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McCrimmon Shares Four Ways VGK Can Make Up For Lost Offense

When the Golden Knights pulled off the blockbuster trade to acquire Jack Eichel, it became clear they would have to do some serious work to on their salary cap. That work is now complete and it has resulted in the departures of Max Pacioretty, Evgenii Dadonov, and Dylan Coghlan.

The trio of players shipped out accounted for 42 goals last season with Pacioretty missing more than half of the year due to injury. Also, while still unsigned, it’s possible Mattias Janmark and his nine goals exit Vegas as well. That’s more than 50 goals leaving the organization without a single new player being added to the fold (at least to this point).

So, how do they make up that offense?

That question was posed to GM Kelly McCrimmon at today’s press conference and his answer was essentially four-pronged. Let’s go through each of them.

“We anticipate a healthy lineup will put more offense into our lineup”

McCrimmon specifically singled out Stone, but the larger point is that without virtually every important player on the team missing significant time, as we saw last year, there will be an influx in scoring.

Stone, Eichel, Karlsson, and Smith will all likely generate more this coming year than they did last year. Between them, they scored 51 goals and tallied 128 points in 2021-22. The career averages of those four players calls for something closer to 98 goals and 245 points. Throw in Martinez, Howden, and Hague and there’s room for even more.

It’s pretty clear that if the team is significantly healthier, scoring will go up.

“Some of the younger players that you saw get a little more opportunity last year”

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

In this prong, McCrimmon is referencing the more established younger players like Brett Howden, Nic Roy, Nolan Patrick, and Michael Amadio. There are injury issues with a few of these guys that continues along with the last prong, but the idea is that with Pacioretty and Dadonov out of the picture there will be more room for these players to grow offensively.

Val Nichushkin from the Colorado Avalanche was used as an example of a player who was given a bigger role with Brandon Saad’s departure and thrived especially in the postseason. McCrimmon believes at least one of these guys will step forward and make a bigger impact than they even did in 2021-22 when they scored a combined 37 goals.

“An improved power play would add offense”

Bruce Cassidy is the key here. With the new coach and his historically strong power play, there’s a strong belief that special teams will become a strength in 2022-23. Obviously, moving two of the better power play weapons in Pacioretty and Dadonov won’t help, but there’s still enough talent on the roster to operate a successful power play.

There are also two places where the power play can improve the offense. The obvious is raising the percentage at which they score. VGK’s PP finished last year at 18.4%, more than 2% below the league average. If that number bumps up three or four percent, it will make a big difference. The other place is in how many they draw. The Golden Knights earned 212 power play opportunities last year, well under the league average of 237.

More chances coupled with more frequent success will make up a lot of offense previous Vegas teams have left on the table.

“Brendan Brisson maybe becomes an NHL player”

It’s not exactly a ringing endorsement for Brisson, and I’m not sure what it says about the others pushing to make the team like Ivan Morozov, Pavel Dorofeyev, Jonas Rondbjerg, and Jake Leschyshyn, but it does seem like the Golden Knights believe there’s a chance a rookie could make a bigger impact than they have in VGK’s past.

McCrimmon raved about Brisson’s hand-eye coordination and said his development is coming along nicely, but he didn’t exactly speak with a ton of conviction in his belief that Brisson (or anyone else around his age) is going to be a major contributor to the offense… though he left it open as a possibility, despite mentioning it last.

 

There’s no denying the Golden Knights have a lot of work on their hands to make up for the losses of Pacioretty, Dadonov, Coghlan, and potentially Janmark, but there is a path McCrimmon says, “We’re comfortable that we’re in a good position to start” to do it.

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45 Comments

  1. His comments are logical and hopeful.

    Hope springs eternal!

    • B-Rad

      Time for a front office shake up! No more fire sales or giveaways….. no more giving away our young talent! Time for a Clown sale

  2. knights fan in minny

    keeping patrick come on brisson should get a good look

  3. Ken

    I see every reason to have positive outlook for this season. I think the new coach will bring a great attitude and most certainly help the PP!

  4. Galdom

    How can the power-play get worse?

  5. VGK Fan in Summerlin

    #5 on his list is he’s contacted a reasonably priced clairvoyant on Fremont street that is gonna swing some good mojo his way….

    #6 he’s been contributing to the weekly collection at the mega church of Canada so that should start paying off soon…

    Yep good moves. By following his logic he’s probably working on a deal to get rid of Stone, Eichel, and Marshy which he’s thinking should REALLY clear out a lot of room for the young guys to develop. Sounds like we’re on our way to the cup for sure…

    • Rob S.

      IF we buy tickets. I’ve tried to keep an open mind and be hopefully optimistic, but yesterday confirmed in my mind that McClown (alright, and McPhee, too) have to go.

      Questions for McClown:

      1. Who’s your top line LW, fat?

      2. Why even have Eichel when he doesn’t have a sniper to pass to?

      3. What’s your plan with (too many) average goaltenders that can’t stay healthy?

      4. When are you going to quit overpaying for assets and then selling them off at their lowest value?

      My guess would be that our tame hometown media didn’t ask any uncomfortable questions this morning. (He had to prepared for the one that prompted this post.) McClown is lucky this isn’t Toronto or Montreal or Philadelphia.

      Finally, my favorite question:

      5. When are you getting fired and returning to the Brandon Wheat Kings?

      • Brad

        Time for a front office shake up! The Clown has to go! No more room for running the VGK this way! Who will we giveaway next?

  6. This McCrimmon guy obviously has brown eyes he is so full of shit it has to go some place. They couldn’t score enough before and now have depleted the ranks even further. It is sad what has become of this team which was a SC challenger in the past.

  7. jj

    Let’s go RED WINGS!!

  8. THE hockey God

    i see where he’s coming from, but i don’t see patrick or amadio as stepping up.

    Stone is another unknown, and it will be seen early on whether he can sustain a hit, and whether his skating comes back.

    I didn’t know that psycho , I mean psychic on Fremont street was in the mojo business. I thought Austin Powers got his mojo back by making a deal with Fat Bastard and Felicity Shagwell. I have been to that Fremont street psychic, my girl friend at time couldn’t pass up a psychic reading if her life depending upon it. I had to plan my dates with routes avoiding psychics. because every time I would drop a benji there. So I got smart and bought here a ‘tarot’ deck and said here, DIY psychic.

    FO is hoping, praying, and flying on a wing and prayer that one of their prospects will pop the bubble. They only have two that have played, and second year break throughs are unlikely for no 15 and Rondberg. Both were decent, but not over the top. Coghlins second year was a flop, I don’t see him going any where. Then there is Cotter. A two way player who i would like to see make the team. The have another d man in AHL that could make the team, not Hayes. But there is at least a one year fermentation time unless the prospect is really lucky. And so far VGK have not been lucky with their prospects. The team only has one line, the misfit line, and it is getting long in the tooth. No7 is slowing down, marty is slowing way down. I don’t expect no2 and no. 3 to play at same level all season long.

    I predict it’s going to be a long year for VGK unless they sign another player.

    • THE hockey God

      Spencer Foo has signed a one-year, $750,000 contract with the Vegas Golden Knights.
      Foo has played for the Kunlun Red Star of the KHL for the past three seasons. He had 14 goals and 33 points in 48 matches last year. Foo also played for China at the Winter Olympics. Foo has two goals in four career NHL outings.

      ahh one egg roll to go , skool and foo on same line would drive tv announcers batty.

  9. THE hockey God

    Vegas
    ROBIN LEHNER
    G, VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS
    rl
    Vegas GM Kelly McCrimmon said Thursday that the timeline for Robin Lehner to be ready for training camp “will be tight.”
    McCrimmon expects to have a better idea of Lehner’s timetable when the netminder rejoins the Golden Knights soon. He said that the team hasn’t been working with Lehner on a day-to-day basis this offseason. Lehner had shoulder surgery in early May.

  10. VegasBorn93

    The McClowns strike again.

  11. Blitz

    While what McLyingShitHead said can be technically true, not one of them says winner or even a team as good as the start of last year.

    1. injuries – that was the excuse last year so he could keep his job, he better reiterate it again so we remember. Nothing to see here everyone…injuries.

    2. younger players – young guys got lots of playing time last year and zero of them made me hopeful for the future. None showed me they will someday earn a top 1 or 2 line spot. Definitely 3rd or 4th line, but not someone to replace Patches offensively, this year or maybe ever.

    3. PP – The power play will improve over Deboers/Spott’s garbage, but I don’t see good passing/shooting talent on this team and dudes flat don’t fight for the crease. Eichel is the only one that has the passing/shooting/stick handling for the PP. Maybe that will spark the others, but otherwise I say we will still be below average with an average ceiling.

    4. Brisson – he is a puppy. I would love for him to be huge surprise, but he has 0 NHL games. Asking him to be Patches is just stupid. Give him a year or two to even earn a look. That’s how it works.

    The moral of the story is no way. At best we make the playoffs and go out quick. At worse we don’t make the playoffs and are a bottom dweller in the pacific. They need another shooter. Someone to be on the 1st line with stone/eichel. That person is not on this team right now.

  12. Rob S.

    Spot on, Blitz. To amplify your point about injuries, remember, we fired the coach that had to try to get wins out of that injury-wracked mess of a roster, but the front office genius(es) who *constructed* said roster and buried us in Salary Cap Hell get a complete pass…and get to screw it up even worse this year!

    McClowns (both of them) delenda est.

  13. I’ve always believed if a guy is 20 to 22 and not ready, he’s most likely not good enough. It’s the same in most sports, of course, their is always exceptions. Brisson has been playing since he could walk, give him a shot, let’s see what he has. I’m tired of trading away our draft picks before we see what they have, for example Suzuki. Who is going to play in 6 years, Petro ?? Stone ?? No more, in my opinion. They key is Eichel, if he doesn’t step up and dominate, it could be ugly really fast. Damn, seems like we have blown alot of moves, lost a lot of guys with not much to show for it . I’m very nervous, losing Patches, Tuch, Schmidt, Stastny, etc…. It could be a nightmare.

    • Vegas rightly assessed that Vegas will not win a Cup with Paciorietty. They also assessed, correctly, that Vegas is too old and prone to injury.

      Eichel has a better chance of leading Vegas to a Cup than any of the aging/injured stars of yore did.

      Schmidt had a good smile, fan favorite, but was average on a good day.

      Put Eichel with Jackson Hallum and Brisson and see what happens. Youth with talent will rise to the top.

      Stone has to be healthy and Eichel has to star or it will indeed get ugly. I am hoping that the injury bug will be replaced with a healthy team and season.

      I would also love to have Stastny on the team.

  14. PJ

    While I agree with the belief that management has made a lot of mistakes the past 2-3 years, unfortunately the bad news isn’t over. The goalie situation is pathetic and will remain that way until Lehner is gone. The only hope is a healthy Stone, Chandler Stephenson stays solid and Cassidy can make Eichel a team player.

  15. Tim

    More salt in the wounds David Perron signs with Detroit 2 year 9 million so we dumped him 5 years ago goes to St. Louis 4 year 4 million now Detroit 2 year 4& 1/2 million he just keeps haunting us and he wasn’t good enough for the Knights. I’m glad Patch is gone chance of another injury was just to high. Sad it cost us Suzuki a first two seconds and a third and when we traded him we received zip another Kelly special. Will Jack Eichel Krebs, Tuch, a first and a second go down as another blunder time will tell. It would probably be a good idea to keep Kelly away from the telephone every time he picks it up we take a step back.

  16. Tim – you won’t have to wait long – Eichel will turn out to be another buy high sell low. That trade will be another to come home to rest and haunt the knights for years to come.

    • As of now, and I’m an optimistic guy, it’s about 70-30 we go down on that deal. It bothers me, Tuch was such a unique player, he was magnificent at times. I know self proclaimed experts trash me about Tuch, but that guy is as talented as anyone. I say this, in the open ice on a breakaway, nobody could hold his jockstrap.

      • Yup, mark, Tuch was a force in motion. I felt he was a great young, strong piece on our team. Then he DARED get injured, and was traded away while he recovered– I thought that was the proverbial ” kicking a guy when he’s down”. EVERY player has gotten hurt, been down, but trading him when he’s hurt is a back-stabbing move, in my view.
        Patches obviously was hurt, but he ALSO was an aging guy–keeping him was a gamble at his age, so I understand his trade. Tuch, not so much.

  17. Tim

    When I think of the guys we added last year Amadio, Howden, Hutton, and this year what new players they’ve added it doesn’t bode well for our prospects. Seems like they don’t have much faith in our farm system. I’m staying positive with Cassidy hopefully he can get the team believing again.

  18. The team has zero trust in the two faced front office – Cassidy has his work cut out for him to change that perception. Three coaches in five years, many players treated like trash, money spent on has beens etc. What is there to trust in their words mean nothing and if their lips are moving they are lying – not unlike most politicians. Sad state

  19. Obvious

    The only thing fat bastard has left is hoping and praying

    He has managed to piss every advantage the team started with away with nothing to show for it

    Eichel probably regretting his decision is an understatement I’m sure.

    And the psycho lehner bullshit is starting already. Not easy for the start… ha ha … who would have guessed … ha ha ha

    I’m sure it will all be good as long as jack scores 150 goals along with 200 assists and gets 10-20 shut outs when he has to fill in for psycho

  20. Foley didn’t make all that money being stupid – they must have some dirt on him of some kind or some unflattering pictures whatever – otherwise he would have fired their asses. THg what do you think I know your a fan of the grape stomper as you call him.

    • THE hockey God

      “THg what do you think I know your a fan of the grape stomper as you call him.” I think the sulfur dioxide in his red wines are finally catching up to him.

      I firmly a believe as strong owner should know SOME THING about what they invest in. Being a ‘big fan’ is not good enough.

      btw Al DAVIS is rolling in his grave right now, he probably disowned his idiot, Moe Howard look a like , son 1000 times by now.

      COTTON
      I am gearing up for more COTTON, looking at the COTTON futures market so we’ll have plenty on hand for this upcoming season. God knows , we will be needing it.

  21. Obvious

    Players fat bastard and McPhukup have been forced to unload for no or minimal return due to salary cap mismanagement

    Pacioretty
    Dadonov
    Fleury
    Schmidt
    Stastny
    Eakin

    How fat bastard and McPhukup have jobs is beyond puzzling. Only answer is 2 faced foley could care a less as tickets still sell

  22. If the power play just gets to average thats about +11 goals for the year, If they can draw more penalties that will go up even more. I think health will make up for the rest of the offense lost but you don’t want to match it you want to surpass it.

  23. Galdom

    Can someone help me out here? I know that they will be placing Shea Webber on LTIR when the season starts but don’t you have to start the year cap compliant before you do that? Am I wrong? I have 10 forwards, 7 defencemen and 2 goalies totaling 83.695 million which puts them over the 82.5 million cap and this doesn’t include Nicolas Roy, Keegan Kolesar or Nicolas Hague.

    I understand they can move out Brossoit and have Thompson in which saves (2.325 – 0.767) 1.558 million but isn’t Kolesar (1.200 proj.), Hague (1.400 proj.) and Roy (2.400 proj.) going to cost about 5.000 million?

    I don’t understand and would appreciate input from someone who actually has the answer. I don’t understand how they were able to afford to have Reilly Smith in their plans. Am I wrong about them not being allowed to put Webber on LTIR before the first game of the season? Or am I doing all of the math correctly and they still have to move more salary out like Alec Martinez or keep him and not be able to afford Roy, Kolesar and Hague?

    Jack Eichel 10.000
    Mark Stone 9.500
    William Karlsson 5.900
    Jon Marchessault 5.000
    Reilly Smith 5.000
    Chandler Stephenson 2.750
    Brett Howden 1.500
    William Carrier 1.400
    Michael Amadio 0.763
    Nolan Patrick 1.200

    TOTAL 43.013

    Alex Pietrangelo 8.800
    Alec Martinez 5.250
    Shea Theodore 5.200
    Brayden McNabb 2.850
    Zach Whitecloud 2.750
    Ben Hutton 0.850
    Shea Webber 7.857

    TOTAL 33.357

    Robin Lehner 5.000
    Laurent Brossoit 2.325

    TOTAL 7.325

    TOTAL 83.695

    Nicolas Roy ???
    Keegan Kolesar ???
    Nicolas Hague ???

    • Obvious

      Don’t forget psycho Lehner will milk the injury saga as long as can before returning and absolutely shitting the bed only to be pulled by Cassidy and then returning to pull the same bullshit off line he did with the last coaches.

      Odds are psycho will be found laying on the street strung out on crack or in a hotel room with a bunch of fat ho’s and a needle shoved up his arm

      • REALLY??? COME ON, MAN….A LITTLE TOO FAR, DONTCHA THINK??

        • Galdom

          TS, it’s best to ignore Obvious. He is “obviously” an angry loser. Somehow Lehner in spite of being “obviously” seriously injured still put up similar numbers to the guy who was traded to Minnesota and even if he hypothetically didn’t the hateful disgusting comments are unnecessary.

          It’s verbal diarrhoea. I’m sure that the Swedish professional hockey player that has overcome personal demons to carve out a career in the best hockey league in the world, marry a beautiful wife, build a beautiful family and earn enough money to support generations of family is doing much better then Obvious.

          I believe in free speech just as much as anybody else but there is also responsibility that should be taken in what people say. It’s not like I can yell out the word “bomb” in an airport and think it’s okay because of free speech.

          I find the banter between Knights Fan In Minny and The Hockey God amusing and never think that they go too far. At the end of the day, they both are fans of the team and add value to this blog by commenting on the team. “Obvious” adds nothing but hate and goes to far. I don’t have the moral authority to decide when someone goes to far but I do have my opinion.

          Ken Boehlke, this is your website and I am not telling you how to run it but if the comment from “Obvious” is one that is okay with you and one that remains posted here for another 48 hours then I will know for myself whether I should continue following this website.

          I’m not paraphrasing as this is copied and pasted from Obvious in regards to the VGK goalie.

          “Odds are psycho will be found laying on the street strung out on crack or in a hotel room with a bunch of fat ho’s and a needle shoved up his arm.”

          Ken, It that’s acceptable comments for this blog, then I will respect your opinion and just move on to another website.

          Have a good weekend.

          • Obvious

            You truly are clueless as to what psych Lehner has pulled since being signed.

            If debour spilled the beans with the truth of what he dealt with from this whack job Vegas fans would be stunned.

            He is playing this team like a fiddle and it will all come out in due course

            Frankly if you don’t think others aren’t entitled to their opinion .. except yourself… then you should find the next Biden or AOC rally and go blow them

  24. He can start on LTIR just like Tuch did last year. Doesn’t effect our 82.5 cap.

    • Galdom

      Ok fair enough, but I was under the impression that you can’t be officially put on LTIR until after the first day of the season. All signs lead to both Robin Lehner and Nolan Patrick beginning the season on LTIR as McCrimmon has hinted that they both won’t be ready. I even read another article that Brossoit also might not be ready.

  25. Chuckles

    Whatever happened to any of the Blue Chippers? Oh that’s right There aren’t many! Given away Tatar and Eichel deals!

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