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Too Much Of A Good Thing?

Like a lot of things with the Golden Knights, too many guys playing well was not a concern we expected to be an issue. However, five games in, that’s the exact spot Geroge McPhee, Gerard Gallant, and the Golden Knights have found themselves in.

Hey everyone, look how great we’re all playing! (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

After leaving Vadim Shipachyov, Alex Tuch, and Shea Theodore off the opening day roster due to “numbers decisions,” Vegas started the season 3-0 using the same 20 players in all three games.

Then the injuries and a loss came. Erik Haula and Jonathan Marchessault were put on IR which freed up spots for Shipachyov and Tuch, and Gallant decided to mix up his healthy scratches following the loss as he inserted Brad Hunt and Jon Merrill for Jason Garrison and Brayden McNabb.

All four “new” players had a major impact on the game Sunday night, and it’s left Vegas with an abundance of players and not enough roster spots to keep them all.

That’s the way you want it as a coach. You want tough decisions every day for your lineups. Shipachyov and Tuch came in there and score big goals for us and won a hockey game. When you’ve got hungry players wanting to play every night that’s what you want (as a coach). Right now we’ve got a good thing going everybody’s playing well and working hard. They make it tough on the coaching staff to put the lineup together. -Gerard Gallant

It’s a good problem to have, as long as everyone has a good attitude about it. Being a healthy scratch is one thing, but playing well and being sent out to the AHL is another. When Haula and Marchessault return (who were both playing reasonably well prior to the injuries), two guys have to go.

The most obvious answer to fill one of the spots is to send Griffin Reinhart to the AHL. He’s yet to appear in a game and didn’t really impress during the preseason. The other one is a bit trickier. Hunt or Merrill would make the most sense as they were reached scratched for the first four games, but it’ll be tough to send them out after Sunday’s performances.

They both played solid games and did their job, it’s good to see. -Gallant

So here we are, back where we were before the season, too many players, not enough spots and waiting for a trade, but now it’s even worse.

4-1-0 and with more good players than roster spots. Who would have guessed that?


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  1. Scott Backy

    Minnesota has need, but not a deep farm system to trade the young assets that McPhee would like… that said Garrison or Sbisa, and add Reinhardt… for a young asset & maybe a low round future pick might be enticing enough…

    • Stevie

      There are plenty of teams that need defensemen and the next 3 drafts are deep. The problem is these players are making more than they are worth: Reinhardt AAV $800,000, Sbisa (27) AAV $3.6 mil., Garrison (32) AAV $4.6 mil., and the other GM’s are not looking to do McPhee any favors after he bullied them in the expansion draft.

      • Richard Evans

        Garrison definitley overpaid as of now -but remember he was tabbed by a number of media commentators prior to the season as being one of Vegas best Top Line options.

        And Reinhardt is basically a replacement player with a salary to match. He would be an improvement on some team’s back end.

        Meanwhile Sbisa is earning his money. If he keeps playing the way he is now teams will come knocking.

    • RJ

      Reinhardt, Merrill, Hunt and Sbisa have the same problem on someone else’s roster they do on ours: they have to clear waivers too get to the AHL. If we can get one or two through through waivers his value as a replacement Dman goes way up (think Pickard). Every GM wants a NHL quality 8th Dman for the inevitable injuries that happen, but they would much rather have that 8th D in the AHL waiting to be called up rather than taking a NHL roster spot.

      Bottom line, we have waaay too many NHL contracts and something is going to have to give soon. McPhee has been lucky enough to use some injuries to protect some people from waivers, but that well will dry up soon. I’m using the words “lucky” and “injuries” pretty loosely here by the way.

      Being 5-1 makes it pretty easy to not worry about the things creeping up on this team, but they are still creeping.

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