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With Barbashev Deal Done Who Will Vegas Target Next?

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

It’s no surprise the Golden Knights front office acquired left-shooting forward Ivan Barbashev on Sunday afternoon. According to NHL insiders Vegas had been exploring the 27-year-old dating back to early January.

Someone said to me, depending on particularly what Vegas’ injury situation is, they could see Vegas liking Acciari and Barbashev. Who’s coaching Vegas? Accairi was in Boston with Cassidy and Cassidy saw Barbashev play very well in the 2019 Stanley Cup Finals. –Elliotte Freidman on 32 Thoughts Podcast on 01/27/23

Kelly McCrimmon confirmed the long-time interest when he said the Golden Knights have had 45 in-person viewings of Barbashev this season alone.

The seven-year veteran adds extra offense, size, and an edge that will play out well in the playoffs. During St. Louis’ astonishing Stanley Cup run in 2019, Barbashev totaled 87 hits in 25 games. To highlight his physicality even more, he only served four minutes in penalties throughout the entire postseason. As NHL coaches would say, finishing checks, getting gritty in the corners, and being disruptive in front of the net are how teams win seven-game series. Barbashev has proven he can do all three without taking costly penalties.

By the time the Golden Knights pulled the trigger on the Barbashev trade, most of the high-impact forwards had been sold. The chief among them was Timo Meier, whom New Jersey plucked from several interested teams, including Vegas. This leads to the question, are the Golden Knights done? It’s unlikely.

With the main characters off the board where can the Golden Knights look for more postseason ammo? We searched through a variety of options. Players that fit, players with or without term, and players that have connections to the organization.

James van Riemsdyk – LW
$7 million – Expiring Contract
9 goals, 14 assists in 40 GP

It’s no secret van Riemsdyk is available. Philadelphia hit reset button this summer and would love to dump costly players that aren’t in their future plans. JVR wouldn’t be acquired for his speed or quickness, but for his ability to light the lamp. Most importantly, he would be a tremendous net-front presence for the Golden Knights.

We defined Net-Front Scorers as players who possess superior hand-eye coordination, and along with toughness, an edge and hockey sense, camp out in the dirty areas to tip and re-direct pucks and create chaos. –Frank Seravalli on

Using a formula of deflections, inner slot shots, and average shot distance, Daily Faceoff ranked van Riemsdyk as the 12th-best Net-Front scorer in the NHL. Adding two offensive weapons with complimenting styles could be the difference of a playoff exit or advancing to another round.

Frank Vatrano – LW
$3.65 million – 3 years remaining
15 goals, 14 assists in 60 GP

This makes too much sense. Vatrano and Vegas coach Bruce Cassidy know each other well. The 28-year-old played under Cassidy with the AHL’s Providence Bruins and with the Boston Bruins. The two have spoken fondly of one another and the player had success under his former bench boss in two leagues.

I guess until we see which young kids are in the lineup every day, it’s a little bit of a tough call right now, but the obvious one is Vatrano. Simply because he has such a good shot. It’s an NHL release and it’s heavy and can beat goalies. We just have to get him to where he’s seeing more pucks and better opportunities to score. –Bruce Cassidy in 2017

Oh, and by the way, Vatrano has 15 goals this season on a lousy Ducks team. And he wouldn’t be rental. The eight-year veteran averages 20 goals per season, is under contract till 2025 and carries a manageable $3.65M AAV. The connection, the fit, and value are all there.

Josh Anderson – RW
$5.5 million – 5 years remaining
17 goals, 6 assists in 57 GP

I’ll keep this short because Montreal has “no interest” in trading Anderson.

Let’s talk about a player who is not in play and the player is in fact Josh Anderson. As we all know, the Canadiens often get calls on Anderson because he’s a unique player in the NHL. He’s that prototypical power-forward. -Darren Dreger on TSN’s Insider Trading on February 2nd, 2023

He’s big, he’s rough and he scores. In my opinion, the Golden Knights need more of that. The 6’3, 220 lbs. right winger averages 22 goals per season, plus he has term. Which is another hurdle.

Before discussions begin, here’s some important advice for the FO, check with Alex Pietrangelo first. I’m sure #7 vividly remembers the dangerous/dirty hit Anderson laid on him back in November. Add it to the reasons why this deal will not happen. But for record’s sake, the Canadiens winger would play a highly effective role for Vegas or any contender.

Cam Talbot – Goaltender
$3.67 million – Expiring Contract
2.90 GAA, .905 Sv% in 29 GP

Several insiders have reported the Senators plan on moving Cam Talbot.

With all three goalies facing injury concerns in the last two weeks, Talbot could be yet another insurance policy and instantly become the most experienced tender in the room. Talbot has 31 postseason starts, while Vegas’ trio of Adin Hill, Laurent Brossoit and Logan Thompson have zero combined. If Vegas is sniffing around the goaltending market, Ottawa would be the right trading partner. The Senators are both buyers and sellers.

We could be a buyer at certain positions, and a seller at certain positions. As a GM this is the most fun time of the year. There’s no doubt about it. -Pierre Dorion, Ottawa GM

Reportedly, the Senators are hunting for defensemen. Defense is one position where the Golden Knights have some depth. That could turn into enough trade currency for Talbot. Would Kaedan Korczak or Lukas Cormier be enough? It’s likely the Senators’ front office have interest in Nic Hague. Not sure he’s available. Bottom line, if the front office has uncertainty about their goaltending, Talbot would boost organizational confidence.






  1. Pistol Pete

    Jason, Josh Anderson does not average 22 goals. About 25 points that’s it, not 22 goals. I don’t see anyone in your group worth adding to go with Eichel. Thanks for the effort though.

  2. Roberto

    JvR for a 2nd or a 3rd is my guess for the final deadline move.

  3. Knights fan in minnie

    Just so long as we don’t get any mulattos or other mud players

  4. THE hockey GOD

    goalie, unless Hill is ready tonight

    are stuck with not even an AHLer in nets tonight

  5. VGK Fan

    I’m really not one for giving away the farm, but if we look back since 2017 we have only drafted one top six winger (Suzuki) zero top 4 Dmen, Hague drafted and Whitecloud not drafted are a great 3rd pair Dmen. Goalie position, Logan Thompson undrafted.

    So I’m not sure we are giving away anything when we trade draft picks or players on the farm. If I’m missing player we drafted my apologies.

    • Emmanuel

      The farm is there to improve the top team thru call ups or trade. The tail should NEVER wag the dog.

    • Pistol Pete

      Vegas never gets low draft picks because they have always finished up in the standings. The best draft year was 2017 when they were awarded the #6 pick and extracted #17 from a team in exchange for not picking a player from that team in the expansion draft. They picked Suzuki who is the only first round prospect they have traded who has amounted to anything so far. #6 was Glass. #5 that draft was Pettersson who they just barely missed assuming they would picked him (he was listed at only 155 lb.). Jason Robertson went #39 that draft meaning Vegas had at least three chances to select him!

  6. Emmanuel

    A G & another Middle 6 F.

  7. Blitz

    I am guessing Bertuzzi ain’t up for sale from the wings? That would be a good addition.

    • Blitz

      Frank Seravalli has a note in his article that Bertuzzi is off the board. Doesn’t say why. That’s a shame.

      • THE hockey GOD

        it’s pretty obvious why he’s off the board, take it like the dog you are.

        you insult me, you pay the price you piece of shit.

        • Alex

          Wow, must be bad ice in all 10 THG account fridges…what an ahole!

          • knights fan in minny

            shut up you malt liquor drinking piece of shit scorpion squad thumping your brothers boy

        • Blitz

          You are such a keyboard tough guy. Put your lip stick on, cry a little, and shut the fuck up.

    • THE hockey GOD

      another brain dead comment, yes he would be a good fit but 1) he’s not available and 2) he is injury prone.

      You insult me, you pay the price you fucking piece of shit. I am going to dog you for all the FO BS you post here until the day you are worm food. You picked the wrong person on this board to insult. I never insulted you. So you are going to pay the price for insulting me. You piece of low life shit.

      • TS

        Holy crap, thg. You must be Alex, or some other crazy cracker, right? What on earth are you responding to in such a rage?

  8. Jerry L King

    I’m glad to see that McKrimmon is not giving away the farm to get another superstar player. Assembling the best four lines in the NHL is another way to win the Stanley Cup.

  9. JV

    How many times has Talbot been out this season due to injury? 3-4 times? No thanks. Same with Reimer. I’d move Hague for Varlamov, who’s contract is up this season. Problem is NYI would need a back up included in the deal. Wonder if Detroit wold part with Nedelkovic and retain 50% salary? How has he been doing in AHL?

  10. knights fan in minny

    sounds like domi wants to stay in the windy city

  11. knights fan in minny

    what the hell lb is hurt know the squad cant get a break

  12. knights fan in minny

    cotter should be playing with wild bill and smitty

  13. Pistol Pete

    Brock Boeser is the next strongest to Meier but he’s been injury prone. Andrei Kuzmenko might be even better but he just signed with VAN and would have to be wooed away if he might be interested. I emailed the VGK suggesting it in case he might be talked into Vegas! Maybe they could give him a raise from the current $5.5m.

    • knights fan in minny

      big talk here in minny he wants to come home

    • Mike StG

      Pete, Your comments are surprising. Kuzmenko signed a 3 yr contract with VAN. He can’t be wooed away, nor can he be offered more. NHL contracts are not changeable or cancellable. VAN would have to decide to trade him.

      Furthermore, it’s unlikely he would want to move. They just acquired Kravtsov and they have prospect Podkolzin who will likely be with the team next year. And right now he’s on a line with Pettersson.

  14. DeezNutz

    I’d love to get both Bertuzzi and Domi

  15. knights fan in minny

    big talk here in minny he wants to come home

  16. Pistol Pete

    Roy still out, Amadio still in, lineup vs Avs is:

    Same D

    • knights fan in minny

      switch cotter and amadio

      • Pistol Pete

        For tonight it made sense to leave the lines untouched save plugging Barbashev into Cotter’s spot, move Cotter down to the 4th and slide Howden over to 4C replacing Froese. Hopefully Barbashev and Eichel works, for the time being anyways.

        When Roy is back Cassidy might:


        I like Cotter on the 4th. Best place for him. His only hope I would say.

    • TS

      Pp, Barbashev is actually ready to play tonite? We just acquired him a day ago!

  17. Sorvino

    HARD NO on JVR.

  18. Mike StG

    Jason, well written and thoughtful article. Two thumbs up!!

    Vatrano sounds like a great possibility. I liked him both on FLO & NYR. Fast, can keep up with Jack. Excellent shot. With Barby or JM could make a really dangerous line.

  19. Jose

    Blitz, si alguna vez vuelves a insultar a the HOCKEY god, te partiré la maldita columna vertebral. Jack es un pedazo de basura.

  20. Jose

    Blitz, si alguna vez vuelves a insultar a the HOCKEY god, te partiré la maldita columna vertebral. Blitz es un pedazo de basura.

  21. JV

    Guess Brossiot isn’t day to day anymore. Cap Friendly has him on IR.

    And what the hell Hill??????? If Cassidy had a competent back-up, I think Hill would have been pulled.

  22. Sorvino

    Question for the HOCKEY god. Olli Maatta of the Detroit Red Wings was taken off the trade board. It’s been racking my brain all day on why they would do that. I’m so confused. He was on the trade board a month ago and now he’s not.

  23. Aidan Schmitt

    I’ve got a weird one that addresses a few things for likely cheap and works under the cap. St.louis still has some pieces theyre probably willing sell to retool/rebuild. Send them Hague (thats probably what theyd want)+ idk for Saad, Greiss and Scandella (50% retained). Greiss has decent playoff numbers in his career and has over a .900 save % on whats been an embarassingly bad defensive team in St.louis. Greiss would just be the Oh shit guy. Saad has always been good in the playoffs, he has some decent speed and his contract is pretty fair for what he adds. He could slot in all over the line up. Scandella just came back from an extended ltir stint but looked good in the couple games hes been back. As a 6th/7th D at around 1.5 he’d be great, St.louis issue with him has seemed to be his dollar amount and deployment more than anything. He’s a vet, plenty of playoff experience, can skate and move the puck well enough. Idk, maybe im an idiot lol.

  24. Don’t you people get tired of posting the “what “ifs” and the “would bes”. None of you I repeat NONE of you have a clue as to what the front office is going to do or have up their sleeve. Some posters, I won’t embarrass them by name just go on and on with BS after BS trying, I guess to impress anyone interested in their self-belief knowledge which for the most part doesn’t exist.

  25. Alex

    It’s the dumbest fan base in sports

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