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Iole: VGK Offseason Agenda

This season, diehard VGK fan and legendary combat sports columnist Kevin Iole will be delivering columns a few times a month on Sundays. Today is the last column for the season from Kevin. We cannot thank Kevin enough for contributing to the site all year.

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Trying to forecast what the Golden Knights’ will be like in the 2022-23 season is all but impossible. We don’t know who is going to manage the team, who will coach it, and if several of the key players on it will ever be the same physically.

From owner Bill Foley on down, VGK management has to be praying that Mark Stone’s back injury that kept him out of 46 games this year and left him a shell of himself when he did return for the final, ultimately futile, playoff run is healed and just a sad memory when next season begins.

That’s no guarantee, though, and without a healthy and productive Stone, it’s all but impossible to take this team seriously as a contender no matter what else they do in the offseason.

There are a number of free agents, though none more important than Reilly Smith. But with the Knights up against the salary cap, will they be able to find the money to bring him back? And even if they can, will he want to return?

The answers to those questions will play out in the next several months. But I’ve identified six areas whoever is running this team will need to solidify in the offseason if it is to have a reasonable hope of fulfilling Foley’s dream of a Stanley Cup title by Year 6.

Get younger and faster

The Knights were the third-oldest team in the league in the 2021-22 season, and at times it looked like they didn’t have the jump they needed. They certainly didn’t play with the pace of a championship team.

When the Misfits went to the Stanley Cup final in 2018, they forechecked ferociously and took time and space away from the opposition on virtually every shift.

The inordinate number of injuries they suffered through played a role in that, but they need to infuse the lineup with both young, hungry players and speed.

Goaltending situation

The easy answer is to say that Logan Thompson is the answer and that the 2021 AHL Goaltender of the Year should be 1-A from Day 1 of training camp next year.

Thompson showed great signs of being a guy who can do that, but he hasn’t played 20 games in the NHL. Do you want to bank your entire season on a guy who, let’s be honest, may have gotten hot at the right time? There are scores of stories of players having a great stretch run and/or playoff and then never returning to that level.

If Thompson is the guy, the VGK are fortunate because he’ll save them a huge amount of cap space. He’s signed for the next three seasons at an average annual value of $766,667.

Thompson will need to take his game to another level because while he was a pleasant surprise, some of it is because of the situation. Much wasn’t expected of him and he performed. But to be the goalie on a Stanley Cup-winning team, much better play is required than what he showed this season.

I believe he can deliver that, but it’s something management needs to figure out. If they determine he can, they can move both Robin Lehner and Laurent Brossoit, saving more than $7 million, and sign a veteran who could be a 1-B who could mentor Thompson and be a fall-back if he regresses.

Get a net-front presence

I wrote about this a couple of weeks ago, but the Knights need a player, preferably a big body, who can play effectively in front of the net, deflect shots and score the kind of garbage or greasy goals that the VGK routinely has struggled to get.

VGK score far too many of its goals off the rush, and at playoff time, when those goals dry up, it’s the guys who play well in the paint and have the hands and timing to tip shots past goalies who help you to keep winning.

A player of that ilk changes so much of the dynamics of the rest of the team. It’s imperative to land such a player because it will have a trickle-down effect through all of the forward lines.

Improve the special teams

Landing that type of player dovetails perfectly with the next need, and that’s to be better on special teams, but particularly on the power play.

Superior special teams play changes momentum and, ultimately, wins games. Some of the inferior power play work can be attributed to the injuries the team suffered, but let’s be frank: This one is on the coaching staff because it’s been an ongoing problem.

If Foley brings back DeBoer, he needs to hire a new assistant coach who specializes in special teams play. Rick Tocchet, the former Arizona coach, could be that guy. He ran Pittsburgh’s special teams during its back-to-back Stanley Cup titles a few years ago and has a great reputation as a power-play strategist. Of course, Tocchet will be a head coaching candidate, and possibly in Las Vegas. But if he’s not a head coach, make him a lucrative offer to come to Vegas to run the power play.

Make decisions on key veterans

William Karlsson scored 43 goals in 2017-18. After scoring in the season finale on Friday, he finished this year with 12, and has only 41 over the last three seasons.

He’s making $5.9 million for the next five years. They have to decide if he can ever get back to a 20-25 goal a year guy while maintaining his defensive standards. If he does that, he’s a core piece.

Karlsson at 12 or 15 goals is vastly overpaid at $5.9 million per year, even with his defense. And if they determine he can’t get back to 20, they’ll have to consider moving him.

Do they bring back Max Pacioretty, who turns 34 in November and will count $6.965 million against the cap in the final year of his deal, or move him? Pacioretty looked good when healthy, so I’d lean toward keeping him. But he missed 43 games this year, is expensive, and getting old.

Finally, they need to move on from Nolan Patrick. The guy was consistently injured with the Flyers and missed lengthy periods with a concussion. It wasn’t the brightest move to bring him in, and it was a waste of $1.2 million this season. The Knights need the money badly and Patrick should be summarily dumped to give them some.

Beat the bad teams

The Golden Knights lost 17 games to non-playoff teams. That’s way, way, way too many. Fix that and you’re all of a sudden back in the mix.

**You can find all of Kevin’s tremendous boxing and MMA work at Yahoo Sports here.**

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83 Comments

  1. knights fan in minny

    if they fire peter my choice would be adam oates offensive mind and power play specialist

    • Tom McCarthy

      Firing DeVore would be great.
      I bet MAF would agree

  2. knights fan in minny

    let the speculation begin off season should be interesting

  3. George L.

    Fire the coach and keep Karlsson. In my opinion Karlsson was on the receiving end of a double-whammy. 1. The 1-1-3 system which DeBoer himself admitted limited Karlsson’s offense punch. 2. The constant threat (like most of the team) of being fired for not having a great year. If that’s the metric then fold the team and sell Ice-Capades Tickets.

    • STEPHANIE

      This is very very true ! Karlsson has suffered greatly in this system!

  4. THE hockey GOD

    agree with everything, except making tocchet head coach, for PP yes but it would be a stretch; during the rookie tournie there was some synergy with GG. Don’t know if McPhee likes him or not.

    i would keep PDB because he’s one of best in the league and no one out there other islander coach is close. The only other one used to coach Panthers and he is long gone due to black hawks situation. I’d give the staff 1/2 way through season, just like they gave GG after he had the worst season (93 points and blown SJS series) to right the ship. Then move on.

    I also hope VGK somehow wins the first draft pick, the VGK haters on east coast will howl and whine !

    • Scooter

      Nobody even close? Are you ******* serious???? He’s not even in the same class as Barry Trotz (NYI), Jon Cooper (TB), Bruce Cassidy (BOS), Darryl Sutter (CGY), Peter Laviolette (WAS) or Mike Sullivan (PIT), and I would even take Bruce Boudreau (VAN), Craig Berube (STL) and Todd McLellan (LAK) over him. … I can’t even take this comment seriously, because you’re so out of touch with hockey reality (Here’s a hilarious irony: DeBoer and Gallant both have the same career winning percentage, .566).

    • You can’t have #1

      Vegas can’t get this first pick. They can only move up 10 spots IF they win the lottery, which they have the least chance of winning because it is based on where a team finished and Vegas had the best record of non playoff teams.

    • Cereal Killer

      Vegas cannot win the lottery first overall pick. I think the highest they can get to is 5th overall.

    • THG,

      Maybe it is just me but I like being in playoffs even though we had 93 points and lost because of the Not a Major! THG, I’m just a little confused I might be wrong and I apologize in advance but are sayin you and Pistol Pete thinks its better not to make the playoffs and end the season with 94 points?

      Personally, I don’t consider making it to playoffs and losing a game 7 in overtime worse than this year but maybe you and Pistol Pete are correct I might be the only on this site with that belief. Keep it positive!

      Go Knights Go!

      • VGK Fan it is true they advance year 2 to the 2nd round of the playoffs if not for the stupid 5 min . major. I still think it means a little something we got one more point this year than that year. It just was not enough for 3rd place like it was year 2 because the top three in the Pacific were stronger this year. 94 pts is excellent w/ 500+ injury days (imo). Anyways I’m ready for the offseason moves and camp. GKG!!!

        • Pistol Pete,

          You look at the fact they had 94 points this year and 93 in year two but they won third place by seven points and nothing to play for during season the last 4 games of season 2.

          Yes, you are correct 94 points considering the injury’s was a good performance. I was just disappointed by finishing with 4 wins in the last 11 games against a somewhat weak schedule.

          VGK could have easily had more points in season two however there was little to play for at the season end. But I do like your positive attitude and always looking at the bright side.

  5. Dean

    VGK is not going to save $5 million by trading Lehner and likely won’t save $5.9 million by trading Wild Bill. When contracts are overpaying someone, no other team is going to take them unless we eat money or take on other bad contracts. This situation is amplified when everyone knows we are over the cap and need to shed dollars. If these players are to be moved, we will likely have to eat $2 to $2.5 million person. It amazes me that people fail to realize this situation.

    • Galdom

      Dean, people just don’t get it. You are 100% right.

      • Old team, salary cap hell, no real prospects at AHL. Get ready to join the Blackhawks in their misery. VGK went for it from the jump, but a retool and maybe a complete rebuild by ’24. Oh, I forgot. Nothing at Henderson. This team won’t make the playoffs next year.

    • Scooter

      Plus, they can’t even afford to retain salary … and if fans think Thompson is somehow the savior, they’ve mistaken. Mark my words: If he enters next season as the No. 1, they will not make the playoffs (unless the No. 2 has a career season). Not because he’s a bad goalie, because he’s not ready for that kind of pressure. People saw Lehner, a proven commodity, get red hot in the bubble. Since then, he’s dropped off. Thompson happened to have a good stretch, coupled with some bad or uneven efforts, but that doesn’t mean he should be the No. 1. Maybe the backup, should they find a way to deal either Lehner or Brossoit.

      • Brenden B

        They can trade Lehner by throwing in Brisson and next year’s #1 pick

        • Brenden B,

          I can’t see them moving Brisson he actually looks like the only draft pick in VGK history who can be a top six player. Not counting Suzuki.

    • DMR

      You are correct, Dean. Good luck finding teams to take several of these bad contracts off VGK’s hands!

  6. Herby

    I do not agree on Patrick at all!

    Yes, he is injured a lot but that is exactly why I would not trade him. He has a very high ceiling but was never healthy in his career. If he recovers from his injuries he could exactly be the type of player the VGK need. Young, cheap and talented.

    • knights fan in minny

      when he was healthy here he did not show much

    • Frank

      What has Patrick done??? Nothing. Hard to pay 1.2 million for nothing. He should be gone.

      • knights fan in minny

        patrick pretty much invisible

      • Galdom

        What’s particularly alarming about Nolan Patrick is when he is healthy and in the lineup he is useless horseshit. It was a worthwhile gamble but I’m not sure why he was given a two-year contract extension rather than just a one year contract extension. Another stupid move by the front office.

        • Bob m

          All of the previous comments have some merit but I disagree that that PDB should be fired I don’t believe ANY coach could have gotten this team to The playoffs. Agree we need a coach or a new system for the power play can’t always go from Eichel to X back to Eichel to Y back to Eichel to Z . I believe Thompson showed he could be a top goaltender with a little more expierence. Lehner never had the full support of the fans and injuries caused a sub par for him ( check his prior 3years) Keep him if he and management can work out.
          As much as I like Karlsson he is not worth 5+ m. Smith would be better choice to keep if one must go. Must resign our URFAs
          need to keep our younger players.
          As fans we expect so much and I believe owners/management are trying to get us a cup but probably moving a little too fast.
          Let’s keep the faith …GO KNIGHTS GO

          • PP was 40% last 5 games. Definitely looked better. Eichel is building chemistry with Pacioretty and Stone which takes more than a handful of games.

          • THE hockey GOD

            @ Bob M

            smart post.
            smart coach, and any other coach would have tanked the VGK to level of the HABS if not for this crew keeping them into the hunt until the last week just missing the playoffs by tiniest of margins.

            Forum has about six posters who still hate that FO canned GG and can’t get beyond that. Permanent hate.

        • DMR

          Patrick definitely was a complete waste and needs to go. I really don’t think he can stay in the league at this point.

      • Herby

        Patrick was never really healthy.

        Patrick was a no 2 draft
        He has 7 points in 25 games
        82 games expected points are 23 points
        He has a salary of 1.2 mio: He gets 52’000 per point

        Let‘s compare it to Eichel

        Eichel was a no 2 draft
        25 points in 34 games
        82 games expected points are 60 points
        He has a 1salary of 10 mio: He gets 167‘000 per point

        Pretty easy to decide which of our no. 2 drafts should be traded if you look at it this way.

        • Herby – way to logical for people to understand it is referred to as ROI. I didn’t bother to do the math but the approach is correct. That doesn’t mean you can necessarily compare the two in that manner but it does point out an interesting fact that the investments this team and I am sure many others have made are out of wack from a financial point of view.

        • Herby,

          While Patrick is always injured I do understand ROI. What a lot people on this website don’t realize moving 1.2 million will only save you 200,000 because you still have to replace him with another player.

          Just seems to me to many people are writing this kid off who salary is next to nothing.

  7. Just a question – why would you leave FO in place along with coaching staff even for half the season and be naive enough to expect different results. If l am not mistaken that’s the definition of insanity. Seems to me you are asking for the same mess. All teams know what the situation is here with cap hell. – if anyone was a buyer there going to want plenty in return so Foley is between a rock and a hard place short of a miracle. The only team that makes dumb deals is the vgks and l don’t have to point out examples.

    • THE hockey GOD

      HD
      “why would you leave FO in place along with coaching staff even for half the season and be naive enough to expect different results” because of inordinate amount of injuries and covid this team went through this past year coming in second in the NHL in the amount of man games lost to Montreal. That is NOT on coaching staff. Montreal tanked, and VGK just missed the playoffs. Points wise they did not have their worst year. With healthy full roster, which they did not have after the all star break one would expect to have DIFFERENT results. That is not insanity, that if VOICE OF COMMONS SENSE and REASON. Now if they have a full, healthy roster like they had the first four years and they are still in tank. Then that is not insanity, that is time to make changes. Even at the end of this season they were not healthy. Both starting goalies gone, Smith out, Hague out, 67 crawling around the ice, Stone skating like someone in old folks home. Let’s see what they do with healthy roster. No need to throw the baby out with bath water at this point in time.

      We’ll see if Foley has common sense, or knee jerk reaction.

      • Thg, agreed. This was a year to ” bury”, with what we dealt with all season. Not comparable to any other year, under circumstances. Not mgmt.’s fault. NO ONE asked for the parade of injuries. Players who played were under a lot of pressure. How could chemistry develop, lines mesh, when it changed so often?
        I am actually pretty surprised they nearly pulled it off, getting into the playoffs. We DEFINITELY need a new coach to work on the obvious: PP, PK ( lately), and add the blasted SHOOTOUTS!!

      • Thg- very simple question was anwered with the same old bullshit reply we expectt from you. This team healthy or not was playing in an environment where winning was nearly impossible. Even You are smart enough to recognize that. Your short comings along with others is you refuse to except reality. I wouldn’t call it optimistic in your case just stubborn as no one is that naive. That’s a complement in your case. Maybe you are just a grumpy old man I don’t know. Guess it really doesn’t make any difference one way or another.

        • I feel several factors contributed to this year’s results, HD, but I think the INJURY story was the biggest factor this season .
          The mgmt’s questionable decisions have, unfortunately, been problematic for several seasons. As for PDB, I am NOT his biggest fan. Not sure why he, of all coaches, would be the guy replacing Gallant…or why Gallant needed replacing in the 1st place..( along with trading away most the team)… so many factors!

          • TS – there is no question there was and is a number of issues on the team. They have tweaked themselves- no one else to blame, into a situation which has resulted in a very toxic situation resulting in the environment I mentioned. The other issues wouldn’t be correctable while the current environment exists. The organization has lost credibility and integrity believing they could buy their way to the Cup and lost sight of everything else. Fix the environment which won’t be easy and they will ha e a shot. leave it the way it is and not a chance.

        • THE hockey GOD

          “was playing in an environment where winning was nearly impossible”

          yes
          having half team out is impossible environment , i agree– we agree on that.

          and speaking of same ole bull shit , conspiracy BS , don’t drink the same old kool aid.

          Culture ha ha ha

          Players love Foley and playing for organization. That is what you want to change. Some players like MAF, and others, want to retire here.

          ok
          got it

          thanks for clearing that up.

    • Julie

      Hey HD, do you think it’s possible Foley gets rid of the McBrothers or at least KM if they keep PDB? I would love for PDB to go personally. The idea that this year he should be given a pass because of injuries, what about being a coach to the team he had and getting them to the playoffs? Seems like other teams had injuries and their coaches got them to the playoffs. Plus, PDB’s MO is to get up the SC on the first year and then choke each year after that. Much like Stone and Pacioretty (as much as I like them, they have the same choking issue in the playoffs).

      • Harriet Kaufman

        Hi Julie. I’m not sure if PDB has a choking issue, but it was clearly impossible for him to have enough time, as players returned and during practices, to see who plays well together – in any given situation of injury or health problems. He has to KNOW who to put on the ice together, and I think the whole organization is a little confused (including the players) of who plays well with whom. We were JUST starting to figure it out. It was too complicated and too late. I don’t think PDB choked, but he only gets a certain time to get the cup. Personally, I’d give him next year. JMHO.

      • Hi Julie – should the splash brothers go – yes if Foley has any interest in changing the current culture. If the current environment continues a champion ship team will never happen. Attitude in many cases is as important is not more so than talent and skill and money can’t purchase that so Foley has a few decisions to make. McPhee never won in washington assembled a good team and they won after he left – coincident maybe but if the top is where the problems start it may not be. At this point the organization had gone from a Cinderella story to the toilet as all the tweaks made have resulted in a downward spin. Bottom line on paper a good team ,not elite but good, unfortunately it didn’t transfer to the ice as we know. I am not sure that is PDBa fault entirely but his inflexability to adjust certainly is. You have to coach to the players strength to win that is what l am.referring to regarding flexibility. His system may be fine with other players but not the vgk players at this time. Can he adjust. if he wants to keep his job he better. Players can’t perform at their best looking over their shoulder thinking who’s next regardless how well you perform that is the human nature side of all this.

        • STEPHANIE

          True. They need to change the culture ! First and foremost

          • THE hockey GOD

            “Players can’t perform at their best looking over their shoulder thinking who’s next regardless how well you perform that is the human nature side of all this.”

            really ??

            NHL stats show VEGAS is well down on the list in regard to “who’s next”.
            See my post below showing this in detail with data over the last five years.

    • HD Biker,

      The cap hell is solely on management we basically have three team friendly deals in which players make over 2.5 million and that is #20, #27 and #81.

      We always see people who post on here everyone wants to play in Vegas. Well of course they do no state income tax and you don’t have to take a team friendly deal and great night life among many other reasons.

      Reasons players may not want to play here is a coach who throws players under the bus. Example Deboer with Lehner and managements history of mistreatment of prior players.

  8. Mick Vegas

    Foley should fire McCrimmon and let McPhee handle the GM duties… things were pretty good until McCrimmon became the guy pulling the levers on who goes and who stays. He TOTALLY disrespected the face of the franchise and vienza trophy winner, granted he has only a few more years to play. They shipped Reeves who was in the back of every opponents mind as to why they shouldn’t pull any multitude of dirty moves against the Knights and they have a ridiculous number of injuries of ALL key players across the lineup…. coincidence… even Wayne Gretzky needed McSorley and Simenko and if you believe that’s not the way the modern game is played then you are as dumb as McCrimmon.

  9. Skip

    McCrimmon and DeBoer should both go. The salary cap mess is largely because Foley likes to chase big money, but McCrimmon’s moves botched this season. DeBoer’s power play never improved, he’s created another goalie controversy, and it’s obvious he lost the team during the last stretch. Buh-bye.

    • THE hockey GOD

      “The salary cap mess is largely because Foley likes to chase big money, but McCrimmon’s moves botched this season”
      What moves were those? And how do you know it was McCrimmon who made them?
      ” DeBoer’s power play never improved” actually at end of season it did have a slight uptick.

      ” he’s created another goalie controversy” umm, what was that controversy? The one in which Emily Kaplan reported RL was having knee surgery on Friday (ending his season) never happened? Or the one in which the organization , via Elliot Freakman the rumor monger, alleged that the organization asked RL to DRESS for CAP REASONS? Neither of which our on PBD, neither of which was ‘created” by PBD. Stop drinking the kool aid from the mob media writers who don’t know squat from squat. NHL players are knows for “gutting it out”. I’d like to hear what RL has to say , and he hasn’t been all that friendly to folks in media. So far he’s been silent. So stop with the bull shit.

      “he lost the team during the last stretch”

      Really ? He had a strong one one goal games, except for the last game they all went to OT. They is not “losing the team”.

      DUMBEST FAN BASE IN SPORTS ON DISPLAY, I apologize to back east NHL fans that read this crap.

      • THE hockey GOD

        *string” not strong of one goal games

        • THE hockey GOD

          he’s created another goalie controversy?? you mean another, like the MAF
          one in which
          MAF backstabbed the team, more than once
          whined about not playing when RL was playing
          complained so much that VGK couldn’t make a good trade deal for him?

          Sounds to me like that is on prima donna whiner, loser, non team player goalie who made 8 million a year and blew every major playoff series he was in (SJS, CAPs (played like shit), HABS- billy buckner).

          FARCE OF FRANCHISE

          • Mel

            It must hurt you immensely that Fleury survived the BS in Vegas and still got to the playoffs. You talk about it a lot. I hate to tell you, but no one else is upset about agent tweets, mistakes, etc. They look at all he does for the sport. Good luck with that anger. Be careful it will eat you up.

          • ThG, I do agree Fleury was not able to come through when it mattered the most. That was not all him though especially the Caps. It was him game 7 SJS and game 3 MTL. Management is not stupid. They knew they were taking a chance with Lehner due to the fact he had mental issues and that no team had signed him long term (someone probably Mike StG or sb recently provided an explanation for why he was not signed) and to the best of their determination Fleury was in decline which in hindsight was an even tougher call to make than it was at the time.

      • STEPHANIE

        Youre high

    • THE hockey GOD

      McCrimmon’s moves botched this season

      bringing up Logan Thompson was a really bone head move this season

      ok
      got
      it

    • DMR

      I agree!

    • Skip,

      Great points just ignore The Hockey Dog/GMP/PDB he hates the 3rd winningest goalie of all time. While MAF is on to his NHL record 16 consecutive post season 2 more than the next goalie Tony Esposito. The real VGK fans appreciate MAF but there a still 2 or 3 individuals who love to be trolls.

  10. George McPhee:

    Note while playing for the Rangers he interned on Wall Street going on to study law at Rutgers and clerk for a judge.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_McPhee

    Playing career
    Prior to his career in management, McPhee was a prominent college hockey player at Bowling Green State University for the Falcons ice hockey team. He was the recipient of the 1982 Hobey Baker Award (given to college hockey’s top player), was chosen as a First-Team All-Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) selection in 1982, Second-Team All-CCHA honors in 1979 and 1981 and was the CCHA’s Rookie of the Year in 1979. After leaving Bowling Green, he won the 1983–84 Central Hockey League championship (the Adams Cup) as a member of the Tulsa Oilers team coached by Tom Webster.[6]

    McPhee began his NHL career in the 1983 Stanley Cup playoffs for the New York Rangers. In those playoffs, he and Ray Cote of the Edmonton Oilers became the first players to score three goals in a single Stanley Cup playoffs prior to playing a regular season NHL game.[7] McPhee ultimately had a seven-year career in the NHL, playing for the Rangers and New Jersey Devils.

    Personal life
    McPhee interned on Wall Street in New York for two off-seasons while playing for the Rangers in the 1980s. After retirement from his professional playing career, he studied law at Rutgers University’s law school in New Jersey and clerked for a judge on the United States Court of International Trade before moving into a hockey management career.[9]

    McPhee is married to wife Leah, with whom he has three children: son Graham (a Boston College Eagles player drafted 149 overall in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft by the Edmonton Oilers), now playing with the Oilers’ AHL affiliate, the Bakersfield Condors, and daughters Grayson and Adelaide.[9][14]

    His 267 career points is tied for 23rd highest in NCAA history.

    https://www.collegehockeynews.com/stats/record/pts

  11. Dump Deboer his asst Spott and McCrimmon. They screwed this team up with bad deals and trading away good young players for aging stars (totar was worst of them all, the Max P deal for Suzuki is looking worse and worse because he is always hurt). The goalie fiasco bringing in Lehner should cost McCrimmon his job. They are never going to be able to trade Lehner without giving up another asset for a team to take him. Stupid stupid deal. How they couldn’t see how inconsistent he was when we got him from Chicago is beyond me. I seen it and I am not a GM or coach.. I would much rather kept Fluery and had Thompson back him up then Lehner Brossoit combo. That alone should get him fired. He was a huge fan favorite and Foley should have put his foot down on that situation. Doesn’t anyone see how it got worse when McPhee gave the job to McCrimmon? What a mess. They should have signed Peron long term when they let him go back to saint Louis. Look what he’s doing for them? Sad. No chemistry any more. We had more cohesiveness when we were the golden misfits. I don’t know who this team is. Stones back is bad. He can’t even bend over. I know. I got plates in my back and it looks like he is heading in that direction. He is a shell of what he was. Can’t see how they are going to get back to where we were.

    • Note this post was reviewed by the moderator, delaying it’s posting. I went ahead and posted an updated version which can be viewed further down in the thread in which I discuss the “mistakes” made on McPhee’s watch.

      The point I am making is that the “mistakes” were made with McPhee as P of Ops. I doubt McCrimmon makes trade decisions that are not approved by McPhee with Foley playing some role, therefore to assign all blame to McCrimmon is probably not very realistic. McPhee I would suggest is both very experienced in the area of hockey including the NHL (as a player and manager) and the fact he studied law implies he’s no mental midget either (imo). Mistakes are easy for fans to critique in hindsight, however imo unless they have NHL management experience, fans are never well enough informed on the complexities that went into making the decisions in the first place. These guys are not dumb even though certain moves may appear dumb in hindsight. I’m not saying mistakes were not made. They were and adjustments have to be made. Foley should hang onto McPhee imo.

      • THE hockey GOD

        PP “not very realistic.”

        smartest post of day, most of these posers’ posts contain a high degree of “not very realistic’ in their re writing of VGK history to fit their hate and misconceived , concocted, “history”. Many of which have been over come by events.

  12. This team is old, and has learned to choke.

    It will take some great GM work and coaching to overcome these two hurdles.

  13. Has Eichel caused a locker room distraction yet?

  14. Is this for real?

    This article is hilarious. The team that fired their coach without warning, signed every big name free agent or gave their future away to get big name players, and went over the cap, is now in need of a coach and players who can score. Talk about a disaster of a franchise. They got EicheL and now we find out the problem is Stone being hurt. Then why get EicheL?

    • This is pretty much why VGK is unliked through the league. All the good will from season 1 was lost by arrogance.

    • THE hockey GOD

      “his article is hilarious.

      your post is hilarious, and full of half truths.

      The team that fired their coach without warning

      GG was given a warning, it was never publicized. He was having issues
      following FO “suggestions”. Basically told them the FO to FO. he knew he was history. Just because you didn’t, is not excuse to say otherwise.

      , signed every big name free agent

      >>>no they did not, SAL CAP space says otherwise. Plenty of big name players re signed, including to Capt. of Avalanche. A lot of hyper ventilating in that post.

      or gave their future away to get big name players

      >>jury is still out on this statement, but is this really a surprise to anyone. They said they were going to do. They had a mandate from grape stomper, Foley.

      , and went over the cap

      >>>last year they were over the cap, and had to sit players. This year they managed
      to get through games without sitting players. At the end of season they had a SAL CAP issue with RL.

      , is now in need of a coach
      >>>says who ??? The conspiracy theory nut jobs ? Elliott Freakman ? They have second best coach in business next to Islanders.

      and players who can score.

      >>yes they have players who can score.

      Talk about a disaster of a franchise.

      >>>yeah , made playoffs four out of last five years, just barely missed this year. WHAT A DISASTER. WOE to the WORLD, gnashing of teeth. NOT.

      They got EicheL and now we find out the problem is Stone being hurt. Then why get EicheL?

      >>maybe get stone, because Eichel hurt ? See pretty girl, Charley like.

  15. Original 6✅

    @Jake. i already know who can do exactly that. Who do u think and anyone else can join in because this needs to be the first step. any other comments on things don’t mean shit.

  16. knights fan in minny

    le ts here who ya got in the cup finals i have panthers and flames panthers taking it all the panthers can score at will anywhere and anytime the flames play a hard heavy game playoff type hockey they also have a couple of 100 point guys the second season begins

  17. Harriet Kaufman

    Ken, we’re ALMOST always on the same page. But, you know how I respect all of the non-scoring things William does on the ice. I watch him like a hawk. Otherwise, I would LOVE to get Trotz here, and I would give PDB another season. That’s it. The organization is such a mess, will it be better if they clean house? I also think they need to get rid of Janmark, amongst others, but not Patch yet. If Stone has a career-ending injury, we’re going to be in some good trouble, since Eichel isn’t healing very fast. As for a goalie. I agree. I love Thompson, and I think he will be fab, in his heyday. But, we need a STANLEY CUP GOALIE in the net. Period. Thanks, Ken, for the article. Very interesting, and the summer talk will be fun.

  18. STEPHANIE

    First off Kevin , heres one prob with this article .Drop the CUP IN SIX PRESSURE .which started this whole mess

  19. Top Dog

    Get rid of mccriminal and deboring if only cuz the hockey dog spews they shouldn’t. Their ain’t anyone more clueless than him and his verbal diaherrea

  20. George McPhee:

    Note he interned on Wall Street while playing for the Rangers and went on to study law and clerk for a judge.

    McPhee has a wealth of hockey experience and some smarts to go along with it yet all the mistakes the team has made were on his watch as P of Ops other than year 1+ when he was GM under Murray Craven. Mistakes basically were trades that did not work out: Tatar, Lehner, Dadonov and Brossoit; and the handing of the Fleury trade in particular in not telling him and going public on it (fwiw I always maintained that Fleury and his agent already knew it was coming). Some fans will assert that buying Stone, Pacioretty, Pietrangelo were all mistakes as well. My point is, McPhee knows the game and is a pretty bright guy. Mistakes are always easy to frame in hindsight. In truth due to complexities in the decision making processes at the time, it can he hard to avoid committing them. If I were Foley I would definitely hang onto McPhee.

    McPhee is tied for 23rd for the most career points in NCAA history.

    https://www.collegehockeynews.com/stats/record/pts

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_McPhee

    Playing career
    Prior to his career in management, McPhee was a prominent college hockey player at Bowling Green State University for the Falcons ice hockey team. He was the recipient of the 1982 Hobey Baker Award (given to college hockey’s top player), was chosen as a First-Team All-Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) selection in 1982, Second-Team All-CCHA honors in 1979 and 1981 and was the CCHA’s Rookie of the Year in 1979. After leaving Bowling Green, he won the 1983–84 Central Hockey League championship (the Adams Cup) as a member of the Tulsa Oilers team coached by Tom Webster.[6]

    McPhee began his NHL career in the 1983 Stanley Cup playoffs for the New York Rangers. In those playoffs, he and Ray Cote of the Edmonton Oilers became the first players to score three goals in a single Stanley Cup playoffs prior to playing a regular season NHL game.[7] McPhee ultimately had a seven-year career in the NHL, playing for the Rangers and New Jersey Devils.

    Personal life
    McPhee interned on Wall Street in New York for two off-seasons while playing for the Rangers in the 1980s. After retirement from his professional playing career, he studied law at Rutgers University’s law school in New Jersey and clerked for a judge on the United States Court of International Trade before moving into a hockey management career.[9]

    • I meant to add Eichel to the list of “bought” players.

    • Galdom

      You just made me hate that guy even more. A scumbag on Wall Street and interning as a lawyer. That’s piece of shit written all over him. No wonder why he is heading up a front office that does nothing but lie.

      I’m not saying he should be fired or anything but you have convinced me that he’s a piece of shit

  21. dp

    Who cares? They suck.

    • They did not suck the other night vs. the Blues who came in incentiviced to gain home ice in the playoffs. They don’t suck. 94 points with 500+ injury days is not garbage.

      There are challenges in building next year’s cap-compliant roster and restoring the team’s good image. No problem imo.

      P. S. I will be surprised if Eichel does less than a point a game next season.

      • THE hockey GOD

        PP what he meant to say is that they sucked
        for team that got 94 points, more than the year they REALLY sucked
        under GG when they got 93 points and immediately got dumped in playoffs to SJS in seven game series when their vaunted goalie, savior of franchise, the seven million dollar man blew a three goal lead last in period three.
        Meant to say the sucked, but not so sucky as HABS who went to SC finals last year and had most man games lost in whole NHL and managed to probably get no. 1 draft pick. While VGK JUST missed the playoffs because the team got the flu in six game back east road trip in dead of winter, and they sucked because
        they lost their two starting goalies down teh stretch and lost every game in OT . They suck because NHL OT rules are basically a CRAP SHOOT. And they suck because PBD and all his power play coaches are responsible for NHL OT crap shoot rules, and for players getting covid, and for Marty getting run over by a skate causing him to lost well over half the season.

        I expect a fully healthy team for entire next season , VGK to be in first place in their division for first half of season. If not, then HEADS will LIKELY ROLL !

        I dont’ see GMGM or co GMGM going anywhere soon.

        but what do i know?
        people think I am God or something ?

        • knights fan in minny

          the big bragger at it again

        • knights fan in minny

          who said you were god nobody on this site i bet it was the guy in the mirror

  22. Good read. Interesting and poignant data points to ponder. If I were to be a betting man, and I am not, I believe Foley will stand pat on management and the coaching staff. We won’t see many changes, and the shit show will return for another season.

    With that said, enough – let’s wait for the presser.

  23. NickD

    Just my Thoughts….

    I continue to read all the Trashing and Bashing of the VGK FO and Coach how about this. How about we look back at yr 1 and how that team Meshed as a TEAM. This was a bunch of castaways from other teams who took it to their highest level to prove their worth. They came to the game ready, they hit, they fought, they got up in the faces of the other teams, they also scored goals they meshed as a team. Best defense and offence that 1st year which is why they earned a trip to Lord Stanley.

    4 yrs later they are an empty shell of what they were the first year. They traded heart and souls of the team for some over priced players along with draft pick and younger players for what… Nothing !!!!!! They put themselves in cap hell, they got older, they gave overprices contracts to players who dont live up to the money they make and now they are on the outside looking in scratching their heads and blaming who ever will listen for their failures.

    We parted ways with the wrong players in some cases only to bring in players whos superstar status may have been in the past hoping they would get us over the edge to win that cup but it failed and failed in such a way there may be no light at the end of that tunnel for some years to come unless we find a way to dump some contracts but were still gonna eat either a quarter or half of their contract so its a no win solution in the long run.

    Respect in that locker room is gone… No one there like Revo or Maf to get them fired up or calm them down. Respect for the coach has gone out the door and maybe PDB has lost control of the team.

    The long term contracts that come with such a high price tag are not worth it in the long run. No one can predict how that player will be the following year after say a career high the prior year. We have got to stop putting those contracts down in front of these players. Make them earn it sign them to 2 or 3 yrs and prove their worth with team options not what the player dictates. Ya dont prove your worth Bye Bye end of story and you sign someone who wants to prove their worth and play.

    We have the best Stadium, The best Fans and we could have a Stanley Cup Team if we would just stop pulling the trigger on no sense trades that dont work out.

    • They paid at least $1 million too much on every negotiated contract with at least terms that were 1 or 2 years too long. I agree with you. The results are stark in terms of game strategy between Gallant and DeBoering and you can see how the Rangers responded to GG. I put a couple of bills down on the Rangers to go all the way and win the Cup. It’s a bit of a long shot, but I think he will have his players engaged and playing at a high level, unlike the boring and ineffective edition put on the ice by Deboering.

    • MKCVEGAS

      I have to agree with you , bashing and playing the Blame game . I am a Season Ticket Holder since day 1. An avid HOCKEY FAN FOR 35 years. Issues are everywhere. I will just comment on the EMPTY Seats , The Fortress lost all its energy . Maybe some Creativity From the Marketing and change the entire show and bring a TRUE HOCKEY ATMOSPHERE TO THE ARENA. IT WAS COOL YEAR ONE AND 2 , but the Night Club vibe needs to go As for the coaching vacancy , I had an intuition , HOW ABOUT HIRE RETIRED VETERAN AND A BRILLIANT HOCKEY BRAIN …..
      Deryk ENGELLAND, HEAD COACH and locker room leader ? Please share this comment with everybody you chat with I struggled to post it..

  24. NickD

    I Agree Rich. Front office gave out to much and to long on contracts.

  25. VEGAS GAME

    There are so many issues that need to be dealt with and dealt with fairly Quick. We can all point fingers and play the blame game but being a Season Ticket Member since day 1 and an avid Hockey fan for 35 years , issues are happening off the ice as well . Let’s start with Empty Seats , and energy faded in the Fortress. An updated and altered Jumbo Tron and A True Hockey atmosphere is a start . PDB is out so who’s Next ? Well this was a thought that came to me and would like everybody’s thoughts and comments. How about ….. DERYK ENGELLAND THE NEW GOLDEN KNIGHTS HEAD COACH. AMAZING HOCKEY BRAIN AND A LOCKER ROOM MOTIVATING LEADER?

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