Praise Be To Foley, Vegas Golden Knights Hockey Website

“They Literally Tried To Give Him Away At The Draft And No One Would Take Him.”

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

UPDATE (11:08 AM, 2/21/19) – Jesse Granger of The Athletic asked McPhee about the details of this story.


Almost a year ago the Golden Knights pulled off one of the biggest trade deadline deals of the season acquiring Tomas Tatar from Detroit for a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd round pick. Tatar came to Vegas, made almost no impact, was a healthy scratch through much of the Golden Knights run to the Cup Final (he played eight of the 20 playoff games and only two in the Final), and then he was gone. Shipped away as part of the trade that brought Max Pacioretty from Montreal.

The deal was Tatar, Nick Suzuki, and a 2nd round pick for Pacioretty, and at the time, it appeared Tatar was a key piece in what the Canadiens were getting for trading away their captain.

Tatar has gone on to do great things in Montreal, scoring 19 goal and posting 44 points (both would be leading the Golden Knights). Pacioretty has been good for Vegas as well, with 18 goals and 32 points despite missing significant time due to injury.

Here’s the problem, we’re now learning that this wasn’t exactly a player for player deal.

(Tatar) had 20 goals last year, but 16 of them were in Detroit playing a lot on the power play. He goes to Vegas. He does nothing. They try and give him away at the Draft, no one wants him. They literally tried to give him away at the Draft and no one would take him. So he becomes a mandatory in the Pacioretty deal. You have to take Tatar’s contract. -Gord Miller, TSN

Miller appeared on TSN 690 in Montreal with Melnick in the Afternoon yesterday.

To further prove the point, the Golden Knights retained $500,000 of Tatar’s salary for each of the next three years as part of the trade.

As if the deadline deal wasn’t bad enough, this makes it even worse. McPhee not only gave away three draft picks for a piece that didn’t help his team at all, but then he forced the contract upon someone else making the cost on Pacioretty even higher than it already was!

And all the while, the guy McPhee tried to give away and then forced upon Montreal is outperforming every forward on his current roster!





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  1. bo

    uh oh, you offended George.

  2. Mike G

    I’ll always be curious what exactly it was about Tatar that they disliked so much? It’s ironic that he’s the exact type of guy they could use right now in a bottom 6 role.
    It seemed to me his benching in playoffs was simply chemistry related and Gallant just riding the hot hand. The last game he ever played as a Golden Knight (game 5 SCF) was actually a really good game for him.
    It’s just very strange….

  3. vgk2019

    The bigger question is why McPhee even pursued him in the first place. Or gave up so very much (1st 2nd and 3rd rd picks) to Det for him. Any competent hockey observer could have told him that Tatar’s style does not fit the Knights style. Tatar is a smallish, non-physical winger who is not a great forechecker or boards battler. And his scoring comes primarily from scrambles and loose pucks around the net , and mostly on the PP. He is a small version of a younger Thomas Vanek basically.

    Paul Stastny went to Winnipeg for a 1st, a 4th, and a b-level prospect on the same day last Feb

  4. vgk2019

    What McPhee does in the next few days, and what Stastny and Pacioretty do in the upcoming playoffs, will either make or break McPhee’s trade and FA efforts since Feb of 2018. Right now it ain’t lookin’ real good.

  5. Nathan

    I liked Tatar then and I like him now. I was an advocate on Twitter (before ditching Twitter as my New Years Resolution). I think what you would find if the analysis was done is that Tatar does his damage from places on the ice that VGK does not utilize in their scheme. It’s an educated guess at this point – but if you looked at where he scores points from vs where VGK does I’m guessing that’s what you would find just based on watching a lot of Red Wings hockey in the past.

    In the end it worked out for everyone. Tatar has found a place that works for him and Patches has fit in well here. I get that the article makes it seem like Tatar was a throw in player, and maybe he was, but as GMGM said that’s not really fair. Tatar would still have the same issue of not fitting the game plan nor would he be getting 1st line ice time as he does in Montreal so you can’t just copy and paste over those 19 goals as if that’s what VGK is missing out on.

    • robert

      Tatar in not on the fist line in MTL. He plays on what we can call a secthird, as the first line is Gally-Danault-Drouin with 2 second lines, tatar Domi Shaw and Byron Kotkaniemi Armia. Also he s not getting PP time like he did in Detroit (maybe he should though…MTL PP bei g last…and btw he s now at 20 goals !

  6. Bent Hermit

    Vegas was not going to get Patches for Suzuki and a 2nd rnd pick. Pacioretty has scored 30+ goals multiple years. This year he has .36 average goals per game, which puts him at 30 goals for a 82 game season. They probably wanted another prospect or a additional draft pick and GM wanted to clear cap space for a possible EK deal. You guys remember the deal everyone was talking about? I’m not saying GM doesn’t make some bad deals but I would take anything another gm says with a grain of salt.

  7. Wesley Skworzec

    When you’re making a trade for a player you should have studied film of the player and you should know what type of game he plays. George believed all the talk about him being a genius because of his prior success and how well the Knights had been playing. You’re only as good as your last decision. Ken Holland played ol’ Georgie like a fiddle.

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