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VGK’s Untrustworthy Nature Will Catch Up Eventually Says Allan Walsh

(Photo tweeted by Allan Walsh, Marc-Andre Fleury’s agent)

One of the common themes swirling around the Golden Knights for the past few seasons is the concept of loyalty. Actually, in VGK’s case, it’s a lack of loyalty, but you get the point.

In an unabashed quest to improve the team at all costs, the Golden Knights have had to make some difficult decisions along the way. It’s easy to applaud them for the gusto missing from many front offices around the league, but the bubbling undertone of crossing the unwritten line between hockey business and the mistreatment of people is becoming unmistakable.

Vegas treats you great until they don’t. They’ve gone from the team of opportunity, the ‘golden misfits’ or whatever, to the ‘evil empire.’ I think as long as they win they’ll avoid problems, but if they have a losing season, watch out. –Anonymous NHL agent to The Athletic

Unfortunately, the Golden Knights stopped winning last year and a not-so-anonymous agent thinks it could start to bite them moving forward.

In Vegas, no player is safe. Several players have made the comment now that no player is safe. At any time the rug can be pulled out from under you and if it’ll happen to Marc-Andre Fleury, trust me it can happen to anybody. Some players are going to ultimately decide to play in that environment and don’t care but other players are going to value being in a place where there is a sense of loyalty and stability and appreciation that goes both ways. –Allan Walsh on Agent Provocateur Podcast

Now that the Golden Knights have officially rid themselves of all Walsh clients, he’s not holding back on sharing his feelings publicly about the way Vegas operates.

There are many players who have been made promises by owners, by GMs, you know “you’re going to retire here, you’re family, I love you like a son.” And then a year later get traded and it’s like “oh well, I didn’t want to do it, it’s a business.” Come on. –Walsh on Agent Provocateur Podcast

Of course, Reilly Smith re-signed a lengthy deal with the Golden Knights this offseason, and Alec Martinez, Robin Lehner, and Alex Pietrangelo have in the past 24 months as well, indicating the harsh nature of Vegas’ win now attitude hasn’t dissuaded players from sticking around to this point.

The question remains about the future though.

Will the Golden Knights continue to be able to attract top free agents as they have in the past? And if so, will they be forced to keep handing out debilitating no-move/no-trade clauses in the process?

The newest head coach signed a five-year contract, the longest in VGK history, probably in large part due to the team’s willingness to move on from coaches at the drop of the hat. However, he wouldn’t admit it publicly when pressed at his introductory press conference.

It’s a topic that isn’t going away any time soon, and certainly won’t if the GM keeps unprovokingly bringing it up in pressers.

It’s hard to argue it has affected the Golden Knights at all to this point, but when powerful voices keep pushing the narrative, it’s impossible to believe it won’t at some point in the near future.

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45 Comments

  1. Pete

    Other than Petro what big FA have they signed?? Traded for Patches, Stone, Eichel, Martinez, Lehner…etc. So Idk where you’re getting attracting big names.

    • Both Pacioretty and Stone signed deals before ever stepping foot in Vegas. Martinez and Lehner played here for a bit and then re-signed long-term. Eichel was just trying to get out of Buffalo.

      They have examples of pretty much every situation being willing to sign here. Guys who have been here forever, guys who have been here a short time, guys who have not been here at all, super stars, good players, AHL level guys. You name it, they’ve all signed here in the past 2 years.

      Now… will it change if they have a tough year this year? Well that’s the point of the article.

      • Pete

        It’s not attracting a free agent if you traded for them first…they resigned after they knew the team and the culture. Maybe we differ on what bringing in a free agent is then.

      • Mike StG

        Eichel didn’t sign here. In fact he had NO SAY where Buffalo might trade him. His NMC didn’t kick in until about 2 months ago. Vegas wasn’t necessarily his preference. There were reports of his interest in playing for the Bees and other EC teams.

        I think it was revealing that Walsh said “there are many players who have been made promises by Owners, by GMs… and then a year later are traded.” So why is Foley being criticized as if he broke a marriage vow?? It happens. According to Walsh it has happened to “MANY PLAYERS”. Duh…

        Also, players get traded in the middle of their contracts all the time. Max was in his last year (as was Stastny) – when MANY (maybe even most) players reaching FA status are moved. Here are just some of the players who were ‘horribly mistreated by disloyal management’ THIS OFF-SEASON while still having multiple years left on their current contract. They were traded by the teams that signed them to long contracts.

        Matt Murray
        John Marino
        Mike Matheson
        Brent Burns
        Oliver Bjorkstrand
        Jeff Petry
        Ryan McDonough
        Pete Mrazek
        Zack Kassian

        So, why all the bitching and moaning over Vegas trading Schmidt or Tuch? Many of the players on the list above only played 1 or 2 years of a long contract they signed before being so ignominiously discarded by the ogres in their team’s front office.

        This stupid narrative of Vegas being disloyal or different than other teams doesn’t deserve the attention that SinBin and others give to it. It’s a false narrative.

        And besides, players signing with a team like Vegas should expect a higher likelihood they might be traded, since VGK is basically constructed of FAs and veterans and thus constantly managing against cap issues, and more so now due to the pandemic. Vegas lacks the natural economic advantages of a deep prospect pool with low cap costs, where the team exercises control of the players’ rights over a 6-7 year period after entry draft.

        • Then maybe don’t trade a 1, 2 and 3 for Filpula and not use him??? The Knights might have a better cap situation if they believed for a second their fans would support them through a rebuild.

          • Mike StG

            Maybe you need to revisit the facts:

            VGK was playoff bound and was dealing with injuries to Perron & Smith. They wanted extra scoring help so they acquired Tatar, who was historically a 20g scorer for DRW.

            Tatar was best available at the time so they traded for him. One or more of the picks they used were acquired from their pre-expansion deals and weren’t even their picks. Due to the limited availability of scoring forwards that year the trade cost was higher than you might see in other years. He did have term left on his contract so that upped the cost of the trade to VGK. At the time their policy was NOT to trade for rentals.

            The only problem was that Gallant didn’t want to play him for some reason. Like the following year when the FO brought Gusev over from Russia just before the playoffs and he never played.

            It made no sense to keep Tatar if Gallant wasn’t going to play him, so they traded him on the off-season in the Pacioretty deal.

            It’s easy to recite things out of context, but at the time their move to improve their scoring made sense. Maybe if Gallant had actually employed Tatar they might have beaten the Caps.

      • Francisco

        In essence literally, this is Vegas true nature in the city. I mean, Sinatra sings it. This is a make you town or bring you downtown. So keep up deal either way outcome possible.

    • James S

      Traded for Patches, but signed to that big deal by VGK.

      Traded for Stone, but signed to that big deal by VGK.

      Martinez signed extension with VGK

      Lehner signed extension with VGK.

    • Bobby

      In Walsh’s case, it started with playing Lehner over his client Fleury in the playoffs, everything else since still hearkens back to that. In Pacioretty’s case, one day it’s a breath of fresh air coming here, next it’s everybody’s lazy.

      • Steve Levine

        Agree, they got rid of the face of the team…. and to think they thought MAF backup was going to take them to the promise land, LMAO.

  2. Barb Maxwell

    Good thing AW isn’t a wine maker; his grapes are all sour

    • THE hockey GOD

      Barb , good one, ROFLMAO !

      I told you all AW is a piece of shit, agents are parasites, this guy is lower than pond scum. Which is lower than parasites.

    • Chuckles

      NHL Training camps next month follows football. Bring it on! Looking for some sleepers. NOTHING comes without earning it!! How about a story on family players. Ala The Stastnys. Sutters and new ones in the game.

  3. Jason

    Good players will always sign for big money. But you may start to get players with the same loyalty issues. Wait until a player asks for a trade out.

  4. Roberto

    One day Vegas is soft, coddled and there’s no pressure or urgency to succeed.

    Then the next day, Vegas is too cut-throat and guys have to watch their backs.

    Then back and forth and forth and back.

    This off-season was far, far too long.

  5. Sorvino

    Exactly Roberto. My thoughts exactly and who gives a shit what Allan Walsh thinks. That guy might the biggest piece of shit of all the agents.

  6. The big Zzzzz

    Snakes can smell their own kind.

  7. If you try to win the cup AT ALL COSTS they will come.

  8. Trust the words of an agent at your own peril.

    Especially one who has been exposed as a disruptive, backstabbing, crybaby.

  9. Ray

    Seems like a Las Vegas Business. So it all terms it’s a Vegas business. Closely ran like a casino. They suck you in with all these “treat you like family” until your not. So if anything it fits. Will it bring a cup. Who knows and let’s see. But it’s ran just like a casino.

  10. Jeff

    You might as well ask Jesus why the Devil is bad.

  11. Jim

    We need to do a countdown, similar to job site days without injury to see the next time Ken and his lapdog Jason say anything positive related to VGK. We all know there are issues but some of us would love to hear something positive, anything. I love the Golden Knights and would love to read something positive, at least mix it in once in a while. I think I speak for a lot of followers, the negativity gets old very fast.

  12. THE hockey GOD

    I called out this piece of shit years ago.

    And I was laughed at.

    Only guy worse at his job than this guy is 1-AG of state of Florida who DeSantis just suspended for NOT DOING HIS SwORN oath to uphold FL Laws- in other words HIS JOB 2- and Sloblunderjoe who is slow walking us into another military invasion of democratic republic of Taiwan (as it calls itself) , this time with China. Which bought and paid for him via his son.

    • THE hockey GOD

      according to wikipedia

      Taiwan, officially the Republic of China, is a “country” in East Asia, at the junction of the East and South China Seas in the northwestern Pacific Ocean with the People’s Republic of China (aka ChiComs) a totalitarian communist county to the northwest,

      Taiwan has about a population of 23 million, about the same Ukraine once was before the war with the orcs started in February. I am calling on all Russian players to denounce Vladidolf Putlir. NOW. You listening No. 8 of the CAPS ?
      (you will never pass the great 99, NEVER, ever)

    • Blitz

      I am still laughing at you.

    • Topgun

      You need help. Like serious help

  13. Stephanie

    I personally don’t think that Walsh has done his clients any favors… starting with that tweet and moving forward… I don’t think he has been honest with his clients or social media… Have you read Perron’s experience with St Louis? It sounded the same as Fluery… I just don’t think Walsh is being straight up with his clients

  14. Vic

    Free agents will still come out to tax free Nevada. Other team’s GMs may seem nicer, but things work in cycles, and eventually they will bite you on the ass as well. These players make a fortune playing the game we love. In the case of the VGK, some of the latest complainers have made a killing in real estate. Pull your pants on boys, quit crying about what could have been, and play the game hard. If your name is inscribed on the cup a few times, maybe then you can complain. Lastly, the current front office may not be around much longer, and free agents will notice.

    • Chuckles

      NHL Training camps next month follows football. Bring it on! Looking for some sleepers. NOTHING comes without earning it!! How about a story on family players. Ala The Stastnys. Sutters and new ones in the game.

  15. Dean

    Walsh may speak out more than other clients, but I guarantee you he’s not the only one with these thoughts. The actions of the last few years will hurt this organization for years to come. In order to get good players here, we will have to continue to overpay and offer no trade clauses (two things we can’t afford to do anymore). People who continue to praise this front office are going to really be in for a shock as we continue to decline in points for the forseeable future.

  16. Jim

    Ha!!! Two examples of something positive. Listen back to your podcasts and read the last 10-12 articles. It’s mostly negative. I love sports!!! I want to hold on to some hope at least, every once in while . It’s been such downer to listen and read lately.

  17. I think Walsh is doing all he can to poison the VGK, making the team’s reputation so toxic that players won’t want to play here. What a professional. Thg, I do believe you were spot on about this guy. I personally liked MAF, but Walsh is a piece of work, to be sure.

  18. Ron Bentley

    What do you expect from a “ welfare” team. No scouting, development,trading, drafting. Just add Bettman and every other team’s assets for free. Instant success …..no work….l hope they finish last for twenty years!

  19. Chris

    AW is a POS and Ken’s writing about this loyalty-narrative is garbage. At what point did hockey stop being a business?

  20. Tim

    They just signed Kolesar to a three year contract so that’s a start in the wrong direction. He couldn’t hit his ass with both hands as the saying goes.

  21. knights fan in minny

    enough about walsh get a new article going

  22. George L.

    Walsh is an advocate and a zealot. Great for his players and nobody else.

    Never trust a Kool-Aid drinker.

  23. Chris

    And with Eichel there now…. they’re almost bound to have a losing season or not make the playoffs…. He is an expert at doing both!

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