Oh come on, not again!
For the third time in nine and a half games, the Golden Knights watched their goaltender succumb to injury. For the second time, that goalie was taken out of the game and a replacement came in.
First, it was Malcolm Subban taking over for Marc-Andre Fleury. He was great. Then, it was Oscar Dansk taking over for Subban. He was great. Now, it’s Maxime Lagace taking over for Dansk. He was… we’ll hold that til tonight at least.
The Golden Knights entered the season with six goalies under NHL contract. They traded Calvin Pickard on the morning of the regular season opener and were then left with five. At the time, that seemed like plenty. Two in the NHL, two in the AHL, and one stashed away in juniors. It wasn’t.
Fleury’s concussion isn’t seeming to be going away anytime soon, Subban’s out at least another two weeks or so, and Dasnk is on IR out for at least the rest of the road trip, So in the net goes Lagace and up from juniors comes Ferguson. (Yes, they can do that.)
The question now is, can you actually ride out the rest of the road trip, and possibly a bit longer with Lagace in the net and 19-year-old Dylan Ferguson as his back up.
It’s crazy, obviously you never expect that but you’ve got to be ready. Didn’t go the way I wanted it to go, but it’s a new day tomorrow. I was a little nervous very excited, I think it showed a little bit, I was a bit nervous in net. But now I know the feeling and I’ll take the experience into tomorrow night for the game. -Maxime Lagace
From a strictly competitive standpoint, Lagace is essentially the same as Subban and Dansk. Young goalie prospects finally getting a chance in the bigs. All three have been around professional hockey for a few years now, so the moment shouldn’t be any different for Lagace than it was for Subban or Dansk. In fact, Lagace was actually starting in Chicago for the Wolves prior to all the injury madness in Vegas, and he was the first goalie called up when Fleury was injured.
If you were comfortable with Dansk in the net, there’s no reason not to be comfortable with Lagace.
And you better be comfortable, cause other options are thin. The normal first thought would be to go out and make a trade to bring in someone else. However, that option doesn’t have much appeal to the Golden Knights as an expansion team as they’d have to give up an asset for a goalie that would be rendered more and more useless as each injured goalie returns.
The other option is the free agent market. There are capable AHL quality goalies out there that the Golden Knights could sign, but in the NHL a contract must be for at least a year. So, if Vegas wanted to bring in another goalie, it would cost them at least $650,000.
Instead, by calling up Ferguson, they have a nine-game window in which he can be on the active roster without burning a year of his entry-level contract. Assuming at least one of the three goalies are ready to come back by November 22nd, Ferguson will is free for the Golden Knights, while getting him some NHL experience along the way.
As ugly as things are now, they get real bad if there’s another injury or if Lagace is awful in the net. But for now, we are going to pull the wool over our eyes and ignore those possibilities. Join us, it’s dark, but not as scary as the other option.