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Ex-VGK Players Miss Vegas More Than You’d Expect

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Players will move on from the Vegas Golden Knights each offseason. It’s just a part of hockey. The crumby business side of things. But one roster, one group of misfits, that became the 2017-18 Western Conference championship team will never move on from Las Vegas or the hearts of Golden Knights fans.

This past week, former Vegas players Luca Sbisa and Tomas Tatar made their first appearances back to Vegas since their painful Game 5 loss in the Stanley Cup finals.

It’s funny, this building is wild, it’s crazy. It felt like a playoff game again. -Luca Sbisa, Islanders defenseman

After their brief return to their old place of business the two players were all smiles happy to bump into their old teammates, coaches, trainers, and heck even us.

A lot of memories. A lot of relationships that I keep in touch with. I love those guys over there, but it’s always fun to play against them. -Sbisa

With limited action this season, the former Knight normally isn’t requested by the media after a game. But when I requested him, he came out with a warm smile on his face. Glad to have the old gang of misfit reporters, like myself, to chat and reminisce about last season.

It’s different. I’ve never stepped foot in this dressing room. Obviously, I was used to the other side. Definitely nice when we touched down here, I felt like I was just going to drive to home. Instead I went to the hotel. -Sbisa

Like the entire 2017-18 roster, Sbisa is proud of his accomplishments with the Golden Knights. The d-man was a steady player when healthy, and an outstanding person off the ice.

It’s hard to be mad about whatever happened here, it was just a great run and we all enjoyed it. – Tomas Tatar, Canadiens forward

Like Sbisa, Montreal forward Tomas Tatar spoke highly of his experience in Vegas, although short, and called it one of the best moments of his career.

It’s always nice to be back. As soon as we landed it reminded me of a lot of good things. Like you said that run that we had, even though I came late, it’s a memorable thing and that other locker room is a great group of guys. I miss them that’s for sure. They were really nice to me and you just give a little extra effort when you are playing your old team and I enjoyed it. -Tatar

One former teammate that welcomed Tatar and Sbisa with open ice hits was the big and lovable Ryan Reaves. Both players had brief tie-ups with #75 in their separate games against Vegas. Perhaps just a few love taps.

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Luca Sbisa Could Be The Perfect Stop Gap

5-on-5Power PlayPenalty Kill6-on-55-on-6Offensive Zone Start %
Theodore18:434:270:1163.9%
Pietrangelo17:572:483:210:230:1353.8%
Hague17:131:3544.3%
McNabb16:363:100:1236.7%
Whitecloud16:311:520:0740.9%
Martinez16:242:0446.1%
Korczak15:380:260:2451.5%
Hutton14:551:150:1763.6%
Pachal13:181:3239.3%
Eichel14:064:202:050:260:1160.3%
Stephenson13:103:041:430:070:1161.1%
Karlsson12:332:512:150:160:0851.1%
Roy12:061:441:0841.2%
Howden11:4042.1%
Barbashev12:591:4458.4%
Stone12:354:041:430:200:0867.2%
Marchessault12:324:020:2071.1%
Amadio11:370:5452.0%
Cotter11:360:2250.6%
Carrier11:0644.6%
Kolesar10:3437.7%
Dorofeyev12:040:5656.9%

Tonight, the puck drops on the latest season of the NHL as the Golden Knights look to defend their status as Stanley Cup champions.

Here at SinBin.vegas, we do a lot during the season and we want to make sure you are up-to-date and aware of all of it.

On The Website

  • Daily stories
    • We publish at least once every day of the week except Sunday (unless there’s a game). We’ve been doing it since August 26th, 2015 and there are no plans to stop.
  • Injury Report brought to you by Adam S. Kutner and Associates
    • This page is our comprehensive rundown of the latest info on all injured Golden Knights. The page is updated as soon as news is released. It also contains historical injury data from not only this season but also years past.
  • Line History
    • Every lineup from every game in the history of the franchise. This page is updated following each game and includes the full lineup, healthy scratches, injured players, and the frequency of use for each line and pair. Lines from the current season can be found here, lines from the previous six pre, regular, and postseasons can be found here.
  • Historical Odds by William Hill
    • This page shows the closing moneyline on every game in franchise history. Plus, there are trend calculations showing how much money has been won or lost against each team in the league, home games, as favorites, and more.
  • Most Recent Odds by William Hill
    • Up-to-date odds for the next game as well as futures such as VGK’s odds to win the Stanley Cup, the Western Conference, or the Pacific Division are shown on the sidebar of the site.
  • Points To Elimination
    • Hockeys version of the “magic number” is kept on the sidebar of the site and updated daily. Watch the numbers decrease over the course of the season as the Golden Knights attempt to clinch their place in the playoffs. (An explanation of how Points To Elimination works can be found here)

Social Media

  • Twitter/X
    • @SinBinVegas remains our first stop for the latest updates on everything about the Golden Knights.
  • Facebook
    • Every article published on the site and all significant news are published to our Facebook page.
  • Instagram
    • Not our most commonly used platform but when we have pictures to share, they will always appear there.
  • YouTube
    • All live reaction shows, or what we still lovingly call “Periscopes” are published on our YouTube channel. YouTube is also where to go to comment during our live shows. All shows are available to watch on-demand after the live airing too.
  • Discord
    • A chat server dedicated solely to being a fan of the Vegas Golden Knights. Interact with other VGK fans during each game and chat in between. *The Discord server is only open to join when we are accepting new users. You can join now until October 17th. The next time we will open Discord to new users has not been determined.*

Contests

  • SinBingo brought to you by PUCKDROP Coffee
    • An interactive game played alongside the 2023-24 season with prizes including tickets to a playoff game. Request your card before the end of the month to play.
  • HockeySquares
    • Played on Twitter during specific games, 365 random fans are assigned a square corresponding to a goal scorer and primary assister of a particular game. Prizes are awarded for every goal scored. Retweet on the day of the game to enter. The first scheduled games are on October 21 and October 27 presented by Giordano’s Pizza. There are also games planned for November presented by Revolt Hockey Co.
  • Pizza Points by Giordano’s
    • During one month of the season, fans will retweet a prompt before each game. Every game you retweet you will be assigned a random player for that game. You amass points for every goal and assist that player scores. A leaderboard is kept for the entire month and prizes including free pizza are given away to the winners. It has not yet been determined which month we will play this season, but it will likely be in 2024.
  • Miscellaneous
    • Over the course of the season we give away all sorts of free stuff across all of our platforms. From tickets to memorabilia to our first giveaway of the season, a seat in the VGK charity poker tournament, keep an eye out on our social media for plenty of giveaways this year.

Offers from SinBin sponsors this season

  • William Hill Race and Sportsbook
    • Sign up for a new account and receive $50. Use promo code BET50 at signup.
  • Adam Kutner
    • Kutner Power Play contest continues in Season 7. Use #AdamKutnerPowerPlay when VGK get a man advantage. One random person wins tickets every time VGK score on the PP.
  • Giordano’s Pizza
    • 10% off your entire carryout order every night there’s a road game. Must order by phone. Mention “SinBin Road Trip Deal” when you call in your order.
    • HockeySquares games during every VGK vs CHI game.
    • Pizza Points during one month this season.
  • Graffiti Park Las Vegas
    • Mention SinBin and get the special friends and family deal on custom graffiti artwork for your house, man cave, or business.
  • Vegas Choice Dental
    • Presenting sponsor of the SinBin.vegas podcast. Special offers will be announced in the next episode of the podcast
  • SportsTown
    • Mention SinBin in-store for special offers. Keep an eye on SinBin social media for new products, exclusive discounts, and more.
  • Jimmerson Law Firm
    • Presenting sponsor of all SinBin Periscopes and Twitter Spaces.
  • Inscriptagraphs
    • Watch SinBin social media for giveaways, exclusive products and more.
  • PUCKDROP Coffee
    • Presenting sponsor of SinBingo 2023. Use NICOLAS at checkout for 14% off your entire order. Also check out the special SinBin sample pack.
  • Revolt Hockey Co.
    • HockeySquares games starting in November.
  • Crovetti Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine
    • Vegas Sports Doc, Dr. Pinegar, continues as the SinBin injury expert giving updates on injuries throughout the season.

Pothier: The Golden Knights Are Not Better Today Than They Were On June 7th

As much as we love Paul Stastny, and we do love Paul Stastny, creating a dynasty involves more than Paul Stastny. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

It’s a simple question, are the Golden Knights a better team today than they were the day they came up three wins short of winning the Stanley Cup? The answer is also as simple, at least in my opinion, and it’s no.

We want to be stronger next year than we were this year. I can’t say we’re going to win more games, or go further in the playoffs, but we want to be a better team next year…That’s the goal. George is working on it right now. –The Creator on Vegas Hockey Hotline on 6/22/18

The Creator said he has daily discussions with George McPhee on how to improve the team. Since that conversation, some can make the argument the Golden Knights got worse.

Let’s start with what they lost.

David Perron: 67 Points (16G, 50A), 0.94 Points Per Game, 0.71 Assists Per Game, 22 Goals Created, 17:49 ATOI, +1

James Neal: 44 Points (25G, 19A), 0.62 Points Per Game, 2.85 SOG Per Game, 17:11 ATOI, -11

Luca Sbisa: 14 Points (2G, 12A), 54 Blocks, 30 Total Goals For, 30 Total Goals Against, 19:32 ATOI, +8

Now let’s look at the Golden Knights additions.

Paul Stastny: 53 Points (16G, 37A), 0.68 Points Per Game, 0.47 Assists Per Game, 54.9 Faceoff Win %, 18:18 ATOI, +1

Daniel Carr: 16 Points (6G, 10A), 0.42 Points Per Game, 1.37 SOG Per Game, 12:08 ATOI, +2

Nick Holden: 17 Points (4G, 13A), 83 Blocks, 64 Total Goals For, 73 Total Goals Against, 19:00 ATOI, -5

It’s not fair to compare the loss of Neal and Perron, to Vegas’ new offensive additions. Stastny’s a fine player, but he’s not an elite center that can make up the production of two lost wingers. There’s only a few of those, and one of them passed for Toronto.

We have a lot of money to bring in some quality players. If we can get the players we’re going to spend the money. -The Creator

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“Not Everyone Will Be Back”; A Look Into VGK’s Free Agency Situation (Plus 9 Predictions)

Reading between the lines, either Neal or Perron likely won’t be back. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The Golden Knights were close to the ultimate goal, but in the end, they fell three wins short. So, they now head to the offseason with a plan in mind, make the team three wins better than they were a year ago.

There are plenty of decisions to be made with the roster as currently constructed and oodles of cap space available to bring in outside help.

The reality is in a salary cap world you have to make some tough decisions, and with this team, not everyone will be back. We’ve all learned lessons over the years, if you examine what happens in the salary cap world you have to be smart about what you do and the contracts you hand out or it hurts your team. We’ll do our best to keep this group together but there are always three or four changes. -George McPhee

The Golden Knights have four major unrestricted free agents (UFA’s) which are set to hit the open market on July 1st. They are James Neal, David Perron, Ryan Reaves, and Luca Sbisa. Also, Maxime Lagace, Jason Garrison, Brandon Pirri, Mikhail Grabovski, Clayton Stoner, Chris Casto, and Paul Thompson will become UFA’s in 20 days.

It doesn’t matter where in the lineup, you have to be smart about what you do. -McPhee

Then there are the restricted free agents (RFA’s) of which the Golden Knights have plenty. The most notable is William Karlsson. In short, Karlsson is not going anywhere. Unless something unprecedented happens, he’ll absolutely remain the first line center for Vegas next season. However, the projections on his contract are all over the map.

Technically, the Golden Knights only have to extend a “qualifying offer” to Karlsson of $1 million. This will happen soon and then Karlsson and his agent will request arbitration. An arbitration date will be set sometime in late July to early August. That will basically be the deadline for the Golden Knights and Karlsson to reach a long-term extension.

Tomas Nosek, Colin Miller, Oscar Dansk, Teemu Pulkkinen, Stefan Matteau, and Philip Holm are also all arbitration eligible and would follow the same process.

Finally, there are the two younger players who are RFA’s in Shea Theodore and William Carrier. Due to their age, neither are arbitration eligible. Thus, the Golden Knights can simply extend them a qualifying offer (Theodore -$874,125, Carrier – $787,500) and the player will have to sign it and remain with the team through next season. However, especially with a player like Theodore, this offseason may be a good time to lock him up long-term before he gets arbitration rights and has more negotiating power. The two sides can come to an agreement on a long-term deal at any time.

That brings us to the magical world of unrestricted free agency which opens on July 1st. Names like John Tavares, James van Riemsdyk, and John Carlson will be thrown around with basically every team that has cap space. The Golden Knights have plenty of cap space so get used to seeing the big names linked to Vegas, but the Golden Knights also have a GM that’s historically not a big spender in free agency.

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NHL GM’s May Try To Copy Golden Knights’ Balanced D Unit

Since coming in for Jon Merrill, Sbisa has been excellent with Colin Miller. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Throughout the postseason, analysts have talked about the Golden Knights as a future model for teams living under a tight salary cap. The players’ average age, salary, skill, desire, leadership, and unity is what makes Vegas so ideally well-balanced.

We don’t have that superstar D-man that has to play thirty minutes. As a group, we’re pretty balanced. Everyone can do each other’s job… we’re a real tight unit. It’s been fun. -Luca Sbisa

Signing a defenseman, or any player, to a massive contract can sometimes hurt a club’s progression. Erik Karlsson and Drew Doughty averaging up to 30 minutes a night doesn’t guarantee great team defense. Instead, the plan of balancing minutes among three defensive pairings has been wildly effective for Vegas.

Ice time is pretty spread. In certain situations guys play more but I think everyone is pretty fresh because every guy plays around 20 minutes. You don’t have to play 28-30 minutes over 82 games because eventually it’ll catch up to you. -Sbisa

Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos said he expects the Golden Knights “passive aggressive forecheck” a problem for Washington’s defense. The same unit he said looked “done” against Tampa. Through 15 games in the postseason, no one has said the Golden Knights defensemen looked tired.

A D-pair that only plays 12 minutes a night, I don’t think they’d play at their best. If everyone is getting regular shifts it gets you into a rhythm playing more at their abilities. -Sbisa

Like other leagues, the NHL is a copycat league. Other GM’s have to be taking notes, drooling over the Golden Knights success. A team with four solid lines, six reliable d-men, and a lights-out goaltender is a blueprint every franchise dreams of designing.

I think we’ve done a good job blocking shots, giving them shots from the outside. They may create some chances, that’s the way hockey is. -Sbisa

Sbisa and the other Golden Knights defensemen will have to continue playing brilliantly against the Capitals. If Vegas can keep fresh on the ice by sticking to their gameplan, Washington’s offense will have a hard time getting close to “Superman” Fleury.

And if that happens and Vegas wins the Cup, every NHL GM may look to add ‘Golden’ to their team name too.

“Big” Problem Against Sharks Even Bigger Problem Against Jets

San Jose had its best lucky when they were right in Fleury’s face. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

By now you’ve heard about Winnipeg’s size and skill. It was on full display last night as the Jets outworked Nashville defensively and offensively. All postseason, Winnipeg has effectively used their size in front of the net creating messy traffic and high-scoring chances. Something San Jose did well against Vegas in the second round.

They are always kind of in my kitchen, right? -Marc-Andre Fleury

Overall, San Jose had plenty of chances in front of the net, but was mostly unsuccessful.

We had some defensive breakdowns that we kind of got lucky. They hit a number of posts. They were buzzing in front of our net pretty good. -Shea Theodore

Tomas Hertl (6’2″/220) used a mix of size and talent, tallying three goals in six games. Two were almost identical in that Vegas defenders couldn’t clear the puck, or San Jose attackers. Notice the swarm of teal surrounding Fleury.

Five Golden Knights allowed four Sharks countless opportunities to convert. Inches away from Fleury.

I think San Jose was one of the best teams in front of the net. That last game, they threw everything at net. Flower made some big saves and the post helped us a couple of times. -Luca Sbisa

In the end, VGK’s defensive lapses didn’t hurt them from advancing, but it could in the conference final. Winnipeg’s net presence is similar, if not better than San Jose’s attack.

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Gallant Pulls Perfect Strings To Once Again Unleash The Big Game Golden Knights

A few moves by Gallant and all of a sudden the Golden Knights looked themselves again for the biggest game of the year. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Individual awards in hockey are earned in the regular season. That’s why Gerard Gallant already has the Jack Adams Award sealed up. However, heading into Game 5, the soon-to-be Coach of the Year made some big boy decisions, and boy did they pay off for his Golden Knights.

Gallant inserted three players into his lineup, two of which hadn’t seen the ice in the playoffs, and made a line swap in an attempt to jump-start the 2nd and 3rd lines. 60 minutes of hockey later, and if there was a Coach of the Playoffs award, Gallant’s name could begin to be engraved on that one too.

Just some hungry guys ready to play and I wanted competitive guys in there playing tonight. When you lose a game sometimes you go through with your coaching staff and look around and say Lindberg has been working really good in practice, Carpenter has been a solid player for us all year long and he missed a couple of games, and Sbisa was due to get back in our lineup sooner or later. I thought all of them performed really well tonight and it was a good night for them. -Gerard Gallant

The additions to the lineup and the move to switch David Perron and Alex Tuch were some of the biggest reasons the Golden Knights took the 3-2 lead in the series.

Tuch was unbelievable. Lindy first game of the playoffs, wow, he was great too. Carpy on the 4th line was a big boost. He was all over the ice. -David Perron

Tuch scored twice. Lindberg and Carpenter each got assists, and Perron looked like himself for the first time during the playoffs netting two assists and creating a ton more chances.

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