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Teams Bidding To Beef Up For Future Postseason Matchup With Vegas

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The NHL trade deadline is five days away and like the Golden Knights, teams are eager to improve their rosters before the postseason begins. Certain names have been front and center but as of now, Vegas, nor their adversaries have acquired any impact players with the exception of the Dallas Stars. The Central Division leader traded for in-demand defenseman Chris Tanev late last month. The swap is significant since Tanev is a right-handed defenseman and we all know there’s nothing that’ll catch a coach’s attention more than an available right-handed defenseman.

It’s a huge luxury. When you get a lefty and lefty (on defense), you lose about a third of your ice when you play your off hand. Just offensively, you lose a third of the ice. You get some good looks when you jump into holes because you’re on your off hand. Having two lefties, passing for your partner is a little different spot than when you have a lefty-righty. There is an adjustment for everybody who does that. It is a luxury these days. -Barry Trotz in 2019

Two teams that Vegas defeated in February, Edmonton and Toronto, are now open buyers for a RHD. Right off the break, the Golden Knights ended the Oilers historic 16-game winning streak. In that game, Edmonton dressed three LHD and three RHD. Four of the six were -1 or worse, including their two righties. After that matchup, the Oilers are feverishly targeting an upgraded right-handed defenseman. On Tuesday in Toronto, the Maple Leafs were forced to dress six left-handed defensemen. The Golden Knights forecheck exposed Toronto’s unbalanced blue line pressuring the entire left-handed defensive unit.

Golden Knights coach Bruce Cassidy’s game plan against lefty pairings is a big reason why contenders are diversifying their defense. It was perfectly executed in Toronto and throughout last year’s playoffs. This week Western Conference teams will possibly overbid to address their weak side.

On D-to-D [passes] in the neutral zone, sometimes if you take a good angle, you can limit where they can go with the puck or force a quicker play. Pucks coming around the boards in the offensive zone, you recognize you can get on top of them a little quicker, because they have to take it backhand to forehand. -Bruce Cassidy

Based on history, Oilers GM Ken Holland expects to be highly active in the upcoming days. Like Vegas’ front office, there’s a track record of buying at the deadline. Under Holland’s administration, Edmonton added nine significant players to their lineup over the past four trade deadlines. The GM’s transactions haven’t worked out but there’s no doubt he’ll try again. Most likely a newly acquired RHD will head to Edmonton to help counter Cassidy’s postseason strategies.

Dallas became the first Western Conference contender to reach a deal for a right-handed defenseman. Stars coach Pete DeBoer knows better than anyone, to win the West they’ll have to beat Vegas. Other clubs are certainly thinking the same. Western contenders are widely expected to beef up their lineups, knowing full well the reigning champions will also.

Vegas’ cavernous cap space may be more problematic for opponents than Cassidy’s weak side pressure in the playoffs.






  1. Jim

    “as of now, Vegas, nor their adversaries have acquired any impact players with the exception of the Dallas Stars.”

    say what?????

    Vancouver acquired Lindholm and Zadorov from Calgary in separate deals

    Winnipeg acquired Sean Monahan

  2. Rashaad

    Mark Spector – Sportsnet Alberta Journalist

    It’s my belief that EDM will not be able to match the best offer for Guentzel – likely Vegas.
    You never know, but I’m expecting Holland to shop from the “rest of the market” and still have plenty of choice.

    • Pistol Pete

      Guentzel-Eichel-Marchessault? Sick. What’s the expression? Don’t count your chickens before they hatch?

  3. Emmanuel

    Lets hope they get help on the wing, look at tonights bottom 3 line wingers….OUCH!

    Ivan Barbashev — Jack Eichel — Jonathan Marchessault

    Paul Cotter — William Karlsson — Michael Amadio

    Grigori Denisenko — Chandler Stephenson — Keegan Kolesar

    Mason Morelli — Nicolas Roy — Brendan Brisson

    • Jim

      the Helicopter lines—-no wings :)

    • Pistol Pete

      Four centers deep. Roy is back where he belongs. On that heavy shutdown line. It won’t be heavy tonight but I was expecting Cassidy to run his four centers, the ones that won the Cup. The holes still hurt though: Stone, Dorofeyev, Carrier and Howden.

      • Pistol Pete

        So not four centers deep. Brisson is out which is presumably trade-related.


        Three guys from Henderson. This is never easy.

  4. Tim

    Like I said yesterday we have something none of the contender have and that’e Ottawa’s #1 pick this year or the next two years. The reality is Ottawa isn’t going to make the top 8 in the east this year and beyond. That being said that will be in the draw to possibly get the #1 pick. That to me is a lot more tantalizing then any of the playoff teams including us where the first draft choice will be in the 20’s up to 32. Everyone want’s to sell the farm on Guentzel as a free agent after this year. With 10 million to play with I’d be a little more selective and get a couple of players with term is your going to give up valuable assets. George and Kelly know the league far better then anyone on Sin Bin so I’m hoping they surprise us with some hidden gems. Pittsburgh wants to hold a team hostage and hammy don’t play that game. they can they think what he’s worth and shove it where the sun don’t shine.

    • NAM

      My opinion (of course) is that we shouldn’t sell the farm on Guentzel and instead try and get several guys that are less talked about. Not just trying to be a homer here, but I really thing putting Reilly Smith back with Karl is free chemistry and you know what you will get and you shouldn’t need to sell the bank. Then one or two players less talked about right now like a Jordan Eberle or a Tarasenko or someone else. These are just examples. Make this team have 4 lines again like last year’s run. Doing just one home run swing in Guentzel may not be enough to do anything. Will he have chemistry. I he still hurt and will that hamper his play. This team suffered all year with only 2 good lines and then Karl with random line mates. That is not enough. Fill out the lines and honestly whittle down some of the weak links.

      • Emmanuel

        Guentzel may not be 100% and how good is he REALLY w/out those 2 Pens C’s?
        That being said its not enough to get “help”, it’s scoring they need.

        Also Wennberg looks like he’s being traded tonight or tomorrow, VGK was one of the top buyers for him…we will see.

        Personally i’d like to see an “out of left field trade” like with the Yotes…..

      • Pistol Pete

        I disagree. Guentzel would be huge for this team. He would be dynamite with Eichel who first and foremost is a puck mover and set-up guy. He scores too of course, in fact at just 28 points under a career point a game he’s actually a little closer than Guentzel himself (37 points under a point a game). “Selling the farm” (and they did) for Eichel worked, why not for Guentzel? They already are four lines deep, minus Smith, how do you think they won the Cup? Solid D corp four lines deep, all forwards committed to defending and Adin Hill. An area Guentzel can improve on is his defense. Under Cassidy I bet he will. Like Eichel he wants to win a Cup and you do taking care of your own end first just like Eichel learned to from Cassidy. Do that and the offense comes.

    • Rashaad

      Hey Tim, whenever a teams trades a first round pick, there is always a provision that the pick be lottery protected. No team would ever risk giving up a pick that could be first overall.

  5. Jim

    the NJ Devils fired Lindy Ruff

  6. Jim

    apparently the lines are
    20-71-22 Stephenson is moved to LW and Brisson is scratched

    • Pistol Pete

      Brisson out is probably trade-related! Guentzel hopefully. Folks may not like this but I am thinking Dorofeyev and Brisson, hopefully just Brisson of course.

      • Pistol Pete


        • Pistol Pete

          For Guentzel the PIT GM is said to be asking more for prospects than for draft picks. If true, Brisson AND Dorofeyev makes sense.

  7. Pistol Pete

    Brisson sent back to Henderson but probably trade-related, right?

  8. Jim

    this is going from bad to worse

    down 2-0 to Columbus

  9. Jim

    Morelli lights a fire. tied up now 2-2

    but they still look like shit in the defensive zone

  10. Rashaad

    Here is a very young Brendan Brisson with Sid Crosby. Would be a cool story if Brisson played with Crosby.

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