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Rebuilding Forward Depth Imperative In VGK Offseason

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

As the NHL playoffs roll on, scoring depth has continued to prove paramount for the teams still alive. Golden Knights nemesis Barclay Goodrow has been crucial in helping the Rangers take the lead in the Eastern Conference Final while Connor Brown, Sam Steel, and former VGK Evgenii Dadonov have come up with key points in the Dallas/Edmonton series.

When the Golden Knights walked off the ice after Game 7 in Dallas they did so with arguably the deepest group of forwards in franchise history. There’s quite a bit of uncertainty with that depth though as the league calendar turns to 2024-25.

Atop the list are Conn Smythe winner Jonathan Marchessault and two-time Stanley Cup champion, Chandler Stephenson but William Carrier, Michael Amadio, and Anthony Mantha are all set to become unrestricted free agents in 35 days, Pavel Dorofeyev still needs a new RFA contract, and Henderson standouts Byron Froese and Sheldon Rempal are also on expiring contracts.

This past season the Golden Knights used 21 different forwards in the regular season. They used 14 in the playoffs and 76-game starter Paul Cotter was not one of them. The current roster has just 13 forwards under contract who have played in an NHL game.

Jack Eichel, Mark Stone, Tomas Hertl, William Karlsson, Ivan Barbashev, Nic Roy, Brett Howden, and Keegan Kolesar are all under contract and make up eight of the 12 forward spots Vegas need to fill. It’s those other four where it gets a bit dicey.

With the cap space available, we can assume at least one of Marchessault or Stephenson will return. Whichever one, or both, will eat up a majority of Vegas’ flexibility though. This will leave them with nine, maybe 10, forward slots filled.

Here’s a mock lineup with Marchessault re-signing and every other UFA leaving for another team.

Barbashev-Eichel-Marchessault
Hertl-Karlsson-Stone
Dorofeyev-Roy-Brisson
Cotter-Howden-Kolesar

That bottom six is nowhere near good enough to compete with Dallas, Edmonton, Colorado, and the rest of the Western Conference powers. And this is if everyone is healthy. In reality, about eight or nine more forwards will be needed for what already looks like a thin forward group.

There’s no way the Golden Knights will be able to solve this problem with established NHL players. There just isn’t enough money with the stacked defense and hefty top-six contracts. So, it’ll be up to the VGK front office to find some hidden gems.

They’ve done it in the past with trades to acquire Chandler Stephenson, Nic Roy, and Brett Howden. They’ve used waivers to bring in Michael Amadio and Ryan Carpenter, and they’ve hit on an older free agent in Phil Kessel. With limited spending capital, building out the depth of next season’s forward group may be the most important aspect of the entire offseason for the Golden Knights.

No matter how many superstars you have in the top six, the stable of defensemen on the back end, or the pair of proven goaltenders between the pipes, no team succeeds in today’s NHL without a deep group of forwards. Vegas currently do not have it, nor do they have a ton of room to work to get it back. But, they’ve been in this position before and they’ve figured it out. If they want to get back to where they want to go, they need to do it again.

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52 Comments

  1. Tim

    Forget forward depth you better get someone who can put the puck in net. Last years dismal production ain’t going to get it done.

    • Emmamul

      Thats why I think Stephenson should NOT be resigned. He’s not a goal scorer.

    • knights fan in minny

      stick to boring baseball the only thing you know

    • Emmanuel

      Stephenson is a passer not a goal scorer, he’s not the solution.

  2. Alex

    They don’t score enough and both minor league goalies let in far too many soft goals…that is the problem

    • knights fan in minny

      the problem is you’re a soft fucking dumb ass your idol George was a thug

    • knights fan in minny

      you say the same thing over and over again you clueless malt liquor drinking piece of shit

    • ThG

      hey Alex, JB thanks you for coming over to service him while you were out on parole. Now it’s time to get back to county pen. You two bigots like each other, and hang out alot. Don’t you deny it, we all know it is true.

      • JB

        What the f*ck are you talking about thg? You just keep making up more and more just like your hero fat man! Ha ha

      • Alex

        Go have a self handy to “pastor” barb, you nut…nothing says ignorance like falling for thankfully dead gene and his whore porn wife

      • TS

        Thq, how very mature of you to say such PERVERSE things about JB, who had ZERO to do with this BS. Way to go, man- child!

        • ThG

          get lost karen the troll, jb is one making bigoted comments, so you support racist comments on board now ?

          you add no value here, trolling it not value.

          • TS

            THQ, you need some NEW material, not your same tired responses!! Is your brain on a ” ri se and repeat” loop?? You’re worse than a broken record! Did you ever attend school, or were you ” home- schooled” ?. Because you have ZERO understanding of human behavior, ni social skills, no desire to get along or fit in. I bet you were an outcast growing up. Bullied and teased. And now You’re getting YOUR Revenge and Retribution against the ” Others”. Have you ever been assessed by a DOC or a PSYCH?? There is help for your highly combative, anti- social behavior. SEEK HELP, THQ. LOTS OF IT. maybe a stay in a PSYCH Facility?? With NO phone, tablet or laptop? Maybe tie your hands so you can’t type more HATE? And a GAG to relieve the personnel of your BS. ?

          • ThG

            more hate from the troll, from last posts on pedophile and racism; it’s clear that there is no sign of intelligence, no moral compass, no ethical values.

            take your bull shit trolling and harassment elsewhere, your have nothing to add here of any value; based upon your last dozen posts. Go troll someone else, pathetic lost soul. Seek therapy, lots of it. Standing up for bigots and racists and pedophiles ?! One sick fuck.

        • JB

          TS, I guess he is calling me a racist against old white men, of I am one. So racist against myself? He makes no sense.

          • ThG

            nobody knows what race you “Say’ you are,

            you made a racist, comment, you admitted it. Now again in writing.

            Bigot. You own it.

          • TS

            jb, he is clearly confused. He constantly accuses others of the VERY things HE does a d says!! How a grown man can be so mixed up, is proof the clown needs His OWN therapy. LOTS OF IT. I still wonder if he’s a Russian Bot. He clearly detests half of all Americans. He pushes false, Anti- American BS, meant to inflame . He refuses to follow the basic rules of engagement, and spends his time working to inflame the ” others”. When he wished Mother’s Day to all moms, but in the NEXT breath blasted Biden and the COVID response, and THEN backpeddled, saying “Moms got Covid”, I wanted to slap.him, I was so offended! He’s a SCHMUCK.

          • ThG

            go harass someone else, troll

            you are the problem child

            constantly butting in, where you are not wanted, trolling and harassing people. Doesn’t even know what bigot is, or racist. Confusion reigns in your brain. Scrambled, due to drugs ? What else can it be ?

            go fuck yourself.

      • TS

        THQ, really mature post. Shows your IQ, not your age. Triggered by Sooooo Many who detest your sorry ass. You’re a real CHARMER. You called me a ” CUNT” . Now THAT is a real gem. Way to be a real man.

  3. Lean years could arrive a lot sooner than anyone of us care to realize or accept, our saving grace is a Front Office that will do everything in its power for that be put on hold as long as possible.

    They are obviously willing to make the tough decisions and face whatever derision we as a fan base hurl at them.

    We will never be able to afford Stephenson who was on a very friendly contract which he outplayed, at least until last year in my humble opinion, but he is sure to get more money elsewhere.

    The best course of action teamwise and long term is to let Marchy find a greener pasture, and sign a couple of more NHL quality forwards, though as Ive posted in the past I dont think teams are going to be coming with wheelbarrows of cash for him, and that he will resign for $6 million per on a 3 year contract.

    Our farm system is barren, from what I saw, Brisson is not an answer unless he can be stronger and quicker, he certainly does not have at this juncture what it takes to be a 4th liner, and not sure he has the skill set to be a 3rd liner. I wouldnt mind at all if Morelli was given a long and hard look during pre-season.

    As much as Cotter took a major step back in his development this season, I believe that he has the tool set and desire to be a consistent 20 goal scorer, and I think Howden falls into that category too.

    The window is still open for the next few years, lets see what the Front Office can do, I for one cant wait until the puck drops for the 24-25 season!!

  4. ThG

    larry I agree with most of your post.

    I would like them to trade cotter, and another player for better forward. I like Howden, I wouldn’t trade him at this point.

    Funny how everyone was saying how much depth the VGK had on defense. YEt in the playoffs Marty fell falt on his face, Hutton didn’t do squat. Marty made a few very odd plays, and allowed in some goals on his watch. He definitely played better last year.

    FO needs to figure this out, because with the rise of other teams in VGK division, they face a likely prospect of missing the playoffs next year if FO doesn’t get their shit together. IMHO they made only one good trade. They panicked with MANTHA trade, he was a known lard butt in Detroit, and Hertyl is likely damaged goods. Maybe the FO is striving to have a LTIR cap match their SAL CAP? ? ?! !? Stranger things have been known to happen. Like JB making an intelligent post once in 100 times.

    Meanwhile Joe Biden is still the worst president in last 50 years, and some people around here still like him. How pathetic. Shame shame shame, shame. As VGK fans say when opposing player hits the sin bin. Shame , Shame shame .

    • ThG

      i coin next year’s VGK run

      the RETURN of the EMPIRE
      or is it
      the JEDI’s STRIKE BACK?

      I wish they would dump that medieval , evil, shit and move to the Jedi knight star wars theme. Get rid of the silly dragon, and bring in replica of Pizza the Hut, I mean Jaaba the Hut. A slug replaces the dragon. I jest, better yet would be a replica of Jedi Master

      https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-bSnhsPKaHOg/WHYiZZkVawI/AAAAAAAAYh0/1RmK547Xh_ortWYsDAxTyioNx2frneVnQCLcB/s1600/Gifs%2Banimados%2BYoda%2B11.gif

    • JB

      You have NO idea if anyone likes Biden or just hates fat man, the worst president ever in the US! You continue to whine four years later that Biden beat his sorry ass! Keep talking little man thg!

      • knights fan in minny

        mush head joe is finished

      • ThG

        JB the racist bigot doesn t know squat. Biden poll numbers are in the tank. Trump poll numbers are flying high! Everyone knows Biden and dems cheated like crazy in 2020. There were only eligible 133 million registered voters two weeks before the election. 81 million “ballots” for Biden ?!? and 72 million for Trump. Do the math. They cheated.
        Trump was the best president since Reagan, anyone with a brain can see that.

        But we all know where your brain is, Alex was thumping it when he got out on parole for the week end. You can’t deny it. You know its true. Bigot. Anti American race card player, that you are.

        • JB

          Ha ha. Hey thg, why aren’t you talking about your buddy minny, the biggest racist on this site. (Sorry minny, you know it’s true). The mush heads are the ones still saying fat man won the election. Of course he didn’t. Got beat by 7 million votes. Not even close! Whine whine whine whine! Pathetic!

          • ThG

            jb you are one playing race card, you did it two games ago. Busted.

          • knights fan in minny

            a great honor

          • ThG

            tupuke, they left out the fact that the quote was “133 million “eligible” voters”. Many of the polls were not up to date, and had to be culled. Get the right facts, before posting garbage. Rueters is left wing rag, fake news. Cherry picking.

    • TS

      Thq:SHAME SHAME SHAME on YOU, Henry!! You STILL support the Corrupt One
      The Putin- licker. The Dictator wanna-Be. The cheater, fraud, grifter, tax cheat, business- stiffer, young sex star sniffer, mob boss, election denyer, constitution shredder, NATO destroyer, insurrectionist, TRAITOR.
      Biden is guilty of stuttering
      Of walking with pain. HANG HIM!! HANG BIDEN, RIGHT AFTER TRUMP HANGS PENCE, RIGHT ???
      FOOL! JOKE! NUTBAG!

      • ThG

        go troll and harass someone else, my posts are not directed to you; yet you butt in.

        your act and hogwash is tiresome

        seek therapy, and go harass someone else. You have added no value at all to this board.

        No one is putting a gun to your head to read anyone’s post here, so go fuck yourself. Troll.

        • ThG

          “Go fuck yourself” now a legally-permissible argument

          Citing the sheer overwhelming number of deserving articles, posts, statuses, opinions and stories posted every minute all over the internet, Supreme justices, advocates and judges at every level of the Legal System have today allowed full legal permissibility and support of the argument that someone should “go fuck themselves”.

          According to state justice on Supreme Court, the decision was made after many hours of hard,vigorous debate, when one Justice sneakily checked her phone and saw a tweet from part-time “singer” Steve Hofmeyr proclaiming that blacks were the architects of apartheid.

          The Supreme Court roll clearly records the events, showing that Justice Annabelle Torrends rolled her eyes and said aloud, “oh, go fuck yourself”, which was shortly followed by her passing around the phone. Other justices then gave various renditions of “just kill yourself” and “choke on a fat one, you fucktard”, eventually agreeing that “go fuck yourself” would be permissible as it made no allusion to homophobic slurs and did not constitute a death threat.

          “It’s important to be progressive with these kinds of things,” they explained.

          Legal experts now say that this “Go Fuck yourself” legal rebuttal is based in powerful legal precedent, in the form of the Reasonable Person measure.

          “Look, when you post shit like this on Facebook and Twitter, it’s clear that any reasonable person would tell you to go fuck yourself,” said legal expert Lawyer. “Or rather, as we say in legal circles, ‘describe to you in graphic detail how to use your genetalia to go commit auto… autoerotica? autosexual something? Eroti… er, whatever fucking yourself is in Latin.”

          People across the country have voiced widespread support for this new introduction.

          “When I see a dumb post on Facebook or Twitter, I think, geez, I could easily debunk this using a rational and critically-analytical approach, showing the logical inconsistencies and rhetorical weaknesses of the poster’s argument,” said one internet user, “but what with the time and energy it would take to do this, and the likelihood of him actually reading the response with genuine interest and taking to heart my central criticisms and suggestions and ultimately changing his flawed way of looking at the world, it’s honestly just easier and saves more time and effort to simply tell him to take two Viagra, bend his cock under his balls and through his gooch-hair and stick it right up his own ass.”

          Other online commentators said that the decision would be well received in the online community.

          “Sorry to offend, but in my books dickheads and arseholes tend to be indistinguishable and quite inseparable on the internet,” said another. “So why not also in actual real life with the human body? Go figure.”

          So this applies to the resident, “no value added to” poster. above, as noted.

        • TS

          Hey, Thq: have YOU ever tried to FUCK YOURSELF?? I s your pencil- sized dick long enough to reach your asshole?? Tell you what: you try it and let me know if it worked!
          Btw: you, covering your ass with that SCOTUS shit, is laughable! Face it, you LOVE your OWN Freedom.of Speech, as you attack others— but it’s only YOUR free Speech, NOT mine
          Just how did you judge yourself so worthy of this FREEDOM, yet no one ELSE is??. Just what makes you sooooo special, thq?? Your self- ordained GOD status?? Like Desantis’ god- fighting view of himself, as he fell from the POTUS race??
          GET OVER IT, MISTER. You have NO business whining and squawking, calling FOUL! You started this political BS years ago. You know it
          We know it. You aren’t fooling anybody. NUTBAG. In closing: GO FUCK YOURSELF, OLD MAN!!
          How do YOU like your OWN treatment???

          • ThG

            ^^^ troll who doesn’t understand GO FUCK YouRSELF” every response here from you screams triggered RANT.

            go fuck yourself, stupid silly troll. Harassment.

          • JB

            TS, he fucks hisself everytime he opens his mouth. He is his own worse enemy !

          • ThG

            JB
            creepy psychopath bigoted stalker alert^^^^^^

  5. I think Hertl will be just fine after a summer of conditioning and finding the right linemates as well, I dont believe there would be much of a trade market for Cotter , and he is one of our few ‘reliable’ young players we have, as far as mantha i truly believe he will not be in the NHL next year, and we sure could have used a player like DuClair instead of him!!

    • ThG

      larry
      i hope and pray you are right. Also, Stone needs to be healthy, as too the goalies. That is answering a lot of questions.

      Petro has to come back to 100%, and he’s getting old .
      Theo has to come back to 100% also.

      A lot of pieces to the puzzle need to fit. Is that possible ???

  6. Richie-Rich

    I think Hertl will fit in nicely. It is Mark Stone who I worry about. During the Cup run Stone keep back off LTIR and almost immediately was playing great hockey. That didn’t happen this year. He’s missed too many games the past two years. Does anyone actually think that Stone won’t need to go back on LTIR again this year? I think Marchy is a year or two older and has only missed 12 regular season games the past 3 years. In my opinion, Stone’s great when he is 100%. When he’s not the team tends to struggle. Stone needs to talk to his doctors and his family about his back issues. I’d rather see him retire during this off season rather than play 3 or 4 months only to go back on LTIR and placing the lines back into chaos again.

    The Golden Knight were unable to replace Reilly Smith, just one additional factor in the 4th place finish and 1st round exit.

    Hanifan was a great pick up. Mantha was pretty much a bust.

    As for Paul Cotter? He’s not going to be any worse than Carrier on that 4th line. Both players have pretty much the same skills and the difference in points isn’t worth talking about. In any case, Cotter has had a rather poor sophomore showing. He gets another chance on my scorecard. He’ not going to put up as many points at Dorofeyev.

    Brisson and Dorofeyev? No one can say at this point whether or not they can make a positive impact on goals scored. There’s not enough data, but from what we’ve seen the potential is there.

    Many of you complain about the goaltending, but I am not in that camp. I think we have two fine goaltenders. The question I might ask is how much we lose if Hill is shopped and we give Patera a shot as the B goaltender. The defense remains very solid (when healthy), which makes the goals against even better.

  7. These guys are professionals and veterans, they have been to the promised land , and they know the window is starting to close on championship aspirations as well as their careers, so whatever they have left in the tank will be put forth to the maximum to stay away from an 8th place finish next year and to the hope of another PARADE!!

  8. ThG

    back by popular demand, you asked for it, here it is

    enjoy

  9. DeezNutz

    I’d like to see some player who can score goals like actual NHL players. I’m sick of watching this team struggle to put pucks in net night after night it’s embarrassing. I mean even knights fan in minny can score with Rashaad in a swanky motel 6

    • knights fan in minny

      look who is back the clueless fucking loser

    • knights fan in minny

      what’s wrong pillow biter fag did your boy toy leave you

  10. john brown

    B.S. Economics
    40 years HR, Finance, Marketing and Accounting

    1. 900,000 cap space remaining

    2. Trade Theodore, get $5,200,000 more capspace.

    3. Trade Marty/Retire

    4. Walrus aka Lehner with LTIR money of $5,000,000.

    Have $10,200,000 to work ,with

    CAP trackers says Marchy matches forwards making $6,000,000

    That leaves $4,200,000 to keep Carrier, Stephy and/or Amadio.

    We have Silver Knights to fill a offense hole
    and a defensive hole

    2025/2026 will be a bloodbath

    • ThG

      welcome to jungle JB

      smart post,
      HSK has big shoes to fill, FO prefers to trade for veterans than rely on youts. You think they are ready? Their play in AHL says not yet.

  11. I think Hertal was brought in to replace Stevenson. Hanny was brought in to replace Theo this year or next year. I think they don’t resign Marshy. They want someone around the age of Eichel and Barbs to form a strong front line for years. If they trade Theodore they have 14 million to fill in the pieces.

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