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Teams Gearing Up For Jack Eichel Era In Vegas

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The football season is over and the spotlight has officially been handed over to the  Golden Knights and the NHL. It’s the time of year when fringe fans become real fans and the mainstream networks pay a little more attention. It’s a great time for the league. The playoff chase begins, divisional battles heat up, and teams are already beefing up for a potential matchup with the Golden Knights.

Jack Eichel’s highly-anticipated debut is not only creating news here in Las Vegas but across the league.

Calgary has proven this season that they can hang with Vegas. Now with the addition of Tyler Toffoli, the Flames offense became a lot more dangerous. The former LA King reunites with his old coach Darryl Sutter and brings a little kryptonite with him to Calgary. In last year’s semifinal loss to Montreal, Toffoli registered four points in six semifinal games against the Golden Knights. The former Canadien adds confidence and playoff success to a team that erased the Golden Knights 6-0 last week.

Why let someone else enter the race? I do think they were talking about the possibility of making it a Ben Chiarot trade too. At the end of the day Calgary decided ‘this is the guy we wanted, our coach knows him and we’re going out and getting him.’ This is exactly what they need, a scorer. He’s one of the best scorers available. –Elliotte Friedman on 32 Thoughts Podcast

Now that Captain Mark Stone is on LTIR the playoff roster picture looks a lot clearer. We all know the drill, there would have been cap casualties had the captain been fit to play. Stone’s contract relief might be enough to create a loaded playoff roster that could force other clubs to make improvements.

Other teams that are rumored to be seeking assistance in the postseason are the Colorado Avalanche, St. Louis Blues, and Minnesota Wild. As of today, the Blues would be the Golden Knights’ first opponent in the playoffs. With that in mind, St. Louis, like Calgary, may also find interest in players with playoff success against Vegas. Friedman mentioned Ben Chiarot but another defenseman could fit on a Western contender as well.

The asking price is always going to be higher at this stage because you are waiting for the buyers and the sellers to truly define. It’s really a challenge between the buyer market and the seller market. There is a strong market for Jeff Petry. They’re looking at Petry and the body of work. They’re thinking back to his influence in helping Montreal reach the Stanley Cup Final last year. There is strong interest and there will be a strong market. –Darren Dreger on TSN 690

Targeting big defenseman could be of interest for a team expecting to face the Golden Knights. Considering what Chiarot and Petry did to Vegas in the semifinals it seems like a good strategy. Colorado and Flyer’s captain Claude Giroux are linked in rumors and Minnesota has a few bucks in cap space to play with at the deadline. Teams will need to advance their own rosters if they intend on eliminating a healthy Golden Knights club.

One of the things that I think Vegas always knew was that injuries were a factor. Coming out of All-Star break they were fifth in the league in man games lost due to injury. I think they always knew that there was a possibility of health could make the decision. People are going to scream bloody murder. He legitimately has a back injury, he’s missed twenty games. Kelly McCrimmon was very tight lipped about it. Obviously you want your people to be healthy but if you can pull this off they would do it just like anybody else would try it. –Friedman on 32 Thoughts Podcast

While the western Stanley Cup hopefuls get better the league will keep their eyes on the Golden Knights. With Stone out and Eichel activated in the same week the questions are out there, heck I have them. It doesn’t sound as if NHL will be monitoring Stone like the FBI but he should expect some checkups.

I think the NHL will be on the Golden Knights. They’ll be on him to make sure that he can’t come back. That’s the one thing they do now. They’ve had Shea Weber come in and get looked at a couple of times and they’ll do the same thing with Stone. –Friedman on 32 Thoughts Podcast

By the start of the postseason, it’s possible Vegas will have a healthy Eichel, Martinez, and Stone in their lineup on top of Max Pacioretty, Reilly Smith, William Karlsson, Jonathan Marchessault, and Shea Theodore. If teams don’t load up by the deadline they could be outclassed come playoff time.

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77 Comments

  1. One thing is for sure. VGK FO has rolled the dice big.

    • Julie

      Funny how the article is about Eichel and barely a word about him in the comments this far. That’s the power of …dare I say his name….F-l-e-u-r-y. Kray Kray!

      • Julie – not much to say about him, the next individual to walk on water in some eyes on this site is the answer to all the knights problems. LOL. He is not and will not be the answer to the lack of winning attitude issue IMO. Pretty interesting about the walrus. l wonder what mgt is thinking about their 25 mill investment now which wasn’t necessary in the first place. I can’t even imagine Fleury being interested in returning here. but who k owns I think it was Thg who posted he still has his house here but of course that could be BS like a great deal of Info on this site is. Hope your doing ok l would imagine your husband is not real happy with the Oilers.

        • Julie

          Hey, HD – how are you? You are right about the Oilers and my husband. It’s no bueno. Most Canadians are patient by and large except maybe Trudeau these days when he’s not hiding somewhere. Hockey should be the universal thing that brings everyone together. 🙂

          You mentioned Eichel and how many feel is the saving hope for VGK. In the business world, one of the first things you learn is that if a company feels they can’t survive without or pin all hopes on one person, that person has to go. Alternatively, if there is a void or problem in production, it has to be filled. But that is only successful if that new person works with the existing system. I don’t know what Eichel will actually do for the team. I know what people want him to do. Like Lehner.

          • Richie-Rich

            Spot on analysis. VGK FO doesn’t place value on consistency or team chemistry. They have taken “this is a business” to a cold hearted place that at the end will not bear fruit.

            Let’s just hope that when that day comes that there is still enough left for the new management team to recover quickly. I suspect that Eichel will be a part of that future.

  2. trade

    looks like Fleury is coming back to VGK.

    Lehner has a torn labrum in his shoulder, and may eventually need surgery.

    Frank Seravalli of Daily Faceoff reports that the Golden Knights have expressed interest in bringing Fleury back to Vegas.

    The interest is because of an injury to Robin Lehner, which Seravalli reports is a torn labrum in his shoulder. Surgery is an eventual possibility and would suggest that the Golden Knights desperately need to address the goaltending situation in the coming weeks. Logan Thompson was recalled yesterday from the minor leagues when Lehner missed practice.

  3. LVsc

    Laurent Brossoit just got real important in the coming games in the week ahead.

  4. THE hockey GOD

    Is Eichel going to be wearing the C ? Now that Stone is gone ?

    Also, for those hoping that the injury bug will end by start of post season; think again. The trend is in. VGK has not thrown that monkey off their back. And with all injured players “likely” coming back, that means that the probability of re injury of the old, or an old, injury is highly likely.

    this team is quickly becoming a M*A*S*H unit. I have seen this before. Team riddled by injuries usually take the franchise south pretty fast.

    So much for the back stabbing , and “they” promised MAF was going to retire here pot stirrers.

    Whoever predicted RL would last so long, was off by one month. Give that man a cookie.

    • You do not give the C to #9. That C has to go to Marchy – period.

    • Well, Marchy or Petro……who averages more ice time than anyone else.

      • THE hockey GOD

        marchy doesn’t even wear the A. Smith, no. 7 and no 3 wore A in last game.

        I would say Smith or petro. If Marty was back with team I would give him the C.

    • Blitz

      I will collect my cookie now. I am pretty sure I said Jan/Feb time frame which puts me right on time. I want two cookies.

      • THE hockey GOD

        how about one of those Jerry Seinfeld big black and white cookies ??

        • If you all recall, I predicted that we would know everything we needed to know about Lehner by mid-January. By mid-January I was proven right about him. He is an average goalie on a 12th ranked NHL roster that has holes on defense. He has too many holes in his skill set to be an elite goalie or to carry an average team to a Cup championship.

          We now enter the Brossoit/Thompson era. Will they give the keys to the net to Laurent, or will they go shopping for a starter?

          McCrimmon says no to Fleury, but what about Grubauer? Would the Kraken be willing to deal at this point? The price would be enormous, but VGK has a lot of pieces available (Smith, Brossoit, Thompson, Kolesar, Patrick, Janmark, possibly Whitecloud or Coghlan). Grubauer would be a major upgrade in net.

        • Blitz

          Yes, a Jerry Seinfeld big black and white cookies would more than fulfill my two cookie expectation. 🙂

          • THE hockey GOD

            @ blitz , you know it’s a cookie, about nothing . Don’t get your expectations too high.

          • Blitz

            @THG Dammit, I just want a cookie. I am surrounded by V-day candy, which is good here or there, but ultimately too sweet. Cookies > Candy. “If people would only look to the cookie, all our problems would be solved”.

  5. Blitz

    It’s pretty interesting what you can do with cap space when you have a good team AND cap space. Calgary is scary. Last game showed that they absolutely can roll over VGK with what they already had. Add Toffoli and boy oh boy. Granted they will have to play the series to really determine the outcome, but my confidence is a least rattled a bit.

    I play GM once in a while and I still feel loading a team heavy with 5 million dollar players is the way to go. Avoid the super star 9-10 million dollar guys. I have alot of respect for Toffoli and in my head he was a 6-7 million dollar player. Was surprised after just looking it up that he is a 4.2 million dollar player. Damn, for every 10 million dollar Mark Stone/Petra/Eichel/Etc you could have Scheifele/Toffoli’s or a Marchy/Karlsson etc etc. Then throw a 1 mil Perry on top for even more cap space. It is just insane to me that you would build your team top heavy when there is soooo much talent in the middle tier that you could have from L1 to L4.

  6. trade

    Vgk placed Adam Brooks on waivers

  7. Galdom

    I honestly thought you guys were joking about Marc Andre Fleury. I almost drove off the road when I saw it was legit.

    ROTFL

    You can’t even script this as a movie as it would sound too unbelievable.

    • knights fan in minny

      hold the wheel tight galdom i saw it i said i must be dreaming and its to early for april fools

  8. knights fan in minny

    never a dull moment in sin city

  9. Blitz

    David Schoen:

    GM Kelly McCrimmon on a potential Marc-Andre Fleury reunion: “There is absolutely no credence to that rumor at all. I wouldn’t normally speak (officially) on such things, but there will be so much racket about this, it’s important to let people know that’s not going to happen.”

    • THE hockey GOD

      looks like the farce of franchise and his agent, frick and frack duo, burned their bridges and left too many buried bodies in their farty wake.

      • THE hockey GOD

        or GM GM trying to drive down the asking price !( doubtful)

        • Blitz

          The reason is certainly one of several choices:

          1. Fleury said hell no.
          2. Vegas can’t/won’t pay CHI asking price.
          3. McCrimmon (aka Stuart Mackenzie) won’t bring him back, because that would under mind his stupid decision in the first place.
          4. VGK enjoys pissing off its fanbase and changing that would be counter productive to its ultimate goal.
          5. PDB finally has achieved his ‘no personally’ locker room club house. No Fleury’s Allowed!

          • The hockey GOD

            I think MAF still has house here so I pick 2 3 and 5

          • Julie

            Pretty sure it’s number 1, but Pete couldn’t take it with Fleury back, so 5 is an option after much crying to the FO.

  10. They are also looking at Georgev (Rangers) who has an .898 save %. Not very impressive.

    • Julie

      I would rather see Fleury go to the Rangers than back to Vegas, myself.

      • Daryl

        Good chance he ends up with the Caps…. Who will become Cup favorites

        • Julie

          That would be crazy too, wouldn’t it? I saw his comment today that if he moved it would be to a team with a good chance of winning, but it’s a big “if”. Also that he was thinking of playing another year after this. I know he doesn’t care for Ovechkin much, but who knows.

  11. Galdom

    Frank Seravalli is a legit insider. If he says Robin Lehner has a torn labrum it’s probably true and I think that’s a 3 to 4 month injury. This is why you keep Laurent Brossoit around. It’s cool that they checked in on Georgiev, however even though he is the Rangers back up I don’t think he is available for the same reason, insurance against an Igor Shesterkin injury.

    You’re generally looking for a goalie on a non-playoff team and from what I have seen on the latest trade boards the only guys available at the moment are Marc Andre Fleury and Anton Khudobin. I think Fluery is very unlikely. Other goalies could become available closer to the deadline if teams fall out of the race.

    • Looks like Fleury, if he is moved, will go to the Kings, Ducks or Oilers. Khudobin is 35 and doesn’t look like an option unless he is going to back up Brossoit.

      Here’s a shocking option. Grubauer from Seattle for Smith, Kolesar, Patrick and Brossoit or Thompson?

      What do you think?

      • THE hockey GOD

        why kings? They have two good goalies. Kings thrown in mainly to bid up the price

    • Hmmmm, maybe offer Seattle both Lehner and Brossoit with Kolesar, Patrick and Smith and move forward with Grubauer & Thompson? I like this better than the idea of bringing back Fleury.

      • knights fan in minny

        the speculation is going to be fantastic

      • knights fan in minny

        RR do you think anybody would want lehner

        • No, I think this was Lehner’s last stop as far as being tested as a starter. He is an average goaltender, but he’d make an outstanding backup but not for the salary he is getting.

          I made up my mind about Lehner on 15 January. This move was and is a bust. Now, there are several options to shore up this position.

          Brossoit/Thompson
          Trade for a Starter/Brossoit
          Trade for a Starter/Thompson

          The big question is what VGK will do with Lehner. His price tag is too high for a backup. If VGK goes into rebuild mode next year then he might remain serviceable for another year or two.

          I am pretty sure everyone understood that McCriminal through the dice on the bet that he’d be able to buy a Cup with average goaltending. He never counted on losing Martinez, WhiteCloud, Patches, and Stone for such long stretches of time.

    • Daryl

      RL will nee surgery to fix this injury and like you said about 4 months. Problem he will now run into is moving his arm above his head and especially in quick fashion. That’s a tear that is easily torn again. Outfielders in baseball have ended their fielding career over it b/c its so easily torn again. I had mine done about 4 years ago.

    • Holy cow. Just last week I thought we needed Brossoit around as a legit backup to Lehner, and that LB needs to give Lehner some REST before playoffs—- dang, I guess Lehner will get his needed REST!
      As much as I miss MAF, even a rookie 0 fan like me doesn’t see him returning. Fans would cheer,but bad blood between him and Mgmt tells me NO WAY.
      On a positive note: got to watch Eichel at practice yesterday–he practiced the PP and faceoffs– if he improves our PP scoring, he’s a keeper!!

  12. Tim

    Kelly said no way Fleury is coming back in my lifetime I’ve always said never doesn’t always mean never. Well you can say one thing we sure keep it interesting. Lehner out really puts us on a spot not that he’s great but he does have experience.

    • Isn’t it amazing how the wheel turns? I noticed Kelly said no. not in his lifetime. Maybe he meant to say not in his lifetime with the knights which on making some of the bone head moves he has been part could be coming to an end. How does that grab you everyone? Just thinking out side the box and adding a little addition drama to the situation.

      • Blitz

        Maybe tomorrow he will announce he has an aggressive form of cancer and Fleury will then show up the next day. Deep thoughts…

  13. THE hockey GOD

    and anyone say the LAS VEGAS golden M*A*S*H unit ??

  14. Tim

    THG, Your right about the MASH unit. Here are some interesting thoughts to mull over. ( 1 ) Lehner needs shoulder surgery there’s no way he can be active let alone lead us to a cup, Is Fleury that much of a reach? ( 2 ) Could Claude Giroux be in our future? Yes I know Colorado, ST. Louis and someone else were his only choices. Things have now changed with our rash of injuries with half the season done would his remaining salary be in the 3.5 million range if so here’s a thought. Supposedly with Stone out and Eichel in and Martinez’s salary covered we are 750 thousand under the cap. If that’s the case Lehner 5 million would make room for Claude Giroux. I can see the Misfit Line, The Patch, Eichel, Giroux, line and then the Dadonov, Stephenson, Janmark line and the 4th line with Carrier, Roy, Howden Kolesar or Patrick line. With Lehner on long term we have 5 million to play with it could all work. Then we trade for a goalie maybe Columbus who has two good goaltender for 3 million and presto were back in business.

    • knights fan in minny

      that would be some magic tim you never know minnesota was claudes other pick

  15. THE hockey GOD

    Flames now in first place, they are hotter than a you know what on a you know what. Seven wins in a row
    9 -1 in last ten.

    Two games in hand on VEGAS, in driver’s seat.

    I for one, say , they are peaking too early.

  16. THE hockey GOD

    unless Team Canada rallies (down 2 -0 in period 3) in the stinking chicom olympic “games” , both
    North American teams will fail to make the metal round

  17. THE hockey GOD

    the book of boba fett:

    why does every shoot out leave one bad “smart’ guy (who thought it out) left alive; so that the good guys can tell him to go back to his boss to tell him what happened here??

    Do you you really think if no one every came back , that the boss wouldn’t figure out something bad happened to them ?? (drogu, ragu, pasta sauce or whatever the name of that little green frog yoda, is a bit dramatic , and over the top, but rocks! _You all know that is the producers/director’s go to scene, curtain call used over , and over, over and over again. You all know it’s coming.

  18. In regards to MAF, strange there is not a rule against being traded back and forth to the same team in the same year? Maybe because the season hadn’t started just unusual

    • Daryl

      I think they’re is a rule that prohibits, in this instance, the Hawks from retaining any portion of MAF salary

  19. Galdom

    Jesse Granger……

    Pete DeBoer said Robin Lehner has been evaluated by doctors, and he believes Lehner will be available to play “sooner than later.”

  20. Galdom

    Nolan Patrick is absolutely useless and it has nothing to do with his skill set but he is damaged goods. It didn’t even look like he got hit that hard in the head, a little shoulder tap and he’s probably out for the year with a concussion.

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