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yave1964

Vegas Knights offseason primer

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2017-18 FINAL RECORD 51-24-7  109 points First in Pacific lost in Stanley Cup finals to Capitals in 5 games

 

The most inexplicable season in the history of the game, period, bar none. That is what occurred here. 

  George McPhee will win the NHL exec of the year, Grard Gallant will win the Jack Adams award,  William Karlsson came from absolute nowhere to score 43 goals, MA Fleury was a beast, Marchessault was a steal. Hell, I cannot explain it, I doubt anyone really can, the Knights were the best expansion team in pro sports history by far. 

  I love the history of the game and have a soft spot in my heart for the expansion St. Louis Blues who went to three straight SCF in their first three seasons but for a myriad of reasons this Knights team hands down is a thousand times better than the team that Scotty Bowman cut his coaching teeth on.

  The expansion draft was set up to allow the Knights to draft a bunch of middle of the pack players but a funny thing happened along the way, side deal after side deal netted the Knights 3 first round picks, players such as Reilly smith, Marchessault, Fleury, Haula and Tuch, deal after deal like that. Even so nobody thought they were even so much as a lower end playoff team let alone bound to win the West.

  Marchesault, Karlsson, Perron, Haula, Tuch, Neal and Smith led the way among the forwards. On defense Colin Miller had a breakout year, Shea Theodore and Nate Schmidt were excellent two way players, in net Fleury was a beast when healthy and  Malcom Subban established himself as a solid backup.

  As for what went wrong,  Jason Garrison looked old and slow and was shipped to the AHL early, Vadim Shipachyov came from the KHL, was supposed to be a star but didn't translate to the NHL rinks and was gone in less than a month.  Tatar came from Detroit at the deadline for three picks and was ineffective. Brendan Leipsic was a poor choice and was dispatched midseason. Cody Eakin was hoped to be the 1C but ended up having a poor year. It is hard to find fault tho, the team had a once in a lifetime season.

 

TOP PROSPECTS

Cody Glass is considered a real deal future 1C who may stick with the team this year and be brought along gradually, fellow first rounders Nick Suzuki and Erik Brannstrom give the knights a trio of first round picks who will all be playing regular minutes in the next year or two. Nic Hague is a top tier defensive prospect who might stick this year although he is probably a year away.

 

FREE AGENTS

James Neal, David Perron, Luca Sbisa and Ryan Reaves are all UFA, the Knights have said the right things about wanting all of them back and with 26 million in cap space they can afford to make it happen. They have some serious RFA players as well, Karlsson, Nosek, Carrier, Theodore and Miller who will eat up a lot of the cap room as well. Next year Schmidt and Fleury are UFAs and are expected to sign long term deals.

  Vegas is a preferred destination of free agents, quite a few players have been rumored with going there from Tavares to Karlsson to Doughty. A lot of folks expect the Knights to make a big statement. 

 

OFFSEASON QUESTIONS

 

ARE THE KNIGHTS FOR REAL?

 I rooted against them but I have to admit that I respect the job that McPhee and Gallant did of putting a competitive team on the ice and forcing their way into the conversation. They have a deep farm system, a top flight goalie, an attitude because they were considered expendable by their previous teams, Karlsson came from nowhere to establish himself as a star. 

  I personally think they are gonna take a step back this year but remain in the mix for a playoff spot but my God, they proved all doubters wrong all year so who is to say where the line is. 

 

IF THEY MAKE A SPLASH WHO WILL IT BE?

 They have cap space but there own players need a payday, Tavares is the logical player to make a big push for as he only costs money but I think that they are happy with their forwards. I think I could see them trading for Karlsson from Ottawa in exchange for a package including one or two of their prospects and possibly Theodore. It makes a lot of sense to add Karlsson to the Knights, if they fail that John Carlson may come over from the Capitals. The Knights were exposed without a puck pushing defenseman against Washington. Of course if they add both to go with William Karlsson they could have plays that go Karlsson to Carlson to Karlsson. Not exactly the Stastny brothers but close enough.

 

 

 

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Again great write up @yave1964.

 

I'm going to toe the line and say that a perfect storm occurred in the NHL for the Knights to be successful.  Of course it starts in net and when you can get a 3 time All Star / Stanley Cup winning goalie, you are starting off on the right foot.

 

All the players you mentioned had career years.  Marchesault and Karlsson both had SH% above their CSH%.  There is no denying that Vegas had a tremendous year.  The trick is can they do it again and be contenders or were they a flash in pan.  I'm going to take the stance that there will be some regression.  How much will be hotly debated for months and weeks to come until Sept. / Oct. 

 

Short of winning the SC, everything that could go right went right.  Outside of MAF, I don't think they even had a significant injury affect them. Even when MAF went out with a concussion, Subban and Dansk filled in without missing a beat.

 

I want see how this team reacts to adversity before I say they are yearly contenders.  Come this time next year I could be eating my words.  However it does it appear that McPhee did his homework and constructed a solid foundation of a franchise.

 

Next season will be very interesting ...........

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Perron is gone to the St Louis Blues.  The team that should have made it in.  And the team I thought would meet the Caps in the finals.  I am usually a year off on these things so look out for the Blues this year.  I do not think Vegas can do it again with this lineup.  I just do not believe they can.  Prove me wrong Vegas. 

 

And you did mention those old Blues teams Yave.  They had the Plaguer bros and Red Berenson and were a very good team. Jacque Plante.  Just did not have enough to beat the likes of Beleveau's Canadiens or Orr and Espo's Bruins.

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      2017-18 FINAL RECORD 51-24-7  109 points First in Pacific lost in Stanley Cup finals to Capitals in 5 games   The most inexplicable season in the history of the game, period, bar none. That is what occurred here.    George McPhee will win the NHL exec of the year, Grard Gallant will win the Jack Adams award,  William Karlsson came from absolute nowhere to score 43 goals, MA Fleury was a beast, Marchessault was a steal. Hell, I cannot explain it, I doubt anyone really can, the Knig
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      Again great write up @yave1964.   I'm going to toe the line and say that a perfect storm occurred in the NHL for the Knights to be successful.  Of course it starts in net and when you can get a 3 time All Star / Stanley Cup winning goalie, you are starting off on the right foot.   All the players you mentioned had career years.  Marchesault and Karlsson both had SH% above their CSH%.  There is no denying that Vegas had a tremendous year.  The trick is can they do it again and
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