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Tag: ESPN

Latest NHL Power Rankings: VGK A Multimillion-Dollar World Of Imagination

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Since the start of the new year the Golden Knights haven’t been at their best. Vegas is 1-2-2 in 2022 but still managed to add four points to their Pacific Division leading 23-14-2 record. It’s been awhile since we’ve seen the Golden Knights dominate opponents like they did throughout the month of December, which may have changed minds across the league. When in reality, Vegas picked up four points in five games without playing up to their potential and missing a myriad of starters.

Every so often we like to check in on NHL power rankings across the league. Vegas was a preseason Top 5 team but ever since the injuries piled up they’ve mostly been stuck in double digits. According to aggregate site Power Rankings Guru, this week the Golden Knights checked in at #11.

The consensus was, Vegas had an incredible month of December but took a step back once the calendar year ended. A little dramatic if you ask me.

Let’s start with the league’s site. Vegas rounded out the top ten for the second straight week on NHL.com. Up until they’re fully healthy expect Vegas to be ranked in bottom part of the top ten.

NHL.com – #10 (Previously #10)

The Golden Knights won an NHL record 14 straight regular-season games decided in overtime before losing 5-4 to the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday, the first time they lost in OT since Dec. 19, 2019 (5-4 at the Vancouver Canucks).

ESPN had a little fun by publishing a Disney themed NHL power rankings. Greg Wyshinski and crew went light on Vegas, only dropping them one position.

ESPN – #12 (Previously #11)

To honor this magical place, and with no small amount of corporate synergy, we’ve decided to use this week’s NHL power rankings to match all 32 teams with the Disney World attractions — rides, food, characters — that best fit their vibes.

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. A multimillion-dollar world of imagination that offers thrilling rides, lasting memories and the unwavering feeling that it never goes quite as far as you’d like it to go. That weird feeling in your stomach about the Golden Knights in the playoffs is not because you drank too much blue milk …

Sportsnet has routinely had Vegas outside of the top ten. One of the reasons for the lower grade is the injuries to Jack Eichel, Max Pacioretty and Alec Martinez. Once those three impact players return I’m sure SN will raise the local boys in their rankings.

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The Eichel To Vegas Rumor Train Keeps Chugging

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The Jack Eichel to Vegas rumors may have quieted down since training camp but new television partner ESPN continues to stoke the fire. The Worldwide Leader’s NHL play-by-play announcer John Buccigross mentioned Eichel on Tuesday’s opening night broadcast of the Golden Knights and Seattle Kraken. Buccigross doubled down on his comments yesterday on ESPN’s The Point.

I think Pat Brisson is going to make this happen. I just look at Vegas with Alex Tuch who’s injured, he was a big prospect, he makes some good money. They need to match up because of their cap. I just see Vegas. -John Buccigross, ESPN’s The Point

The Cawlidge Hockey enthusiast discussed the current status of the Sabres disgruntled star with NHL reporter Emily Kaplan. From the sounds of it, Buffalo may have come close to an agreement with one of the handful of suitors.

Behind the scenes the NHL and the NHLPA have intervened, they don’t like this stalemate. Jack Eichel is now sharing his medical records with teams, and I was told as of Thursday there was serious optimism that a trade was imminent. Everyone felt really good about it, they thought it was going to happen. Then on Friday things went quiet.-Emily Kaplan, ESPN NHL reporter

There are several reasons to believe that the Golden Knights are one of the teams still in on the Jack Eichel sweepstakes. Vegas’ front office is habitually aggressive and has reportedly been interested in almost every available stud since 2018. The biggest motivation to acquire Eichel is his unique talent and ability to elevate Vegas enough to lift the Stanley Cup.

There are five teams still in on Jack Eichel. Those are teams that believe they can fit his $10M salary into their cap situation, maybe that means moving some contracts or whatever. All of those teams have agreed Jack Eichel will get the disc replacement surgery he wants. -Kaplan, ESPN

Adding the 24-year-old to the current Golden Knights roster would reasonably make them the favorite to win the Cup for several years, something Kaplan has mentioned on the show in the past.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek also discussed Vegas’ interest in Eichel on their latest episode of 32 Thoughts podcast. Friedman found it difficult to believe the Golden Knights could wiggle enough cap room to make a deal with Buffalo. Of course, unexpected injuries could create a narrow path.

We all sit here and wonder, what are they going to do down the middle? Buffalo has said unless Krebs is in the deal we’re not really interested in doing this. Vegas is a threat, they’re a Stanley Cup champion contender. -Elliotte Friedman, 32 Thoughts Podcast

Back to ESPN, Buccigross agrees with Friedman that Eichel addresses Vegas’ weakest position.

That’s what they need Barry, to plug that 26-year-old guy right in the middle of that lineup. They don’t want too young and they don’t want to old because they have enough 30-year-olds as it is. -Buccigross, ESPN

Legendary flowmaster and hockey analyst Barry Melrose chimed in to give his take on the swirling Eichel to Vegas tittle-tattle. In the end, Melrose might be making the most sense.

They can’t have everybody. -Barry Melrose, ESPN NHL Analyst

It’s hard anticipating what happens in the foreseeable future but consider the Golden Knights one of the five teams in the mix for Eichel. It will be tough to maneuver but ESPN would like it to happen.

ESPN & Turner Sports Showcasing Vegas In 2021-22

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

News broke yesterday that the Golden Knights will be featured a dozen times on ESPN and Turner Sports this upcoming season. With the new television partnership in place, the two networks are leaning heavily on Vegas to help kick off their first season broadcasting the NHL.

VGK on ESPN/TNT/HULU

Tue. Oct. 12 vs. Seattle 7:00 p.m. (ESPN)
Wed. Oct. 20 vs. St. Louis 7:00 p.m. (TNT)
Tue. Oct. 26 at Colorado 5:00 p.m. (ESPN)
Tue. Nov. 9 vs. Seattle 7:00 p.m. (ESPN+/Hulu)
Fri. Dec. 3 at Arizona 6:30 p.m. (ESPN+/Hulu)
Wed. Dec. 8 vs. Dallas 7:00 p.m. (TNT)
Tue. Feb. 1 vs. Buffalo 7:00 p.m. (ESPN+/Hulu)
Thu. March 3 vs. Boston 6:00 p.m. (ESPN)
Thu. March 17 vs. Florida 7:30 p.m. (ESPN+/Hulu)
Sat. March 26 vs. Chicago 12:00 p.m. (ABC)
Wed. March 30 at Seattle 7:00 p.m. (TNT)
Wed. April 6 vs. Vancouver 7:00 p.m. (TNT)

One major complaint about NBC’s hockey coverage was their lack of diversity. The network tended to schedule more games with the league’s more established franchises and most likely from the eastern time zone, with the exception of the Chicago Blackhawks. However, as new media outlets take over, Vegas was identified as a perfect team to present to a potentially new audience. The Golden Knights are a Stanley Cup contender with a loaded roster, and they so happen to play in fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada. That’s enough intrigue for sports fans unfamiliar with the NHL.

Turner Sports have become the standard in NBA broadcasting having been able to successfully keep an audience for an entire double-header. It’ll be tough to mimic the chemistry and content TNT developed around basketball but they’ll try with familiar faces that are well aware of the Golden Knights roster. Also, Turner split their games up evenly across the league. Vegas will appear four times on TNT in 2021-22, facing off against St. Louis, Dallas, Seattle, and Vancouver. Add in the other eight games on ESPN and the 31st franchise will be given plenty of exposure to the rest of the hockey landscape.

As for the eight contests on ESPN, the Golden Knights will greatly benefit from Worldwide Leader’s global audience. Vegas brings its own unique elements that may even help break in the network known more for dumping hockey rather than covering hockey. Although, ESPN will bring some Vegas flair with their infamously elegant hockey analyst Barry Melrose. The partnership between the entertainment network and a highly competitive team like Vegas should be more than enough for viewers.

Vegas has quickly become a premier NHL team in terms of demand and success, enough to feature 12 times nationally. Of course, fans will get their fill of eastern located games but clearly, the new television partners want to present fresher and more successful teams than the standards of the past decade. As the Golden Knights continue to pile up wins and postseason appearances expect their national television schedule to grow. Hopefully, the networks won’t fall back to the old habits and broadcast the big named organization. It should be reserved for teams like Vegas that will put on a winning show.

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