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VGK Misses Out On Inexpensive Top-Six Option

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The first article of business was taken care of last week when the Golden Knights announced Bruce Cassidy as their next coach. Next on the list, improve the roster.

Earlier in the offseason, the Golden Knights were tied to KHL star Andrei Kuzmenko. The 26-year-old totaled 53 points in 49 games with SKA St. Petersburg this season and would have fit well with VGK’s shrinking cap room. Unfortunately, Vancouver was able to offer Kuzmenko more than just money.

That’s a big win for the Canucks. I really thought the two favorites were Vancouver and Edmonton. These were two GMs who had been after Kuzmenko for some time. There were a few teams, even some of the other ones in it who thought it would be Vancouver or Edmonton.-Elliotte Friedman on 32 Thoughts Podcast

Not only did the Golden Knights miss out on what would have been the perfect offseason risk, but they also lost Kuzmenko to a maturing team in their own division. The Canucks added another offensive weapon in his mid-twenties to an already bright roster.

On top of upside, Kuzmenko was brought in on an entry-level NHL contract. Not only will he be eager to play in a new league, the former KHL’er will be motivated to produce so he can strut into free agency. Sure, Vegas can take a run at Kuzmenko next summer but the value won’t be there.

Kuzmenko could only sign a one-year deal. So he needs a new contract for the next year. He knows he had to be in a good situation to set up that next contract. The one thing he had to be convinced of was he would be put in a situation where he would have a good run at another contract. At the very least Vancouver has to convince him of that. –Friedman on 32 Thoughts Podcast

Because the Golden Knights recently acquired Shea Weber who will be placed on LTIR the entire season, it’s not ideal for VGK to hand out any contracts with signing bonuses. Because, if a player hits that bonus, the Golden Knights would have to pay it in the following season which would have them operating at a deficit against the cap.

Kuzmenko’s contract in Vancouver includes $1 million in bonuses, and knowing the competition that was out there for his services, they are probably very reachable milestones. If Vegas offered the same deal, they would have loved the $950,000 cap hit for this year, but would likely be paying that extra $1 million on next season’s cap. The Golden Knights probably didn’t offer as attainable performance bonuses because quite frankly, they can’t afford them. Vancouver could, and in the end, they got the player.

VGK’s FO traded away 20 goals when they freed up cap space by shipping Evgenii Dadonov to Montreal. It was a move that had to be made but it left a hole in Vegas’ depth scoring. Not only do they need to find more offense from their key players but replacing Dadonov’s 20 goals will be a challenge with less cap room. That’s why a player like Kuzmenko on a contract valued at less than $1 million against the cap would have been an excellent get.

At the end of the day this player needed to be convinced he was going to put in a position to succeed. Vancouver definitely did that. It’s a big coup for the Canucks. –Friedman on 32 Thoughts Podcast

It’s clear Vancouver had the edge on Kuzmenko the whole way and it’s possible Vegas never had a chance, but the cap situation certainly didn’t help, even on a player who makes just over the league minimum this season.

Vegas’ front office must find ways to increase offense with very little cap space. It’ll take creativity, good scouting, and a bit of luck to find the right players. So, it’s on to the next hidden gem or project for the front office.

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24 Comments

  1. THE hockey GOD

    VGK has had bad luck with RUSSIANS, and Russian players are not a sure thing.

    Best to move on.

    Don’t cry over split milk.
    It’s water under the bridge.

    Don’t spit into the wind.
    Don’t tug on superman’s cape.
    And don’t mess around with Jim

    Jim Croce.

  2. Adam

    Is there anything you guys don’t bitch about? Christ

    • Ken

      Yea Adam. I’m new to this blog, but I have friends who have been here awhile and they told me that there are certain people here that do nothing but complain. In our country now, it’s something we live with. It’s a shame.

      • knights fan in minny

        and the complainer is the hockey dunce the babble king

        • VGK Fan

          Minny,

          You are right The hockey dunce, can’t go a day without bashing the 3rd all time winning goalie in NHL history or political post or calling everyone one on here dumb.

          • knights fan in minny

            he thinks it’s funny if you don’t agree with his babble your post does not matter

      • THE hockey GOD

        and Ken the two main complainers just exposed themselves, the frick and frack brothers.

        stalker creep no. 1
        and
        complainer no.2

        • knights fan in minny

          more tears

        • VGK Fan

          Thg,

          You are the #1 complainer on this site all you do is blast the 3rd all time winning goalie in NHL history and post political comments and call VGK the dumbest fan base daily.

          In the past you have also made racial comments and called people retarded. All I do is post factual sports information.

  3. DanK

    I wouldn’t stress too hard on losing Dady’s 20 goals. If they can stay half as healthy as last year they’ll surely make up for those and more.

    • LouDog777

      Given our roster’s age, I fear they won’t, but hope for the best. It might pay dividends having a real off-season this year too.

  4. DanK

    Dady’s 33 so….. one could argue they opened up some room for youth!

    Correct on a much needed long off season

  5. Emmanuel

    He’s an unknown commodity. VGK has plenty of depth, especially at wing. They just need health and puck luck. I am curious what the line combinations are going to be with all the chaos last year.

    • Obvious

      Health and puck luck???

      Ba ha ha ha ha

      They need a miracle and a truckload of depends for this geriatric squad

  6. THE hockey GOD

    @Emmanuel, right on.

  7. THE hockey GOD

    Peter DeBoer was hired as coach of the Dallas Stars on Tuesday.

    The 54-year-old replaces Rick Bowness, who resigned May 20 after three seasons.

    “I want to win a Stanley Cup,” DeBoer said Wednesday. “I’ve been to two (Stanley Cup) Finals and five conference finals in the last 10 years. When you get that close, that’s your only motivation. Dallas wasn’t the only team I interviewed with. I wanted to make sure that wherever I chose to go next, that the only criteria for me was: that I was working with good people, and that I had a chance to win a Stanley Cup. That we weren’t in a rebuilding situation.”

    That explains why he turned down Detroit, Philly, and a couple of other non contenders in the next year. I was hoping he’d go to Detroit but they are five years away in their rebuild.

  8. Obvious

    Things are bloody bad when a player chooses a non-contending Canadian team over once was the most coveted team in the league.

    How badly fat bastard mcriminal has turned this team into a steamy heap of shit

    Someone must have pictures of someone with Velcro gloves and a sheep

  9. Thank you for mentioning McCrimanal! He completely destroyed our team, but yet he still has his job?? How long until they realize he’s one of the biggest reasons our team is gutted & destroyed! GET RID OF FAT BASTARD!!!

  10. Original 6✅

    seems like knights have a verbal agreement with Riley Smith extension

    • VGK Fan

      Yes heard that on the drive to work. That’s great news I guess the question is who are they getting rid of with only 5.2 million in cap space and still needing to sign four players. My guess Smith will get somewhere between 5 and 6 million.

  11. Tim

    To all posters most people just give there opinions on the Knights for some it hits a raw nerve and consider it negative but the reality like it or not the management has made some huge blunders. There still riding the high of the expansion draft where they excelled to say the least. After that it’s been more downhill then uphill on all fronts. We all know there two best trades were for Stephenson for a 5th round and Stone for Branson and whatever. After that it’s been a comedy of errors. They gave draft picks away like candy and I mean first and second picks which could have built up our farm system. What players from our first draft in 2017 until now has made the team and has made a difference I think the answer is zero and please don’t tell me Nick Hague is a stud. What I’m saying here are real facts not bitching not trying to put a negative light on the team. So by all the maneuvering to win the cup they lost sight of getting the right players and they opted for the shinny new toy to grab headlines. Now were long in the tooth for you who do not get that it means were older slower and won’t compete with the young rebuilding teams in the Pacific. Now if you think different that’s fine we all hope the Knights do better but I don’t see it. The last thing which has put a bad taste in my mouth about the Knights is management’s arrogant behavior where they lie and then they lie to cover up there lie. This has also been well documented not just blowing smoke up your ass which is what they do all the time blow smoke up our ass and think we can’t see the forest for the trees.

  12. JV

    Reported by Frank Servalli that R.Smith has reached a verbal contract extension with VGK in the vicinity of 3 years- 5 mil per. Not officially signed due to cap considerations.

    Now I wonder what the O/U is on how many wide open nets Smith fails to score on? I’d swear he leads the league.

  13. Obvious

    A verbal agreement from that fat bastard mcriminal and 2 faced foley….

    Not worth a grain of salt

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