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Vegas- how did it all go so horribly wrong


yave1964
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The bill finally coming due for the Las Vegas Golden Knights?

I look at their roster, the ages, the cap hits, and who they have that is 25 or under that is long term viable to help keep this team aflot, and you are spot on @yave1964 in your assessment.
Probably will be going the way the Minnesota Wild did for a long time....like you said, good enough to compete for a playoff spot, but not much more than that, but never bad enough to get elite talent via a top 5 or even a top 10 pick.

But you know, George McPhee has proven himself a very resourceful guy.
Some big numbers will be coming off the books after next season, and in the meantime, if he can find some way to rid himself of guys like Dadonov and Willie Karlsson (both pretty big cap hits for the minimal return the Knights are getting), while recouping at least mid round selections, they may do better than some are thinking they might.

Robin Lehner can NOT be the answer as the number one though.
There are a few promising, unknown goaltenders around the minors whom some teams may not have room for at the NHL level due to having stud goalies already.
Knights best look into that real hard and try to come up with two or three, have them compete for jobs and see if there is an answer there, while relegating Lehner or some other journeyman veteran over the next two years as stop gaps.

Knights may also want to take on some other teams' "project players"......guys who have talent, but for whatever reason, the team they are currently on is having trouble unlocking it on an NHL (or AHL) ice sheet.
This may or may not work out for Vegas, but as you stated already, many of their core pieces will just continue to get worse, so worth a shot to see if some darkhorse young player can step up with them.

I'd also say they should look hard overseas and scour around for some 'hidden gem' players and try to get them over.
The situation with Russia and the KHL mucks that up somewhat, but there are still some very good leagues in Sweden, Finland, and the Czech Republic that have some very fine players.

The Pacific division still isn't one of the strongest, so Vegas, if they have the scouting chops, shouldn't be buried and dead if they do their due diligence.
Calgary looks strong now, but for how long?
That all could depend on what happens in the offseason with them.... Edmonton might be the biggest long term threat, along with the Kings, and maybe Anaheim, but even so, those teams also have work to do before they can be considered annual elite teams.
Vancouver is an unknown as well....could make big leaps, could stay the same, soft team we've been seeing for a few seasons now.

Seattle and San Jose look like they could be in for some prime rebuild time.

People have written off the Knights before, saying they had their day in the Sun with their magical first season and the two that followed, but McPhee seems to wave a magic wand and produce something people aren't expecting.

Can he do it again, when it seems the odds are tougher than ever for his team to stay afloat?
That should make good spectating in the seasons to come.
 

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Even with all the injuries, jack's lack of jack, and goalie turmoil, they were knocking on the door of a playoff spot until the very end, but you can't go 0 for 17 in 3 straight SO attempts losing critical points along the way....simply they just blew it down the stretch.

 

 

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Finally that moment had to come, the cinderella story in a unicorn world is over. At some point, costly mistakes had to come up and the first (and biggest) crack came with Fleury sent away. That guy was the face of the franchise, a true leader that had SC rings, a great and valuable experience, a key player in the locker room, someone who bringing everybody together. And that was the strength of the well-known "misfits" in their inception: A solid and tight group.

 

And then other cracks appeared. Bad management decisions, bad trades. I don't mind spending a lot of money to try to make your team better, but then the pressure become higher and at some point they burnt their wings. Nolan, Eichel, Pietrangelo, all debatable acquisitions. Now it will be interesting to see how the Knights will face true adversity for the first time of their history on a sports standpoint, but also out of the team, with the management and the fan base.

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Right from the beginning in Vegas they had the right chemistry with everything it seemed. Then they had to start F-ing with that chemistry because that is what the owner of the team likes to do. He seems like he always has to be making some sort of changes in the team or head coach and a lot of that has not worked and the team has dropped since then. 

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