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Reilly Smith Could Be The Right Bait This Offseason

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Every offseason it’s inevitable that there will be roster turnover and fans will be disappointed when the news breaks. It’s happened in each of the Golden Knights’ previous summers. After the inaugural season fan-favorite, David Perron, and several others were left out in free agency. The following year it was Erik Haula who departed after a season-long injury. Then after last year’s postseason exit, Vegas moved lovable defenseman Nate Schmidt in order to make room for Alex Pietrangelo. It might suck for fans but it’s just real the business side of hockey.

We’ve seen this reaction from the Golden Knights front office before, when they don’t win they get itchy. Rumors swirl and of course Vegas is always in the middle. Just last season, reports were the front office was attempting to unload Marc-Andre Fleury and/or Pacioretty’s contracts. Currently, the Golden Knights are apparently one of the teams haggling for Buffalo Sabres’ malcontent Jack Eichel.

What fan wouldn’t want to root for Eichel? Vegas fans would sure like to, but like last offseason, they won’t be thrilled when a popular player or two will no longer be Golden Knights. In order to upgrade there has to be casualties. The trade bait we’re talking about today is one of the few remaining original Misfits, Reilly Smith.

Difficulty Trading A Goaltender

The ultimate reason we’ve mentioned Smith as a viable trade option is the dilemma in net. Assuming the Golden Knights front office cannot or is unwilling to move either Marc-Andre Fleury or Robin Lehner, that leaves Vegas with limited options. Meanwhile, that doesn’t change the fact that the roster is in need of upgrading. In order to do that the organization must shed money against the cap, and there’s a whole lot dedicated to the goaltending position. If the front office can’t subtract Fleury’s or Lehner’s contract the next place to find money is a positional player. One with a relatively high cap hit, low term, and is attractive to other general managers. That is Smith in a nutshell.

Why Reilly?

Smith is entering the last year of his 5 year/$25M contract he signed in 2016 with the Florida Panthers. The Golden Knights inherited that deal in the 2017 Expansion Draft and it’s paid off in full. Since his arrival, Smith has scored 82 goals and 110 assists for Vegas. The 29-year-old has averaged 20.5 goals per season and plays 18:00 minutes per game as a Golden Knight, playing in all situations. It’s safe to say he’s been a crucial member of the franchise’s early success.

Return Policy

The Golden Knights are mostly looking for cap relief so a straight hockey trade is unlikely. If a team is willing to send Vegas a draft pick, prospect, or a low-cost player in return for Smith, it would be a win-win for both teams. In that scenario, the Golden Knights would have more financial flexibility and receive a valuable asset they could keep or flip as well. The forward would be tough to replace but the 31st franchise would be okay considering they’re deeper at wing than any other position. Vegas could then use that open slot and fill it in with organizational depth, specifically at center. Also, that extra cap space allows for several options now, before the season, or at the trade deadline.

Ways To Avoid Trading Smith

There are several ways the Golden Knights could retain their alternate captain but it would mean another quality player will be sent packing. First, the brain trust could identify another player, likely a forward to move instead of Smith. Jonathan Marchessault’s $5M cap hit could also be an option to move, however his return may be less. Secondly, Vegas could shift gears and chisel away at their inflated salary cap instead of selling of one big piece like Smith. The front office could look at shipping a combination of small cap hits like Ryan Reaves, William Carrier, and Nick Holden. It wouldn’t create much room but it would allow Vegas to hold on to their Misfits.

Or, lastly, and it’s been mentioned… just trade a goaltender already!

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34 Comments

  1. Jason

    TRADE A FKING GOALIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. DOC (Go Knights Go)

    KEN:

    A) – Where is the 2nd GM writeup you promised, with Jason?

    B) – You finally picking up what I said about Smith, weeks ago!

    Yea, I just don’t know anything, huh! Amazing!

  3. dan

    Buffalo needs a goalie!!! why isn’t anyone talking about including a goalie in an Eichel trade???

    • Dan – because vegas doesn’t need another medical problem and buffalo probably doesn’t want one in return. Lehner was there once and they moved on.

      • Richard Santomauro

        The Vegas goalie future looks like this.

        Inevitably, if the FO is smart, Logan Thompson is the future starting goalie for the Golden Knights. When that happens depends on which of the goalies is moved.

        If Fleury stays, then Thompson backs up and spots for 2 or 3 years before taking over the starting role.

        If Lehner stays, then I predict Thompson will be the starter before the end of this next year.

        This idiot McCrimmon will likely trade the future goalie and keep both Fleury & Lehner.

  4. Richard Santomauro

    1. Fire McCrimmon.
    2. Fire DeBoering and the PP Coach
    3. Trade Lehner
    4. Consider trading Smith for the right deal, if not bye bye to Reaves, Holden and possibly McNabb or Carrier.

    This team does not need Eichel. I like the Wennberg suggestion and even a few others in Ken’s last GM post.

    • YIKES

      Hahahahahahaha

    • Blitz

      1. McCrimmon slayed the expansion draft, so he at least has my respect. Granted the Lehner and the Petra moves put us in a shit show last year. So maybe the respect has been severely diminished.

      2. I wouldn’t cry about him getting the boot. The team has done some things well under him, but looked like dog shit in others and as a fan I just don’t like him, his coaches speak, misdirections etc.

      3. YES 100% – rip the band aid off!

      4. I don’t like the Smith trade. You do #3 and erase reave, carrier, maybe even move Roy (meh not killing it, but not dreadful, I can be talked out of it) and put better pieces in place. Upgrades, not home runs. You have to start playing the pups. There are a few HSK names we need to see more of. You have to find some skill there, but at this level. Krebs needs to be thrown in the pool to see if he can swim (and not get hit in the face by a puck). If we can keep Marty I don’t mind seeing McNabb and/or holden go, but again we need to get more from the pups here (which we have done well at D).

      NO Eichel, not even on the radar. Dumbest reach ever if they do, well, unless Petra has a desire to live in Buffalo. He can room with Lehner.

      • THE hockey GOD

        i wouldn’t call reaching the semi finals two years in a row, a sh*t show.

        • Blitz

          The GM/FO shit show part of it was the juggling and juggling that needed to be done all season just so we could stay under the cap. Seems like when you are playing an aggressive schedule, like this year, having more than 15-17 skaters and double shifting guys, might just keep everyone fresh for the semi’s.

          Also for not addressing the needs of the team (center/scoring), but in turn getting a d-man that really wasn’t a need. For bringing in another goalie that wasn’t an immediate need either and then not fixing it in 2021, keeping 12 mil on the books, also adding to the shit show.

          So yes shit show! If the season was so great we all should have t-shirts that say VGK 2021 semi-final participant. I enjoyed the season, but the expectations of this team were not met because of the GM/FO shit show. Shit show!

          P.S. Shit show

          • THE hockey GOD

            TB juggled their cap issue, and they won the cup

            juggling is good. It appears to be.

  5. THE hockey GOD

    firing head coach would be a step backwards in organization at this point, not forward at this stage. And there isn’t anyone out there that have won a SC that are top notch. Caps and Panthers and islanders grabbed the best coaches available. Babcock is over the hill, and Don Cherry lives in the 1970s. I don’t see it happening.

    smith isn’t going any where unless some team makes FO an “offa they can’t refuse”, and management wants to win now not they don’t want a prospect/draft pick/ or low cost (loser) player in return. Players that will be unprotected in draft are maybe, and I say maybe 2nd line players. mostly third and fourth line players.

    Looking at the abundance of quality D men becoming available is not a good sign for retaining 23, Martinez. I hope they do, but I give it a 50/50 shot.

    trading 81 makes more sense than 19, but i doubt very much FO will mess with misfit line at this point. If they keep him VGK gets a small cap relief as his salary goes down.

    His contract terms are more favorable than Smiths after 5 million for next year.
    2022-23: $3.5 million.
    2023-24: $3.5 million.
    2024-25: UFA
    Here are Smith’s:
    2021-22: $4.5 million.
    2022-23: UFA

    • brent

      Cap hit is based on AAV. Only relief you get is Smith’s contract is up 2 years sooner.

    • Daryl

      You are prob right on PDB with no respectable coaches avail… but he never should have been hired in the first place and hasn’t done anything for the franchise. If they keep him or fire him before next season it won’t change much. But I were VGK I would be on the watch for a replacement and grab him as soon as he is available.

      • THE hockey GOD

        PDB canned no 5/no9 , played no2 and no14, and juggled a tricky goalie tandem (which won league’s best trophy).

        also reached semi finals two years in a row, which is no easy task.

        they should have grabbed the panther or NYI coaches when they were available, and CAPs coach. But I guess they didn’t want to come to Vegas.

  6. Tim

    I refuse to believe management is stupid enough to get involved with Jack Eichel and his medical problems. Buffalo also has this delusional mindset that this injured overpaid player is worth 4 or 5 pieces. I don’t think much will happen before the expansion draft.

  7. sb

    To win the Cup, Vegas must add scoring. Not subtract scoring. Trading Smith only creates a new hole that must be filled. Move Tuch up? That just creates another hole and VGK will only have two scoring lines. To win the Cup, Vegas must have THREE scoring lines. Not Two. MGT has done a great job building defense and goaltending. It must add forward scoring. To get something good, you must sacrifice something good. Trade or buy-out Fluery, Reaves, Holden. Trade Carrier. Don’t resign Janmark and Nosek. That creates the $10 mil for Eichel. Eichel for three first rounder (that’ll be #30 pick in 2021, #32 in 2022 and 2023) Krebs and Dugan. Move Stepheson to Tuch/Roy. The only thing then left to do is prepare the Stanley Cup parade route down Las Vegas Blvd.

    • Sb – dream on – this team doesn’t need another medical problem – they have one that they need to convince some team to take him.off their hands some way or another. Why sacrifice the future on injured material – you don’t even know if he will be able to play let alone fit in.

  8. Steve

    We don’t need Eichel. But we do need some quicker defense. Many times the other team dumped the puck in and beat our defense to the puck. I think move maybe Hague and Holden and snag a decent speedy defenseman.

    • THE hockey GOD

      @ steve
      “I think move maybe Hague and Holden and snag a decent speedy defenseman.” like dumba ???

      • Blitz

        Dumba 6 million a year for 2 more years. Hell no. I am sure MIN would gladly trade him to us for Hague ($800k a year) straight up.

        • THE hockey GOD

          he’s not speedy enough ? He has a good slap shot from point. Wild is going to have to do some juggling to retain him and a few others. They didn’t want VGK to take him the first time around.

  9. DOC (Go Knights Go)

    This nonsense just never stops with you people.

    You must not have ANY outside lives, to be able to get on here, hour after hour with bloated, lengthy same shit over and over and over.

    To top it off, most of you haven’t got a clue on what the Knights really need to do.

    But, makes for lots of laughs!!!!!!!!

    • knights fan in minny

      whats your problem

      • DOC (Go Knights Go)

        I think I explained myself in my comment, minny!

        • knights fan in minny

          your telling us who should be gone and who should stay just like everyone else is so whats the problem

  10. Sb – dream on – this team doesn’t need another medical problem – they have one that they need to convince some team to take him.off their hands some way or another. Why sacrifice the future on injured material – you don’t even know if he will be able to play let alone fit in.

  11. Hat

    Got to keep Marc-Andre Fleury get rid of The Panda , he’s to slow has not been right since his concussion. Bring up Thompson you might want to trade Cody glass . Krebs is going to be a star you let him go it’s gonna be like letting Suzuki go big mistake!

  12. Tim

    I was just looking over the draft order and were still paying Montreal for Patch, Detroit for Tatar, LA for Martinez, Washington for Stephenson, Chicago for Janmark. I wonder what they have in mind for our 30th and 36th picks in this years draft.

  13. Henderson Knights

    Vgk might sign Ryan Suter on a 1 year contract IF they cannot re-sign Martinez.

    • knights fan in minny

      no thanks locker room cancer he used to have toughness

    • knights fan in minny

      no thanks a locker room cancer lost his toughness

  14. knights fan in minny

    misfire

  15. THE hockey GOD

    Gabriel Landeskog LW, Colorado Avalanche
    Gabriel Landeskog is facing an uncertain future with free agency on the horizon.

    “The uncertainty is something I’ve never dealt with,” Landeskog said. “I’ve always known that come September, October, I’m going to pull on that Avs jersey.” He has reiterated that he wants to be back with the Avalanche on several occasions, but he remains in limbo while reports from league sources say that the two sides remain far apart in contract talks. “I can’t help but be honest with you that I’m a little bit disappointed that it’s gotten this far and it’s had to come to this point,” Landeskog added. He is still hopeful that something can be worked out, but free agency is only 14 days away and he will attract plenty of interest from other teams if he remains unsigned by July 28.

    Source: Peter Baugh for The Athletic
    Jul 14, 2021, 12:18 PM ET

    Cap Hit: $5,571,429.
    2018-19: $6 million.
    2019-20: $6 million.
    2020-21: $6.5 million.
    2021-22: UFA

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