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Positive And Negative Effects Of Season Suspension For Golden Knights

The NHL season is officially “paused” with the hope that it will resume sometime in the near future. When, or if, that will happen remains a mystery to all as slowing the spread of the virus takes precedence over all else. However, hockey will return at some point, be it in April, May, or much later. The NHL is not gone forever which means the Golden Knights will return to the ice and like every team will feel the effects of the hiatus.


The Golden Knights were set to play in Minnesota with a pretty banged up roster. Mark Stone and Max Pacioretty were both on the shelf until at least the end of March, Alex Tuch has been out since February 13th and suffered a set back a few days ago extending the injury, Chandler Stephenson missed a game with a wrist injury but was expected to play yesterday, and Cody Glass had been ruled out for the season after knee surgery.

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The hiatus is almost certainly going to last a month, which means aside from Glass, the Golden Knights should be as close to healthy as any team in the league when hockey does indeed return. Every team will benefit from the break but it will have a greater impact on playoff teams who were potentially heading in without a star player or two. Colorado and Tampa Bay stand to gain more than Vegas, but the Golden Knights have to like their chances entering a playoff run as healthy as they’ll likely be whenever this does end.

Schedule Format

There are plenty of potential options the league could use if the season does start back up with a plan to award the 2020 Stanley Cup. For the most part, any option will benefit the Golden Knights.

The Golden Knights were going to make the playoffs if the season was played out in full, but now, there’s essentially no format that will keep them out. There are really two options for the NHL.

  • Select playoff teams based on points percentage on March 11th
  • Return for a few regular season games before the playoffs begin

It’ll all depend on timing, but either option has the Golden Knights sitting pretty. As of the pause, Vegas is in 1st place by three points and .021 percentage points over Edmonton. Also, the Golden Knights have moved up to 3rd place in the Western Conference. A few games being added to the regular season could shuffle things at bit, but no matter what, the Golden Knights will be in pretty good shape.

Playoff Format

The NHL playoffs normally take more than two months to complete. The league may not have that kind of time this year. So, there are two choices the NHL can make to shorten that time frame. First, they can remove games from the early rounds. The first round might become a best-of-five, maybe the second round too. Instead of having to win 16 games, maybe it shrinks to only 14. The other option is to tighten up the dates on the games played. Play back-to-backs on the home games or when travel is light. The normal format has at least one day between every game and sometimes two. It takes two weeks to finish a seven-game series. The calendar may dictate needing to wrap series up in 10 days instead.

The first option is bad for the Golden Knights. The more games in a series, the stronger the chance the better team has to win. Vegas is the best team in the Pacific Division, but sometimes the hockey gods get in the way of them proving that on the ice. In a five-game series, every bad bounce, every soft goal, every “McDavid is too fast” moment is magnified. By the time Vegas would benefit from the shorter series, they’d be back to normal best-of-sevens (it’s highly unlikely a Stanley Cup is awarded in a shortened series). It will also make the goalie rotation a bit trickier on Pete DeBoer. The longer a series, the longer the leash can be on swapping them out. In a seven-game series, there’s more room for error.

The goalies come into play positively in the other options though. Vegas should be hoping for as tight of a playoff schedule as physically possible. No team in the league has a better goalie tandem than the Golden Knights for this playoff run. Back-to-backs would allow both goalies a chance to play and give each the rest that the opposition probably won’t be able to afford. If you thought having two goalies for a playoff run was important before, a tighter schedule could make it the greatest luxury of all. Also, the Golden Knights are awesome on the second night of back-to-backs. After beating Edmonton in OT on Monday, Vegas improved to 9-2-0 on Day 2 of the B2B, which is the best record in the league.

Roster Construction

Since their inception, the Golden Knights front office has had a hard and fast rule against acquiring “rentals” at the deadline. They’ve instead always gone for players with term left on their contract (see Tomas Tatar, Stone after the extension, and Alec Martinez). This deadline, it appeared they broke their own rule giving up multiple assets to acquire Robin Lehner. If hockey doesn’t return until the 2020-21 season, Vegas is going to get burned majorly in that trade. They’ll have acquired Lehner to win three games that ultimately didn’t matter. They could re-sign him if they’d like, but they could have done that without the trade in the first place. It will essentially mean the Golden Knights have flushed a 2nd round pick, the rights to Slava Demin, and the control of Malcolm Subban down the toilet. Not to mention, two 2nd round picks for one full season of Martinez won’t look so hot either. The circumstances will always serve as an excuse for those trades going south, but the Golden Knights broke their own rule and now may have to pay the consequences they looked to avoid by instituting the rule in the first place.

Salary Cap

Unfortunately, even though the league technically hasn’t done it yet, canceling games is inevitable. Fewer regular season games, potentially fewer postseason games, and maybe even fewer games next year in an attempt to extend the offseason, will mean less revenue generated by the league. This means a lower salary cap for 2020-21 (and beyond).

The Golden Knights have built their roster using the principle of “cost certainty.” Long-term deals were signed to help free up cap space down the road. Well, that cap space might not be there anymore, or at the very least it won’t be as plentiful as it was going to be. Vegas needs all the money they can get because they have a strong roster and a great owner willing to spend it.


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  1. THE hockey GOD

    complete and utter over reaction by media driven knuckle heads, not even comparable to previous infectious disease / viruses.

    • james

      God your an idiot. Hockey god. Uneducated hockey god.

      • THE hockey GOD

        no you are for believing the media driven hype FACT: in 2009 H1N1 killed over 1000 Americans in a few short months before the “anointed one” declared a national emergency. Source NY TIMES. Hypocrisy in media abounds. Back then what was the media response: silence. So you it looks like you are the idiot. The epidemic started in Spring of 2009, “the anointed one” did very little and the media was not hot dogging it and creating havoc like today. And no it is not spreading faster or slower. And no the death rate is not higher (today Health officials STATED it was around 1-2 %, which is LOWER than H1N1). I don’t post things without doing MY research. Now I suppose you’ll come up with some fake news that says something else, most likely not vetted at all.
        H1N1 Widespread in 46 States as Vaccines Lag

        By Jackie Calmes and Donald G. McNeil Jr.

        Oct. 24, 2009
        WASHINGTON — President Obama has declared the swine flu outbreak a national emergency, allowing hospitals and local governments to speedily set up alternate sites for treatment and triage procedures if needed to handle any surge of patients, the White House said on Saturday.

        The declaration came as thousands of people lined up in cities across the country to receive vaccinations, and as federal officials acknowledged that their ambitious vaccination program has gotten off to a slow start. Only 16 million doses of the vaccine were available now, and about 30 million were expected by the end of the month. Some states have requested 10 times the amount they have been allotted.

        Flu activity — virtually all of it the swine flu — is now widespread in 46 states, a level that federal officials say equals the peak of a typical winter flu season. Millions of people in the United States have had swine flu, known as H1N1, either in the first wave in the spring or the current wave.

        Although there has been no exact count, officials said the H1N1 virus has killed more than 1,000 Americans and hospitalized over 20,000. The emergency declaration, which Mr. Obama signed Friday night, has to do only with hospital treatment, not with the vaccine.

        • Let’s talk real facts as s provided by WHO and CDC.

          FACT the Swine Flu killed about 12,000 in the US from April 2009-April 2010 (an entire year…not a few months)

          FACT the Swine Flu was first detected in the USA… not months earlier in Asia. Thus with the Swine Flu the US was like China with the current Wuhan flu…not understanding what was going on until weeks after the outbreak began. Not like this time when the country had months to prepare.

          FACT check your source to determine its reliability is a good first step to actually providing good information. Repeating a source who merely agrees with your uneducated blathering simply reinforces your unreliability.

          • THE hockey GOD

            Spin , spin , spin. Not addressing what I said at all.

            You wrote:

            “Not like this time when the country had months to prepare.”

            Sorry, Richard, but wrong, the country did not have “months to prepare”. The country was burdened with out dated BS from previous administrations.

            IF you watched (and listened carefully) the national emergency declaration yesterday you would have found out why it didn’t have “months to prepare” by a task force of non partisan health experts from across BOTH the public and private sectors. Yesterday’s proactive response was astounding not only in using up-to-date technology but included the RAPID RESPONSE within a little less than a few weeks of putting together the task force !! The approach delivered including the gutting of many of previous administrations red tape and draconian dead weight requirements

            Continuing the dispute of your statement that “country had months to prepare”/. China has covered up the reporting and was not forthcoming in disclosing information(what would you expect from Chicom’s brutal regime? In order to prepare properly you need data, not a cover up of data.

            As a side note, but relevant, China is not ready for world stage , their markets sell fresh food with caged live animals side-by side. Their government single care, “medicare for all”, socialistic health care system is a complete and utter failure )

            Back to my fact on failure of H1n1 and media silence.
            The NY TIMES is your side of the aisle reference- not mine- , and one of many who reported the same thing (AP, Reuters, cable news, etc.) .

            You completely MISSED the date of NY TIMES article, it was in October of 2009, and has little to do with your further update of deaths due to H1n1.

            You are just spewing more facts on this that had nothing to do with what I posted, nor what the NY Times, among others, reported in October of 2009.

            – Obama declared National Emergency AFTER 1000 Americans had died in October of 2009. That is an undisputed FACT, and has little to with your spin on the total number of deaths above. Reported by many outlets above and beyond the NY TIMES. Additional reference below.

            – analysis of the genetic divergence of the virus in samples from different cases indicated that the virus jumped to humans in 2008, probably after June, and not later than the end of November,[14] likely around September 2008.[15][16] The research also indicated the virus had been latent in pigs for several months prior to the outbreak, suggesting a need to increase agricultural surveillance to prevent future outbreaks. According to U.S. federal agriculture officials, “contrary to the popular assumption that the new swine flu pandemic arose on factory farms in Mexico,” the virus “most likely emerged in pigs in Asia, but then traveled to North America in a human.” They emphasized that there was no way to prove their hypothesis, but stated that there is no evidence that this new virus, which combines Eurasian and North American genes, has ever circulated in North American pigs.>>Disputes your post above, and again, has little to do with the FACT that OBAMA waited months, and media was SILENT most of this time. As well the media was silent about his botched roll out of vaccines.

            McNeil, Jr., Donald G. (23 June 2009). “In New Theory, Swine Flu Started in Asia, Not Mexico”. The New York Times. Archived from the original on 7 August 2009. Retrieved 1 September 2009 among others with supporting references.
            Kelly, Heath; Peck, Heidi A.; Laurie, Karen L.; Wu, Peng; Nishiura, Hiroshi; Cowling, Benjamin J. (5 August 2011). “The Age-Specific Cumulative Incidence of Infection with Pandemic Influenza H1N1 2009 Was Similar in Various Countries Prior to Vaccination”
            Roos, Robert (8 August 2011). “Study puts global 2009 H1N1 infection rate at 11% to 21%”. Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy.
            “First Global Estimates of 2009 H1N1 Pandemic Mortality Released by CDC-Led Collaboration | CDC”. 25 June 2012. Retrieved 31 January 2020.
            – China not forthcoming with information:

        • DOC Williams

          Your reply is meaningless. You just don’t understand the TRUTH of what’s going on. IF testing was being done, in the quantity’s it should be happening right now, the numbers would be SO MUCH more. Trump has delayed as much as he could, having REAL numbers exposed. So, god, we already know you have very little hockey knowledge … we now know you have even less about what this virus IS and can become. Even still, I hope you stay safe!

          • THE hockey GOD

            No your reply is meaningless, you don’t dispute the major premise of my post. Furthermore, it appears, that you don’t completely understand the truth of what is really going on. The so called delays do not alter the fact that prior administration had 1000 American die before declaring a national emergency.

            I presented facts with references to back up my claims. You offer nothing, no references, no nothing. Just a spin out with some insults thrown in. Did I ever insult you? No.

            In regard to your hockey comment; my hockey acumen is light years ahead of yours. I played, I coached, and I managed hockey teams for past 30 years. You?

            What happened yesterday with the National Emergency announcement , if you paid attention (and read between the lines), is that current Administration FIRED the lame CDC , left over, retreads because the CDC couldn’t put out a simple test kit nor could they manage the reporting, or process the results timely . (and no it has nothing to do with rumor of cutting funds) In addition, the Trump adm. put aside the CDC rules and other regulations in order to move things along faster. Would the lame, Obama burdened, CDC operation cause delays ? You betcha. Is that Trump’s fault? No. Trump administration ordered test kits, and CDC failed to deliver immediately. Part of problem is that : 1- you need reagents , and you don’t get reagents produced immediately,but CDC should have addressed this immediately , they didn’t 2- lab’s need to be certified and trained, CDC should have been prepared, but they weren’t 4- and most importantly CDC personnel botched up the simple task of putting together test kits because they are government employees (ensconced paper pushers). So…..Trump and his task force recognized these short comings and said this is not good enough. Hence the recommendations from TASK FORCE that came out yesterday. The private sector – public sector task force should address this issues. We’ll see in the coming weeks. Meanwhile in comparison: Obama on other hand, did very little under an almost identical situation. Two similar problems, one situation proactive, the other not so much.

            Furthermore, Trump was on this from DAY ONE, while CONGRESS was pushing impeachment hoax, TRUMP imposed a travel ban to China IN JANUARY, among other things.. This administration took a far more PROACTIVE approach in a few short weeks than previous administration did in three months to address H1N1 issue. The prior administration as stated in NY TIMES, and others, had a FAILED roll out of vaccine. That is a fact, jack. They did nothing to fix it immediately and nearly a 1000 Americans died, and ON TOP OF THAT they had a vaccine !! They had a vaccine !! Which could have prevented deaths !! They completely botched it up.

            In summary: obama 1000 deaths before declaration, Trump less than 50 or so when declared. Big DIFFERENCE, despite your spin out on “delays”, which haven’t altered the bottom line premise of the summary stated in last sentence!!

            Back to 2020, Congress delayed FUNDING for weeks, why? So they could politicize the issue. The media is out of control, hyperventilating. The executive branch needs funding to act. Yet Pelosi opted to insult the president calling him incompetent and doing nearly nothing for over a whole month (end of January to beginning of March when emergency funding was approved ). She finally passed emergency funding ,March 4th, and finally passed another bill yesterday.

            Be safe, become knowledgeable, don’t believe the media hype.

            Here is one link take on it, from a professional. It’s worth a listen since there are no KEN podcasts to listen to this week, this is worthwhile. DO IT



  2. TJ

    the NHL is a gate driven league. iow, they get most of their revenue from fans in the stands.

    and the playoff revenue is vital for owners.

    Therefore, there is no frigging way they will shorten ANY playoff series. nor should they.

    I foresee a couple of play-in series to determine who the final wild cards will be, to add some publicity and PR juice to the re-opening of the league in mid to late April.

    also, it is being reported that the league may go with a buyout amnesty this summer, so that teams can dump contracts without it going on their cap. iow, the Knights could buyout the last year of Stastny, and have no cap penalties whatsoever for it. I like that. it would allow them to sign Lehner, and since so many teams are near the limit, and since the cap now will not go up as much as they hoped, the buyout amnesty this summer is more likely to happen.

    • James

      Thank you for your educated comments. Interesting

    • Hockey Shmockey

      Three game series for the wild card slots would be awesome and intense. Good idea.

      • David

        If that happens, you buy out Fleury and go with the much younger, arguably better Lehner.

  3. Eric

    Good article Ken. Makes me feel better reading stuff that talks about the season continuing.

  4. Harold Kennedy

    Love your idea of shortening length of playoffs. I just wish that this was the case in a normal year. What’s wrong with back to back home games? I believe that’s how it was done years ago.

  5. Tod Z

    No chance that they sign Lehner. He’s looking for both $ and term after his previous 1 year deals. $7M for Fleury leaves little left for a high quality backup, much less Lehner who is realistically seeking a starting role

  6. Harriet Kaufman

    Why play, if they are not going to award the Stanley Cup? I’d rather see nothing, and just have the season cancelled, with all trades, caps, staff, and games stay as is for now. Then, just begin in October, with none of this mish mash of play fewer games in the regular season and playoffs and what that will do to everything. It’s bound to be unfair. If they can’t get back to playing very shortly (within 2-4 weeks), then the 3 months off in summer will affect the strength of the players at the beginning of the season. Just my personal preference. Play now, or cancel and get back to normal in October.

  7. DOC Williams

    When/IF conditions approve with this virus so things can continue, there’s nothing wrong to adapt to a schedule (as fair as possible), that will get us PO’s and a cup champ. Look, it’s never going to please all the teams or maybe even be 100% “fair”. I believe the NHL will come up with as good a solution as is possible. BUT, I’m not sure they will have the time. Once the real numbers are known about this virus … it’s going to be a lot longer than 2-3 weeks before play could resume (if at all for this season) IMO

  8. DOC Williams

    PS – Ken I actually agree with your article, up to the point you started into the goalie thing for next year. 🙂

  9. DOC Williams

    My last comment concerning IF this virus is real. We actually have on this site someone spewing out tons & tons of bullshit about this. You all know who he is. Look, there’s nothing wrong about talking about this & how it is effecting NHL, the KNIGHTS & us as fans who love the game. BUT, to fill up a long comment disputing whether this is even serious??? Come on! Do you think the billionaires who own and manage the profession leagues & teams … are going to fall for some hoax or something. Of course not! They have looked at the serious of this virus from every angle. No REASONBLE person is going to doubt this is NOT a media driven hoax. Please stop all THAT kind of nonsense talk, especially on THIS site. Thank you, DOC

  10. Tim

    Reading the above comments gives me a headache. How serious or how much hype it is really doesn’t matter right now this is the hand we were dealt. Let’s hope the virus runs it coarse and we all get back to our normal lives. I’ve read a lot of things about people and their behavior which is disturbing during this panic probable the worse was a father and son team outside Albertson’s selling toilet paper for 10.00 a roll. I’m 75 and my parents generation which was called the great generation for a reason. They lived through the Spanish Flu which killed 50 million people, then the Great Depression, and then WW11 and pulled together as a country through all this. Now we have a flu going around and people are cutting each others throats over grabing all they can and not leaving some for other people or gouging people to make a buck.

  11. Every1Sux

    The smart ones worry about the pandemic by recognizing the stupid ones are the ones that is going to cause the chaos. People have been screaming the sky is falling for DECADES, most recently its “Trumps Fault” the sky is falling.

    Lets all forget the politicians who have been in office since the 70s who perpetuate the problem (hint:Reid, Titus). People complain about one person when its a team of people who’ve been gaming the system for DECADES. You all live in vegas and you want a scapegoat when theres all these fools making money from your ignorance.

    I lived in vegas since the 90s and all I remember is EVERYONE STILL WENT TO THE BUFFETS despite viruses abound. So either accept your fate or move on, bc the “Sky is falling” sctick is old as Woodstock ’69.

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