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Schmidt Reviews Are High In Vancouver

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

It feels like just yesterday Ken and I were digging up interviews and stories about all the players the Golden Knights selected in the Expansion Draft. That’s when we first discovered the personality of Nate Schmidt. We instantly declared “Nate Schmidt’s going to be your favorite player, you just don’t know it yet.

Even though we’re watching Alex Pietrangelo suit up in a Golden Knights jersey day in and day out in camp, it’s still tough to see videos of Schmidt somewhere else. We always knew it would be the case, but Schmidt is already making an impact in Vancouver.

He looks comfortable. His skating has jumped out to me the first couple of days. It’s been very much as advertised for Nate Schmidt.-Jeff Paterson, TSN Vancouver on TSN 1040

Vegas fans knew what Vancouver was getting when they acquired Schmidt this offseason. A reliable defender with the ability to pitch in offensively and a whale of a personality. The Canucks are seeing it in person and the reviews have been high.

The Canucks got better when the Golden Knights front office made the tough decision to move #88. Not only will Schmidt boost the blueline but he’ll add some veteran presence surrounding emerging star Quinn Hughes.

Not quite at Quinn Hughes level, not many are in terms of generating offense but this guy doesn’t miss an opportunity with his skating to jump up into the rush. He loves to be the trailer, loves to add another layer of attack. –Paterson, TSN Vancouver on TSN 1040

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Continuous Trade Rumors Bound To Impact Performance

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Being at odds in the workplace can leave a person confused, hopeless, and stressed. That can go for million-dollar athletes as well. After the latest TSN report, it doesn’t take an insider to tell you Max Pacioretty and Jonathan Marchessault are feeling a little underappreciated right now. (And Fleury, but that started a while ago.)

https://twitter.com/tsnhockey/status/1336650364012154880?s=12

Playing hockey is their job, a job they love, and most of us would too. However, it’s still work and at times an employee can feel like they’re on the outside looking in. We can all connect with that. It’s hard to imagine Marchessault and Pacioretty being thrilled with their names constantly mentioned in trade rumors.

Since early October, the two forwards have seen teammates traded all while wondering if they’re next.

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Creator Reveals Future Plans For Deryk Engelland And VGK Organization

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Normally, at this time of the year we’re starting to look at the playoff picture and have our eyes peeled on the deadline, but with this unique offseason there are still retirment decisions up in the air. Highly touted free agents remain unsigned, trade rumors have the Golden Knights roster looking unstable, and the league hasn’t even decided what the season will look like yet, so news of a beloved Golden Knight calling it a career still hangs in the balance.

While the assumption by most has been that Deryk Engelland is set to hang up the skates and transition into an off-ice role with the Golden Knights, there’s technically never been any announcement of such and thus he still officially remains an unrestricted free agent.

Back in early October preior to free agency opening, Kelly McCrimmon confirmed that Engelland will not be rejoining the team as a player. Yesterday, chatting with FOX 5’s Vince Sapienza, The Creator clued us in on what’s next for Engelland.

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

This appears to signal the unofficial retirement on the playing career of a player that will forever live in the lore of Golden Knights history.

Engelland currently runs his own chairtable foundation, Engelland’s Vegas Born Heroes and he’s been involved in community relations with the team since the Expansion Draft.

An official retirement note should be on the way soon and then the team can announce his new role within the organization.

No matter what that role may be, or when that note may come, there’s going to be one hell of a tribute to an original Golden Knight whenever fans are finally allowed back in the arena.

**Check out more from The Creator’s interview on FOX 5 here.**

Creator: “We Will Be Playing Hockey”

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

There’s finally starting to be a bit of movement on the “Return to Play” front as sources from many major insiders have indicated the league is on track to return on January 13th.

The Creator echoed those statements in an interview on FOX Business yesterday.

Well, I don’t believe when (the season) opens we’ll have significant fans in the arena based upon the COVID spikes that are going on. It may not start on January 13th, it may slide a week or two but we will be playing hockey and we’ll be in T-Mobile but unfortunately, we may not have fans. –The Creator on FOX Business

Training camps would likely open about two weeks prior to opening night to prepare for a shortened season.

The 56 games are expected to be played mostly, if not entirely, inside of the same division and will be played at home buildings. Divisional re-alignment is almost guaranteed now as the “All-Canadian Division” appears to be inevitable.

We may not have fans which is really sad, especially for our team because we intend on winning the Stanley Cup this year. –The Creator on FOX Business

Las Vegas “Virtually A Lock” As NHL Hub City

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

It’s one of the worst kept secrets, the city of Las Vegas is the front runner to become one of the NHL’s playoff hubs.

I think out West that Vegas is virtually a lock. I don’t know that there’s one perfect place but I sense that Vegas has an inside track.-Ray Ferraro, Ray & Dregs podcast

With the decision still in the hands of the league, TSN insider’s Ray Ferraro and Darren Dreger spoke with Commissioner Gary Bettman about the plan to return to play and the selected hubs. Which could impact the Golden Knights and our city.

I’m going to have to make a decision collectively on this probably in about three weeks. I think in two weeks we’ll start narrowing down even further. Somewhere around three weeks we’re going to have to pull the trigger and start finalizing the arrangements and make our deposits. -Bettman

Over the past two months, we’ve covered every reason why Las Vegas makes sense to the NHL, but the decision really falls on the local and state governments. Bettman’s mention that any decision was still weeks away helps the city government assess the logistics. Once elected officials make their decision, the NHL can choose Las Vegas or not. Personally, I have a feeling that both parties would like to come to an agreement.

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Fans In The Building By Mid August? The Creator Is Hopeful

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

We’ve pretty much all resigned to the fact that the next time we see live hockey, it will be played in an empty arena. With all the discussion of the NHL’s phases, hub cities, and the return to play scenarios, fans remain an afterthought in the grand scheme of completing the season.

However, that doesn’t mean that door won’t open back up assuming the spread of the coronavirus continues trending in the right direction as it has over the past few weeks.

During an interview on NBCSN, Gary Bettman alluded to the league keeping their options open for the possibility of fans returning to the arenas at some point during the playoffs “depending on where the world is” at that point.

With all the restrictions still in place across the US and Canada that seems like a pie in the sky idea, but The Creator seems to believe it might be possible much sooner than most would believe.

Fans will be watching it on TV, certainly through the play-in round. I’m hopeful that by the time we get to August 10th, 1th, or 12th that we’ve successfully come across (the pandemic) and we’re back from the dark side. Then we can start getting some fans in arenas and start playing at home and away. That’s what I’m really hopeful for but we just don’t know. –The Creator on Vegas Hockey Hotline

Speaking on the Vegas Hockey Hotline on Friday, The Creator made it clear he is ready to get fans back in the building as soon as it’s safe, even if it doesn’t mean a full 17,500 capacity crowd we are used to at T-Mobile Arena.

I’m hoping if we take long enough that we may be able to get back to some sort of social distancing but people being in the arena, even if it’s only 4,500 people or 5,000 people. I don’t see a reason why we shouldn’t be able to get to that point. –The Creator on Vegas Hockey Hotline

Obviously, this will all come down to the health and safety of the public, but rest assured the owners in the NHL are not going to wait long once the go-ahead is given that fans can once again be in arenas.

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Expected Financial Loss May Be Worse For The Players

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

As the pause continues, it’s no surprise the NHL is preparing for a severe loss in revenue. It’s not to suggest they would rush to play, but like most of us, the league is facing serious financial issues. It’s already started inside the league office.

But the players may be the ones that get hit the most.

Hall of Fame hockey scribe Larry Brooks reported NHL players were alerted to a staggering amount of earnings lost due to the pause.

The NHL has informed the NHLPA that revenue losses could range from the best-case low of a couple of hundred million dollars to a worst-case amount of up to one billion dollars, The Post has learned. -Larry Brooks, NY Post

The NHLPA spoke with player representatives and explained the escrow share could reach a loss of 21% if the season and/or playoffs are canceled. Under the current labor agreement, it’s possible player contracts would be paid only 65% of their salary for 2019-20.

The season is approximately 85-percent complete. The discrepancy reflects a combination of the 6-to-10 percent of revenue generated by the playoffs and the fact that a full playoff would come at the cost of the remaining 15-percent of the season that would not be played. No wonder the players are pitching the idea of resuming the season in some form and playing for the Stanley Cup in August and September.-Brooks, NY Post

For a team like the Golden Knights who were expected to make a deep run, the pause takes significant money out of the players’ pockets. Playoff shares, according to the NHL are distributed by “A single lump-sum payment of $6,500,000 shall be made by the NHL to the players on account of a player fund, which shall be allocated to the players on clubs participating in the various playoff rounds and/or based upon club finish, as shall be determined by the NHLPA, subject to approval by the League.”

Without the postseason, players stand to lose a good chunk of change, and because of their escrow agreement, they stand to be impacted financially even more than the owners.

Players and owners split the NHL’s “hockey-related revenue” 50/50 (players get their share in salaries). At the end of the playoffs every year, both sides get together and count up how much money the NHL made that season. They then use that number to estimate how much it’ll make the next season (a five per cent bump is a typical ballpark guess). The salary cap, which is designed to make sure the players get 50 per cent of the revenue and no more, is then set based on that number.

But because it’s impossible to predict exactly how much revenue will come in, a percentage of every player’s paycheque is held in escrow until the money is counted at the end of the season (it isn’t always the same, but 15 per cent is a good ballpark number). If the NHL does really well and exceeds the revenue projection by a significant amount, all that money is returned to the players. But if it doesn’t, the owners get to keep however much they need to ensure they end up with exactly 50 per cent of the revenue. –Jesse Campigotto, CBC Sports

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The Creator Explains The Delay In Announcing Plans To Take Care Of T-Mobile Arena Employees

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Yesterday the Golden Knights became the 31st team in the NHL to commit to paying arena employees for missed games due to the pause in the season.

The Golden Knights organization, players and Vegas Golden Knights Foundation will combine resources and planning to support those employees who may miss shifts due to the pause in the NHL season and pledge a minimum of $500,000 to these efforts. Leading the player contributions is goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury,who has committed to donating $100,000. -Golden Knights press release

Previously, every other team had made an announcement except the Golden Knights. In a pair of interviews with Vegas Hockey Hotline and JT The Brick, the Creator explained exactly why it took a bit longer for his team to make their announcement.

We wanted to be very specific about what we were doing. A lot of clubs made kind of a general statement. What I personally wanted to do was to make sure we get the money to the people who need it. We’re actually distributing it to the people who work, directly. That way we know they are going to get it. -The Creator on Vegas Hockey Hotline

We wanted to make sure we dealt with this ourselves, directly with the individuals that are working, to get the money from us. We don’t want it going through a third party. We’re making the decision. We know who the people are, we’re just getting our list together. -The Creator on Fox Sports Radio with JT The Brick

The tricky part in the Golden Knights situation is that employees at T-Mobile Arena work for a variety of employers. Many work for MGM. Others work for Levy, the company that handles food and beverage in the arena. Ushers work for a company called WeServe, and there are a few other third party companies involved as well.

So, The Creator says he wanted to take the middlemen out of the process to avoid any situations where the money would be dealt with in an unsavory manner.

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Trade Deadline Boost

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

For the third time in three seasons the Golden Knights made upgrades to their team. For the third straight year, the team went on to have immediate success with their new additions. The common message you get among the players are deadline deals can give a club a boost down the stretch.

It means the guys upstairs believe in us. When they add more strength to really go for it and see us as a real contender. That’s the way I see it. We’re going for it.-William Karlsson

Since last Monday’s trade deadline, the Golden Knights are 2-0-0, and have gotten contributions from all three acquisitions. So the question is, how much of a boost has the organization gotten historically after each deadline?

Post Deadline Success: 2017-18

  • Record: 10-7-3, 23 Points
  • Points%: .575
  • Goals Scored: 56
  • Goals Scored Per Game: 2.8
  • Goals Allowed: 58
  • Goals Allowed Per Game: 2.9
  • Points from New Players: 8 (4 Goals, 4 Assists)
  • Record vs Playoff Teams: 6-4-3

In 2017-18, the Golden Knights struggled right after the deadline, however they had won five of the six games before the deadline. Ryan Reaves had trouble fitting in immediately, but was possibly trying to do too much to fit in with his new teammates. Tomas Tatar pitched in with three goals down the stretch. Overall, the team was trending up heading into the postseason.

Post Deadline Success: 2018-19

  • Record 10-6-2, 22 Points
  • Points%: .611
  • Goals Scored: 64
  • Goals Scored Per Game: 3.5
  • Goals Allowed: 49
  • Goals Allowed Per Game: 2.7
  • Points from New Players: 11 (5 Goals, 6 Assists)
  • Record vs Playoff Teams: 5-4

Things were a bit different in season two. Vegas came out roaring after their deadline deal for Mark Stone. The former Senator added immediate offense and gave the team that two-way, high-level forward they needed. However, the team seemed to coast into the playoffs, something The Creator discussed on our SinBin podcast last summer.

Once we got Stone we immediately won 10 of 11, until they decided to take their foot of the gas. We end up with 93 points and we didn’t have home ice. -The Creator, 9/28/19

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“Secondary Moves” Still On The Way For Golden Knights?

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The trade deadline is three days away but the Golden Knights have already dipped their toe in the red hot defenseman trade market. Essentially on the same day as Brendan Dillon, Dylan DeMelo, and Marco Scandella were moved, Vegas pulled the trigger on their response adding Alec Martinez for a pair of 2nd round picks. However, there’s still time on the clock and according to the Golden Knights owner, the Golden Knights may not be done yet.

This (the Martinez trade) was our big one really for this trade deadline period. There are a couple of other ideas that are floating around with the pro scouts and with Kelly and George. Now we’ve got a few days. Might be something else happen, but this was the important one, to get behind us, to get a really strong d-man to help supplement what we already have. -The Creator on Vegas Hockey Hotline

(The whole interview by Brian Blessing with The Creator is embedded below.)

At the Martinez announcement presser, GM Kelly McCrimmon was a bit more coy about the future plans surrounding the Golden Knights and February 24th at noon.

This was a move that we had considered for a long time and we identified this as a way we wanted to improve our team was to add a defenseman of this caliber. That’s why we worked hard to finalize the price in advance of the deadline. We’ll do a reset now, is how I would explain it to you, and then we’ll work right until the deadline on Monday to see if there’s any other moves out there that could help us that make sense. -McCrimmon

The Golden Knights are now very tight to the cap with the addition of Martinez, but they remain with a number of upcoming UFA contracts (Eakin, Reaves, Holden, Merrill, Nosek, Engelland) still on the books that could become trade bait between now and Monday.

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