg (age 27):
2012-13: 0 G/5 games
2013-14: 1 G/13 games
2014-15: 26 G/82 games
2015-16: 33 G/82 games
2016-17: 31 G /82 games
2017-18: 26 G/67 games
2018-19: 28 G/64 games
2019-20: 21 G/63 games
2020-21: 12 G/39 games (only less than 20 G last eight seasons)
2021-22: 38 G/59 games
Total: 216 G/556 games = .388 G/game
Pacioretty (age 33):
2008-09: 3 G/34 games
2009-10: 3 G/52 games
2010-11: 14 G/37 games
2011-12: 33 G/79 games
2012-13: 15 G/44 games
2013-14: 39 G/73 games
2014-15: 37 G/80 games
2015-16: 30 G/ 82 games
2016-17: 35G/81 games
2017-18: 17 G/64 games
2018-19: 22 G/66 games
2019-20: 32 G/71 games
2020-21:24 G/48 games
2021-22: 16 G/30 games
Total: 320 G/841 games = .380 G/game
Eichel goal scoring %:
150 G/400 games = .375
Just below Forsberg and Pacioretty, however his points % is significantly higher (Forsberg .820 pts/game—Pacioretty .755 pts/game)
374 pts/400 games = .935 pts/game
So, I don’t get it. Pacioretty is signed through next year. At his age there won’t be a lot of buyers ($7 million), and certainly not before the trade deadline next year. If your playing GM for the VGK you are looking at shedding CAP, not making the problem worse.
The Golden Knights already have a big price to pay for the Eichel trade. Do you seriously think this team is going to dump 4 or 5 players for the pleasure of having both Eichel and Forsberg, because that is what it is likely going to take.
Smith and one other productive player is already likely gone. Maybe Dadanov, Karlsson and Theodore too? What are your thoughts? What would it take and do you think it is critical that the VGK go hard after Forsberg? I don’t.
Not re-signing Smith and trading Dadonov gets them largely cap compliant. Those have been pretty much assumed.
You have a point about trading Pacioretty. There will likely be a cost associated with it. If you have listened to Ken and McKenna the idea has come up. He’s injury prone. But yes, could be a cost for it. Possibly prohibitive.
Karlsson is the other major move. His offensive production has declined. Couls be a cost for it. It frees up additional space, not just for Forsberg but re-signings and/or modest acquistions.
Everyone agrees Brossoit will go, hopefully at little to no cost.
I realize I am an amateur and outsider but towards the end of the last podcast even Ken alluded to the possibility they will look to sign Forsberg.
If we make the playoffs and Pacioretty lights up and stays healthy the discussion changes but imo Smith, Dadonov and Brossoit are on the way out for sure.
Meant to mention I would never trade Theodore. He still racks up a ton of points for a D. Really, if you build a roster without Karlsson, Smith and Dadonov and replace Pacioretty with Forsberg, it looks good to great. Biggest obstacle will be the cost of moving Pacioretty.
I agree, Dadanov, Smith and Brossoit are likely goners — UNLESS Smith takes a pay cut. As far as Karlsson, even he admits his production is down. however his contract is 5.9 million through the 2025 season. Would a team be interested in him? Possibly Gallant and the Rangers? Just like Patches, the VGK is likely going to have to eat some of that contract. The best scenario would be for both Patches and Karlsson to play well the rest of this season and in the playoffs. So, I think the jury is still out as to whether or not we’d be interested in Forsberg. It’s too early to seriously discuss it (in my humble opinion).
I think the front office made a huge mistake by not shopping Smith before the trade deadline. That’s water under the bridge now though.
By the way. The defense is healthy and the Captain is BACK! VGK WINS TONIGHT 5-3 and the KINGS LOSE TO CHICAGO!
I neglected to mention moving Dadonov probably has a cost associated with it as well…same for Pacioretty and Karlsson. But I agree R-R we need to see how the rest of the season plays out. I do speculate that Forsberg could be better than Pacioretty ever was here, in part because he would start younger.