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VGK’s Deadline Overhaul Impacted By Lack Of Chemistry

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It’s been years since Golden Knights fans have felt the empty feelings of a first round exit. Excluding the dreadful missed playoff season of 2022, Vegas has only one other first round defeat. It stunk back then and stinks again this spring.

Now that the team has been eliminated, cleaned out their lockers, and begun making summer plans, it’s time to begin diagnosing the 2023-24 season. There’s an abundance of discussions but we’ll take our time addressing them. After all, we have an unexpectedly longer summer than in years past.

How much better did the Golden Knights get after the trade deadline?

Post trade deadline the Golden Knights received extremely high grades for their late season wheeling and dealing. Completing packages for Noah Hanifin, Tomas Hertl, and Anthony Mantha, the Golden Knights put the league on notice. All signs pointed to a deep run in the playoffs with Vegas’ new flashy lineup.

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2024 Trade Deadline Roundup

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The NHL Trade Deadline is at Noon Pacific time today.

This article will be dedicated to all pertinent news surrounding the Golden Knights and this year’s deadline. It will be updated throughout the day.

  • The Golden Knights are trading for Thomas Hertl from the San Jose Sharks (Source: Bob McKenzie)
    • VGK give up a 1st round pick, David Edstrom (last year’s 1st round pick), and two 3rd round picks. VGK are getting two 3rd round picks back too.
    • San Jose are retaining 17% of his salary, so VGK will be on the hook for $6.75 million against the cap through 2030.
  • Golden Knights acquired Anthony Mantha on Tuesday in exchange for 2024 2nd round pick and 2026 4th round pick.
    • Washington is retaining 50% of Mantha’s salary
    • Mantha will carry a $2.85 million cap hit
  • Noah Hanifin has been traded to Vegas from Calgary for Daniil Miromanov, a 2025 1st round pick, and a 2025 3rd round pick.
    • The 1st round pick becomes a 2026 1st round pick if the Golden Knights trade their 2025 1st round pick before the deadline.
    • The 2025 3rd round pick becomes a 2nd round pick if the Golden Knights win a playoff round.
    • Calgary retained 50% of Hanifin’s salary in the trade.
    • Philadelphia also retained 50% of Hanifin’s remaining salary in a separate trade in which the Golden Knights gave up a 5th round pick.
    • VGK are on the hook for $1.2375 million against the cap for Hanifin.
  • Tobias Bjornfot was placed on waivers by VGK on Thursday.
    • He was claimed by the Florida Panthers.
  • Daniil Miromanov signed a two-year contract extension with the Flames for $2.5 million.
  • Malcolm Subban has been traded from St. Louis to Columbus for future considerations. He will be assigned to the Cleveland Monsters in the AHL. (Source: @reporterchris)
  • Erik Brannstrom is being traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning. (Source: @sas11h)
  • GM Kelly McCrimmon will hold a press conference at 2:00 PM today whether the Golden Knights make another move or not. (Source: Golden Knights)

Winning The Deadline Is Good, Winning Games Is Better

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Once again, the Golden Knights are going all in. They’ve already made moves to bring in a forward and a defenseman and there’s still time to bolster the lineup further before noon on Friday.

There’s one problem.

The play on the ice hasn’t instilled a ton of confidence that the reigning champions can do it again. The Golden Knights are 2-7-1 in their last 10, 12-16-2 in the last 30, and 22-22-6 in the last 50 games.

The Buffalo game, we’re in it, it’s 2-2, we give up a goal at the end of the 2nd period when we mismanage a puck. Losing hockey, to me. It’s not something that we typically do. Then it snowballs and then the same thing happens in Columbus. -Bruce Cassidy

While much of the focus will understandably be about the new players coming in, the Golden Knights have to start getting their game in order.

We’re in 8th place, so the next spot you’re out of the playoffs. Players do have to realize that and focus on the task at hand which is building your game and getting better. The urgency level is much more on us than a team that’s ahead of us. Is this going to continue or are we putting the breaks on this and start getting going here now. That’s the message. -Cassidy

Anthony Mantha will be in the lineup tonight and Noah Hanifin could join him as well. In addition, Cassidy believes they could also see a bump from the return of injured players.

We need a little pop. Theodore came in and gave us that. Hopefully Jack does cause he’s missed time and now Hutton. -Cassidy

Cassidy doesn’t believe the team is far away from turning the corner though.

I have faith in this group. I think management does and I think the players do. We’ve just got to get it done. That’s it. -Cassidy

The next chance comes tonight against the Pacific Division leading Vancouver Canucks. It’s the first of three more matchups in the regular season, a matchup the Golden Knights have dominated historically. History has seen Vegas in this very spot too.

We’ve seen the last two years at this point. One story didn’t end well and one ended really well. -Cassidy

The deadline is fun and the Golden Knights have clearly been leading the charge there, but they have to start stacking up some wins now.

Recapping The Golden Knights’ Trade Deadline History

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Sometime between now and Friday at noon the Golden Knights roster will change. It’s been widely speculated Vegas will be in the market for a high-end forward to maximize their cap space with Mark Stone on the shelf for the rest of the regular season.

Who that will be and when that deal will go down are a mystery. But, as they always say, the best predictor of the future is the past. So, let’s take a trip down memory lane to the previous six deadlines the Golden Knights have participated in.


2022-23 (Deadline: March 3rd, 2023)
March 2 – Jonathan Quick for Michael Hutchinson and 2025 7th round pick
March 1 – Teddy Blueger for Peter Diliberatore and 2024 3rd round pick
February 26 – Ivan Barbashev for Zach Dean
February 22 – Dysin Mayo for Shea Weber’s contract and 2023 5th round pick (Justin Kipkie)

The eventual Cup champions were red hot heading into the deadline and the front office was not patient. They pulled the trigger on their biggest move, Ivan Barbashev, a week in advance and then supplemented the roster with a penalty killer and a backup goalie in the days before deadline day.

2021-22 (Deadline: March 21st, 2022)
*REVERTED* March 21 – John Moore and Ryan Kesler’s contract for Evgenii Dadonov and 2023 2nd round pick
November 4 – Jack Eichel and 2023 3rd round pick (Mathieu Cataford) for Alex Tuch, Peyton Krebs, 2022 1st round pick (Noah Ostlund) and 2023 3rd round pick (Riley Heidt)

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How The Deadline Will Clue Us In On Mark Stone’s Health And UFA Plans

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As we wait anxiously to see what the Golden Knights will do at the deadline exactly a week from today, there will be so much more to the story than simply who Vegas brings in and what they are forced to give up.

The reason why the Trade Deadline is so exciting is because there’s a clock. Any time NHL GMs are put under the gun, they are forced to show their cards concerning where they see the team heading not only this year but in the future as well.

The defending champions have a lot of balls in the air that the front office is being forced to juggle. From inconsistent results to multiple injuries to crucial players to expiring contracts on a few of the team’s leading scorers, the Golden Knights have a lot to think about before the clock strikes midnight (technically it’s noon) on March 8th.

The first, and probably most important, piece of information we will be able to gather from the Golden Knights’ actions before the trade deadline is the status of Mark Stone. The latest reporting on Stone indicates he suffered a lacerated spleen that could take anywhere from six weeks to six months to heal. TSN’s Darren Dreger on yesterday’s edition of Insider Trading indicated Vegas expects Stone to be out through the regular season, but called him questionable for the playoffs.

Obviously, the Golden Knights have more information on Stone’s health than even the most plugged-in insiders, but given their history, they are highly unlikely to share it. But, what happens at the deadline will give us a sneak peek into their expectations.

If Vegas buys one or more players on expiring contracts (and doesn’t sign them to immediate extensions), it will give a strong indication that they expect Stone back before their postseason run is over. On the flip side, if the targets are those with term, it points towards an uncertainty of Stone’s return.

Why?

It’s impossible to replace Stone’s production and value to the team. Buying players on expiring contracts means they are only available for one playoff run. If that playoff run is expected to be Mark Stone-less, their value to the organization is minimized. However, if Stone is expected to play, that one playoff run will be expected to deliver Vegas its second Stanley Cup. Meanwhile, if the Golden Knights buy players with term, it guarantees additional playoff runs, and in turn, more chances to win the Cup with Vegas’ captain healthy.

The next tip we’ll get from the Golden Knights is their plans for the future of their five key pending UFAs, Jonathan Marchessault, Chandler Stephenson, Michael Amadio, William Carrier, and Alec Martinez.

Of course, deadlines spur action, so there’s a realistic possibility a contract is signed by one or more of these players. But, even if it isn’t, there will be clues.

It will be shown by how much future salary the Golden Knights take on for next season and beyond. As it currently stands, Vegas has about $21 million in expected cap space to fill the rest of their roster next season. There is a scenario that exists in which it’s enough to re-sign everyone, but the more salary they add at this deadline, the clearer it will become that one or more of those five are not in the plans.

The Golden Knights are going to be active between now and next Friday, that much we know. What else we’ll learn along the way? We’ll have to wait another 170 hours or so to find out.

Golden Knights Fend Off Doubt In Toronto As Guentzel Rumors Heat Up

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Until last night the Golden Knights hadn’t been on the right side of a lopsided result (against an NHL team, San Jose doesn’t count) since the All-Star break. Over that period the reigning champions were 3-4-1 and failed to win four of five home games. Yesterday’s offensive outpouring from Vegas wasn’t entirely unexpected but it came at the right time of the season.

Pretty good game for us, to be honest. I still think the leaders and the guys who have been in the league for a while have to step up in this little stretch, especially with Stoney and Jack out. Hopefully today was a turnaround for us. -Ivan Barbashev

When healthy, there’s no question the Golden Knights could put up five against a team as iffy on defense as the Maple Leafs. Doing it on the road, without several key players was reminiscent of last season’s extended results without captain Mark Stone.

Vegas received six goals from five different players, two from depth forwards. Along with their abundance of offense, the Golden Knights sturdy defense frustrated some of hockey’s most lethal weapons. The same formula catapulted Vegas to their first Stanley Cup championship.

They’re good enough to win. If you think you’re good enough to win then you go for it. There’s not a feeling of being easily satisfied. Last year was last year. I do believe they’re one of the teams in and around Jake Guentzel. The Penguins want guys that can help them now. If Pittsburgh is looking for young pros, (Vegas) have that in their organization. I find it very hard that Vegas is not going to take a swing at the biggest player available. – Elliotte Friedman on The Jeff Marek Show

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ESPN Questions VGK’s Future After Standing Pat In Offseason

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The Golden Knights entered the All-Star break with the fifth best record in the Western Conference and sit in second place in the Pacific Division. Considering their obstacles the reigning Stanley Cup champions should feel good about where they stand through 50 games. However, the worldwide leader in sports has doubts that Vegas’ roster is built to repeat.

Vegas failed to add or change much in the offseason following its Stanley Cup victory. Now, standing pat looks like a questionable call. The Golden Knights have fizzled following a hot start, with predictable problems piling up for a team susceptible to fatigue. This is when a lack of fresh legs can become one major regret. –Kristen Shilton on ESPN.com

The Golden Knights were indeed relatively quiet in the offseason. They took care of their unsigned players and added outside depth to the organization. Michael Amadio, Ivan Barbashev, Adin Hill, Brett Howden, and others were offered summertime extensions. No NHL players of significance were signed off the open market. It’s unfair to grade any of the Golden Knights acquisitions at the moment due to injuries, juggled lineups, and on-the-fly chemistry.

The front office did make news by trading original misfit Reilly Smith to Pittsburgh for some cap relief. Overall, their offseason transactions weren’t notable enough to make ESPN’s bottom scroll but they were the necessary decisions coming off a championship run. Since the blueprint was to repeat with the same weapons, the organization didn’t need to look too far.

ESPN’s argument for fresh legs has some credence to it though. Right now Vegas could use healthy, impactful, and lesser worn-down players in their lineup instead of a slew of Silver Knights. Local fans have enjoyed seeing the pipeline grow but Vegas is a championship team built around veterans.

It’s reasonable for the Golden Knights to feel comfortable running out the same lineup to start the year. Their plan might have included a retool at the March deadline if needed. It’s looking like they will. A deadline option could be a way to get fresh legs and outside impact in the lineup.

(Sean) Monahan has enormous respect around the league for how much he’s come back from. This was a guy who a couple of years ago, people were thinking is he going to be able to continue playing. Not only is he playing, he’s thriving. –Elliotte Friedman on Hocey Night In Canada

Some names that are circulating are Anaheim’s Adam Henrique, Pittsburgh’s Jake Guentzel, and the aforementioned Sean Monahan. Is Vegas in desperate need of any of them? Likely not, but an extra weapon for a deep playoff run could boost up a tired team attempting to repeat as league champions.

Are the folks at ESPN right to question Vegas’ offseason inactivity? On the surface, sure. However, Vegas is still in a position of power. They’re looking like they’ll land in a desired playoff spot and will hopefully be fully healthy. And we all know how magical it can be when the Golden Knights have their full lineup.

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