The Golden Knights are on the verge of landing the biggest fish in NHL free agency, Alex Pietrangelo. The former Stanley Cup-winning captain of the St. Louis Blues is expected to make his decision at any moment and it would come as a shock to the entire hockey world if he ends up anywhere but Las Vegas.
Like they did with Robin Lehner, Mark Stone, and Tomas Tatar at the last three deadlines, or Max Pacioretty and Paul Stastny in prior offseasons, the Golden Knights will have made a splash in the name of bringing Vegas one step closer to winning the Cup.
However, as Isaac Newton taught us, with every action comes an equal and opposite reaction.
I worry about the Vegas reputation now. They are trying to win, which is admirable, but if they are getting a reputation for being a place that talks you into coming, what do you think the free agents today that are watching these guys get shipped out are saying to themselves? ‘That can be me in two years if I go there.’ There’s a fine line between trying to win and having some organizational loyalty. –Brian Burke, former Stanley Cup winning NHL GM
That reputation might end up getting even stronger after the fallout from the Pietrangelo deal too.
Fair to say the core of Vegas @GoldenKnights is unnerved as the Pietrangelo Watch hits Day 4. They saw Paul Stastny shipped out. They've heard all of their names in play – Fleury, Schmidt, Smith, Pacioretty, Martinez and Marchessault – as they now wait for the other shoe to drop.
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) October 12, 2020
Some rumblings regarding Vegas players being upset their names have been rumored in trades and how poorly the situation has been handled internally. #Vegasborn
— Andy Strickland (@andystrickland) October 12, 2020
As Burke said, it’s all done in the name of winning, which is great, but when dealing with highly-paid professional athletes with families, that loyalty piece has to be kept in mind.