Usually, when players, coaches, execs, and The Creator are asked about the Golden Knights roster we get the same stock answers. We hear things like “best expansion roster ever” or “plenty of talent” or the first thing mentioned about the roster by Gerard Gallant in a recent NHL.com article.
I knew we were going to have a pretty decent team, but the team was better than I thought. I thought we got better top-end players than I thought we’d get. -Gerard Gallant
But sometimes, there’s a moment of honesty, and in the case of the Golden Knights initial roster, accuracy.
I think our lineup’s pretty good. But then you go around and look at the other teams in the NHL, in our division, and in our conference and say, ‘Well …’ -Gallant
This is what we love about Gallant. The guy is a no-nonsense type coach who obviously understands the challenge placed before him.
There’s going to be issues. Some nights we’re going to have trouble scoring goals. You look at our roster, there’s a lot of good players. Are there any superstars there? There’s some real good players, those types of players. You look at teams that have success in the NHL, they’ve got some of those top-end hockey players. -Gallant
He’s right. It’s a harsh reality of the way Expansion Drafts are set up. In theory, there’s no player better than the 5th best forward, 4th best defenseman, or 2nd best goalie on any team available.
There’s a lot of unknown on the roster and the way it’ll come together, but there’s only one man on the roster that could possibly rise to the league’s elite in 2017-18. That’s Vadim Shipachyov, and the chances of him being a top 20 player in the NHL is unlikely. Unless Shippy shocks the world, every single night the best player on the ice will be wearing an opponent’s jersey, and that’s a reality even against the worst teams in the league.
But how many wins? I can’t tell you. -Gallant
The sports books say they’ll end the season with about 70 points, which would be good for around 30 wins (plus 10 OT losses).
I’m saying that seems awfully generous.
I’m not saying they’ll be 0-15, but I am willing to say it wouldn’t shock me if the 3rd win comes after the 15th loss. Sorry, but I agree with Turk, “there’s going to be some issues.”