How They Were Built: Vegas Golden Knights

As we prepare for the Stanley Cup Final, it’s always a good time to look at how the conference champion rosters were built.

What is unique about the 2018 Cup Final is that both teams – Vegas and Washington – will have one man responsible for building a significant portion of both rosters: George McPhee.

What is historic about the 2018 Cup Final is that Vegas’ roster was built… one year ago. In an expansion draft. From scratch. But looking back at how McPhee manipulated both the expansion and NHL Draft to build a roster worthy of a Cup Final will be a lesson for years to come.

Our list will start with the Conn Smythe front-runner, Marc-Andre Fleury, and then list the skaters in order of postseason point production.

Marc-Andre Fleury, G  – 15 games, 12 wins, .947 sv pct, 1.68 GAA
Selected by Vegas in the Expansion Draft from Pittsburgh. Vegas also received a 2nd round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft.

Jonathan Marchessault, F – 15 games, 8 goals, 10 assists
Selected by Vegas in the Expansion Draft from Florida.

Reilly Smith, F – 15 games, 2 goals, 14 assists
Traded to Vegas by Florida for a 4th round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft.

William Karlsson, F – 15 games, 6 goals, 7 assists
Selected by Vegas in the Expansion Draft from Columbus. Vegas also receive a 1st round pick (#24) in 2017, 2nd round pick in 2019 and the contract of David Clarkson.

  • Vegas traded Columbus’ pick to Winnipeg.

Alex Tuch, F – 15 games, 6 goals, 3 assists
Traded to Vegas by Minnesota as part of Expansion Draft for Vegas’ 3rd round pick in 2018.

James Neal, F – 15 games, 4 goals, 5 assists
Selected by Vegas in the Expansion Draft from Nashville.

Erik Haula, F – 15 games, 3 goals, 4 assists
Selected by Vegas in the Expansion Draft from Minnesota. Tuch trade was part of this selection.

Shea Theodore, D – 15 games, 2 goals, 5 assists
Traded to Vegas by Anaheim as part of Expansion Draft (Clayton Stoner selection).

David Perron, F – 11 games, 0 goals, 7 assists
Selected by Vegas in the Expansion Draft from St. Louis.

Nate Schmidt, D – 15 games, 2 goals, 4 assists
Selected by Vegas in the Expansion Draft from Washington.

Brayden McNabb, D – 15 games, 2 goals, 3 assists
Selected by Vegas in the Expansion Draft from Los Angeles.

Ryan Carpenter, F – 13 games, 0 goals, 5 assists
Claimed off waivers from the San Jose Sharks on Dec. 13.

Cody Eakin, F – 15 games, 3 goals, 1 assist
Selected by Vegas in the Expansion Draft from Dallas.

Colin Miller, D – 15 games, 2 goals, 1 assist
Selected by Vegas in the Expansion Draft from Boston.

Tomas Nosek, F – 12 games, 1 goal, 2 assists
Selected by Vegas in the Expansion Draft from Detroit.

Luca Sbisa, D – 7 games, 2 assists
Selected by Vegas in the Expansion Draft from Vancouver.

Ryan Reaves, F – 6 games, 1 goal
Acquired from Pittsburgh with a 4th round pick in the 2018 Draft for F Derick Brassard.

  • Vegas acquired Brassard in a three-team trade from Ottawa for 3rd round pick in the 2019 draft.

Tomas Tatar, F – 6 games, 1 goal
Acquired from Detroit via trade for for 1st round pick in the 2018 Draft, 2nd round pick in the 2019 Draft and 3rd round pick in the 2021 draft.

Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, F – 15 games, 1 assist
Selected by Vegas in the Expansion Draft from Philadelphia.

Oscar Lindberg, F – 3 games, 1 assist
Selected by Vegas in the Expansion Draft from the NY Rangers.

Deryk Engelland, D – 15 games, 0 points
Selected by Vegas in the Expansion Draft from Calgary.

William Carrier, F – 9 games, 0 points
Selected by Vegas in the Expansion Draft from Buffalo. Vegas also received a 6th round pick in the 2017 NHL Draft (#161 – Jiri Patera).

Jon Merrill, D – 8 games, 0 points
Selected by Vegas in the Expansion Draft from New Jersey.

Malcolm Subban, G – 0 games
Claimed off waivers from the Boston Bruins on Oct. 3.

 

45 thoughts on “How They Were Built: Vegas Golden Knights

  1. Thanks for breaking down the Vegas roster Tab – good info.

    Obviously both MIN and FL look like they both gave up a lot and are guilty of undervalueing their own players

    It’s nice to Reaves playing hockey and contributing albeit in a limited role – he’s more than just the goon he seemed to be in STL

    BOS has to kicking themselves over losing Miller and same for WSH and Schmidt

    I was hoping the Hawks might grab Schmidt from Vegas for their future considerations – he played well for WSH in last year’s playoffs vs TOR when he was in the line up.

  2. I doubt this is the result the NHL wanted when they devised this plan. However, a ton of credit has to be given to coaches and management for the players they ended up with and making it all work. Personally, I hope VGK win for 2 reasons. First, the NHL will change the way the next expansion club is formed, and second, I hate Ovechkin.

  3. I think the expansion draft rules for Seattle have already been confirmed as being the same as they were for Vegas

  4. Off topic from Vegas but,.,.,Chris DiDomenico ??? He really seems to be leading the Icehogs ,his point production is great ,his stats with the Sens ,.,.,.not bad . Any chance him making the big team ? 3rd 4th line center ? I am looking forward to seeing some fresh faces from the Hogs in Chi town next season .

    Go Ovie Go

  5. so is it too early to start planning for the Seattle expansion draft?

  6. Seattle Metropolitan`s won the Stanley cup in 1917-18 ,in the finals again when flu epidemic broke out . 1919. Pre salary cap era .

  7. Tom Wilson is totally classless and a moron. How can you not like the Knights playing style, they are exciting, fast, and skilled. It is good for hockey in general that they are having the success that they are having.

    And having buffoons in Washington like Wilson put me in the awkward position of cheering for guys like Reeves which I never thought I would do, lol.

  8. Some of you guys are cracking me up with this Ryan Reaves is all of a sudden some kind of player to like when we all know who that guy is out on the ice having seen his “act” for many years with the Blues. He still plays exactly the same as he always has. Games such as last night where the refs “let em play” are perfectly suited to guys like Reaves AND Wilson whom I believe is a much more talented player than career douche bag Reaves. I counted at least 3-4 plays where Reaves should have been called for minor penalties last night. Never mind the blatant crosscheck putting Carlson to the ice that gave him a quality chance to net that he happened to roof. Game changer no call.

    Of course LVGK are a likeable team since they are loaded with great skaters, and play a strong 2 way game down all 4 lines. Their team defense has been very dependable. They don’t slow down often. Some huge calls went the way of the LVK last night. McNab hard slash on Eller in what would have likely been a 3rd period tap in was somehow let go. Eddie O even blew me away by saying it was a great defensive play!!! Sure if you can get away with it. WTF…Then the Reaves right out in the open crosscheck on Carlson that brought what was a massive swing goal in the game.

    This is likely to be a very entertaining series. The game last night offered some great hockey viewing despite the terrible job done by the refs. I’m no fan of the over the top Vegas pregame show, but then again I am no fan of that city anyway. That said this Knights team has had one hell of a ride this year and that I do respect.

    Lets Go Caps!
    and
    Lets Go Hawks!

  9. Sorry to see the Hogs season end last night. Great season, especially late in the year when they were desperate for wins. Nice to see a veteran like Franson understand his role, help the younger players and contribute to their cause. A 9-4 playoff record with 2 of the losses in overtime says alot about the Hogs. No real standouts but fast steady 2 way play. Hmmmm

  10. HEREISMIKE the reason for the no call on Wilson is likely that David Perron came off the bench after the whistle and cross checked Ovechkin on the same play. Doing that should be a game misconduct and automatic review and hurts VGK worse. If the Commissioner having the ability with the stroke of a pen to put a contender where he wants, whenever he wants, bypassing the traditional sportsmanship of building teams the right way is good for the sport, then what i have watched all my life was wrong. Is this how the new way you create parity works, penalize those accomplishing some structure in their franchise and reward those who haven’t acheived any yet.

  11. From my viewpoint I see Reaves being used a little differently than he was in STL where he really was expected to be a goon. In Vegas he’s also expected to be tough but he’s also expected to contribute in a hockey way and he has in his role.

    I’m happy for him – I haven’t seen the dbaggery from him that Wilson shows

    I wonder if Martinsens could fill that role that Reaves is playing for the Hawks next year – maybe

    The thing I love most about how Vegas plays is not only their speed and quick decisions moving the puck but also how smart they play up and down the line up

    Even in a game like last night where there were defensive breakdowns (for both teams) I don’t remember a really stupid play from one of the Vegas players

    By contrast the Hawks last year could commit multiple really stupid plays in one shift

    On the positive side if the Hawks could eliminate those stupid plays they play a similar style to Vegas although they do need a bit more jam and a lot more desire

    Heard Toews on the radio today – sounds like he gets it and he expects the Hawks to be a lot hungrier next year. He even compared the attitude that they should have next year with the attitude Vegas had this year – working their butts off every shift

  12. I think the Hawks time for competing for championships is over….their core players are too old and not good enough anymore, and can’t keep up in this fast paced league, other than Kane and Crow.

    Yes the no call on Reeves goal was one the refs missed, but McNab play on the empty net shot attempt by Eller was a great hustle play. He hit his stick while Eller was trying to shoot. If that’s a penalty, that would be news to basically everyone in the league because that happens 50 times a game. It was no chop to the hands and his stick never touched the player, only the shaft of Eller’s stick.

    It really saved the game at that point for Vegas, preserving a 1 goal lead with about a couple minutes left. That is why they are where they are, they hustle max effort on little plays like that all game. Plus, they have a knack for getting the puck to the goal mouth whenever they need a goal and they convert when they get there. And this is done with basically SMALL guys for the most part on the top line.

    I think every team’s fans in the league wishes their team played more like Vegas.

  13. With all due respect HEREISMIKE I concur with some your assertions, yet I cannot in any way agree with your assessment of the McNab play on Eller. This was/is slashing, even before the league got even tougher with this call at the beginning of this season. You don’t need to hit a player in the hands to get called for slashing. The replay is clear. McNab while bending over takes his stick up above his head and brings it down chopping hard on Ellers stick. I don’t care if he hustled back, that is slashing. Period. I am sure if Ellers stick happened to break the call might have been made, but a stick not broken does not negate slashing in this case or other cases. My point was it changed the course of the game. It was not a borderline play imo. Classic NHL, what’s a penalty? When to call crosschecking, slashing? The players would stop doing it if they were sent to the box more often.

    Hey, I like how LVGK play hockey, but they should not be rewarded with gift no calls that changed the game hard in their favor, especially in The Finals. I’d say the same if it was the Caps that did it to Vegas.

    BTW, I will always see Reaves as a POS while he on the ice. Sorry, that’s just my brain knowing what a cheap shot artist that guy has been and always will be. Speaking about other ex St Louis bums, Perron drilling Ovie last night was another classic dumbass move that hurt his team, much like when he played with St Louis.

    Looking forward to the game tomorrow night.

    Lets Go Hawks!

  14. Oh I agree Reeves is still a tool and I am in no way a fan of his on any level. I just think Wilson’s level of targeting skill players with cheap shots is worse douchebaggery.

    Have to disagree on the concept of using your stick to disrupt a shot attempt. That is still part of the game and considered a legit play. Eddie O was right….my opinion. But I agree the slashing motion he used makes it a grey area for a potential penalty call, but the grey areas are so wide in the NHL you never seem to know one play to the next if there will be a penalty. I think that in part is what you have a gripe about and it’s a good one.

  15. I agree also to HEREISMIKE first sentence and WRAPAROUND take! Now as for , Mc Phee,he did a fantastic job . From beginning to end. the owner also deserves credit for having vision to bring the team there in which the NHL agreed. This team has been great for the city and healing purposes. the city has embraced the team and the players appreciated it. they had 8 to 10 thousand outside the stadium watching on the stadium screen with one hell of a pre game show inside and out. NHL network was in awe watching during breaks. this is great for hockey and hope other teams take notice on how the fans get treated and get treated to more than just a expensive seat. popularity will rise for hockey and this cup finals will help . This team plays the game like it or not. now as for the hawks glory years the had there share of questionable plays with players we had . just let m play I say and the best team wins . Knights are working hard to create history and I’m enjoying the hell out of it.

  16. Tom Wilson is a fucking beast! I’d take him on my team any damn day. Was that a late hit yes but JM shouldn’t be admiring his pass anyways. Guess what next time JM is on the ice he is going to be looking out for Willy. Ryan Reaves, is a POS that was a garbage play but he got away with it. Overall great game for hockey all around.

  17. I wouldn’t take Wilson on my team, with all due respect to SSHM. He did score over 10 goals (I think) this past season, but he’s a career 5 – 7 goals a year guy. He’s had a couple of multiple game suspensions the last two years, prior to the three game one he got against the Pens in the first round when he broke the guy’s jaw and concussed him, knocking him out of the series. He’s a penalty killer, but he puts the other team on the PP a lot too. He’s reckless with no offensive punch to back it up. These last two years he’s been like a Raffi Torres in training.

    He got off the hook from the league on this latest hit. But stuff like that isn’t a good hockey play. It’s dumb and selfish. He runs a chance of hurting his team when he does stuff like that. It’s especially stupid in the playoffs and certainly in the SCF.

  18. Tom Wilson is a piece of garbage and should have been suspended for the duration of the playoffs. The sad part is he can play when he gets rid of the junk.

    Reeves is a POS and always has been. Thinking he plays hockey is laughable.

    The 2012-2013 and lockout season Hawks were two of the most entertaining teams to watch and they did it mostly with lil fast guys and super stars being super stars.

    The only reason Vegas is where they are is MAF stealing games and playing out of his mind. Thomas did it a few years ago for Boston and Quick did it in 2012 for the Kings. Shoot Smith got the Coyotes to a conference final playing that way as well. A bunch of grinders are getting bounces and riding a hot goalie. It isn’t rocket science.

    Their shot shares are far from dominating. About spitting the difference. Very special performance from MAF. Compared to the Hawks teams in 2010 and 2013 that just steamrolled everyone this is a vastly inferior team and not nearly as entertaining.

    Nothing like a diluted talent pool from there being too many teams, a hard cap and abhorrent officiating allowing this ridiculousness to happen.

  19. The Tim Thomas / Boston comparison to what Fleury is doing is a great point. He is sporting near a .950 save % which is insane, a .930 would be outstanding.

    However, the Golden Knights are much more than a super hot goalie. Look at how they respond when they get down by a goal. It is unreal. They push the puck to the net and score within a shift or two. Like Karlsson’s goal in game one. It is very difficult to get them down by 2 goals. That kind of character and grit and will is what champions are made of.

    Think of how the Hawks used to have that third gear and come back on teams all the time. You are seeing nearly the same thing ingrained in this Vegas Team right now.

    Speaking of Karlsson, his is a 40 goal scoring number one center with wheels. He played for Colombus last year and scored I think 7 goals. Now, is Colombus just stupid? Is Vegas that smart? Or is it a little of both and some luck in that they identified a guy who had untapped potential, yet he ended up better than they could have possibly hoped he would be.

    There are examples like this all over their roster.

  20. HereisMike-

    Re: Karlsson… first time I saw him skate a few shifts… Like Hoffman from Sens- I said to myself- that guy is pretty fricking good… who is he??? Hawks could use guys like that… where did he come from?

    Is Vegas that smart/or Jackets stupid??? I luv a lot of the guys Jackets draft/find…
    But- I think Gallant is that GOOD of Coach/ and Vegas had a plan to pick guys- who could skate/nimble/quick/HUNGER/IQ/some degree of talent (but … Last few guys Hawks had in that Mold-That were NOT 1st class stars…) SHAW and Kruger/Frolik and Bolland before that.

    I don’t see any of those guys on Hawks right now… I see skill/top guys… and big drop there after

    Gallant + Great picks (for the style they wanted)…

    Haula and Perron– more guys- like Frolik/Shaw- can score 20+ goals on a top line… or be assholes to play versus on bottom “checking lines”…

    seems like Knights have about 10 forwards like Frolik/Shaws + Great Coach/system… they are smothering

  21. AJ, good post.

    I posted this on other thread. Wasn’t happy with refs giving Vegas game with 4th goal cross check goal.

    Hope WAS wins Cup.

    The league has ruined the sport with the recent yrs. That they do not waive off the goal tender interference that screwed NAS in game 6 last yr and do not waive off cross check in back on 4th goal. You waive those off and play the real sport. WAS deserved to play up 4-3 during the 3rd period. Its a joke.

    Make the fucking calls. Right.

    I was a good game until they let the get away with that (just like PIT goaltender interference goal). Hope WAS wins but I think that makes it clear what the league/refs are going to do to WAS and for the expansion team.

    4-0 sweep, over before it started. To bring interest into the sport again (from other areas).

    I am not watching nhl hockey again, other then our games for the next yr and a half. Its a joke when you can just plow the goalie/make contact with goalies arm/cross ck defenseman down like that and score not waived off.

    When were really good again, yr and a half, then I ll watch some other teams/games again. Until then theres no point. Its scripted. You watch WAS will get screwed over and over during this series to cater to expansion team/team league wants to win etc.

    See ya at the draft. Let me know who wins Cup.

  22. Doesn’t matter. Even though there were a lot things missed/not called, you have to waive off the goal if something happens.

    That’s prob why Wilson (the db) did it because the refs left them score a goal, which gave them the game/really kept them in it-tied.

    It was worse but there wasn’t a goal scored on it.

    Your right, I know certain plays are worse then others but what should matter is when a goal is scored on a penalty play, it should always be waived off.

    Its the goaltender interference on Crow that gave NAS game 3, which we would have won (2-1 series), the PIT goalie interference which gave the game 6 and screwed NAS, and this cross checking goal which gave Vegas the 2018 Stanley Cup champions the game and prob the edge to stay ahead the whole series.
    …but the league/refs/instant replay refs gave to them.

    That is the prob I have with it. I know theres a lot of cheap/late hit/lots of stuff/etc that goes on that should be called. But whos fault is that, the league who doesn’t manage/enforce the rules properly.

    So even though Wilson is a dumbass and he should be suspened for cheap suff he does/all the time. He had to take the refs into his own hands and do a penalty to send a message to expansion team that if they cheat AND score a goal on it, they will be hit cheaply when they think its well past the play so their not expecteing it. clean hit shoulders or below but head whipping action against the hitter like a rag doll.

    For the record I am not for cheap stuff or any of this, its just what else do you do to send a message to other team and refs, when the refs let other team cheat AND score a goal on it, which kept them in game in order to win game.

    It should be 1-0 WAS. That cross ck goal could be the diff in winning the Cup, even though there 6 more games. The fact that Vegas gets to play with the advantage of being up 1-0 and prob through out whole series when they deserve to have to play from behind.

    But it those plays the league/refs deliberately let certain teams away with, and are vital in who wins. Not the regular cheating. Just waive off goals that are scored on penalty plays, then everything is fine.

  23. I tried refing once and I could see how hard it was on a close call

    I know they cant see whats on tv all the time, I am realistic even though.

    I guess the best way I think the rules should be are to replay every goal for goal tender interference, kicking motion or angling your skate leg etc, and for things like the cross check goal.

    I am ok with refs not seeing everything all the the time and whats on tv. Its the stuff right in front of net that bothers me. The calls not called or they review and still make wrong call.

    I just think the sport would be better/more fair/proper use of replay to review every goal, during a mandatory tv time after every goal. Just to review front of net stuff/including goalie interference.

    That way its at least 100% fair and they should be able to make the right replay call 99% of the time.

    For the other stuff that happens all over the ice, well if there isint a goal scored then it doesn’t make it right, its just stuff/part of the game.

    I really really hate teams that cheat AND get rewarded with a goal or the game just because of that.

    I know its not a perfect way of doing it, but at least review every goal, that’s what wins the games, more goals. Make them legit.

  24. Lots of teams might try to copy Vegas but theres only so many that can actually do it roster wise. We need to get our roster tuned up because we are good when we play.

    Man AJ that’s a post.
    Watered down the top 5 teams or more. The result teams like PIT (that couldn’t play with top 5 teams from 2010-15) and this.

    Lets go salary cap. Get back to where you belong.

  25. Ian, excellent post to. This really is scripted. Yes I know nobody expected them to do this good in playoffs. Still you make every team earn it. Earn their team, in the first palce.

    What does this say to San Jose. Who did it right built their team the proper way and earned to become one of the two best teams for a decade. Yet didn’t get to win.

    Its really horse shit when you think about to teams like San Jose and others
    who paid their dues, the proper way.

  26. I mean, their shot shares behind or shot shares when close are again split down the middle. They’re getting an insane amount of luck and a hellah hot goalie.

    The Hawks when behind in 2015 were 56% and change SAT wise. Vegas is like 51.

    Incomparable teams.

    Crow played well but Keith threw the whole team on his back and Kane did Kane things when he had to.

    There is always a fair amount of luck involved but this year has just been silly. Unless MAF and\or Subban play out of their mind again – they probably aren’t a playoff team next year if they don’t spend some monies and people will some how be confused. I also promise you Karlsson doesn’t shoot a ridiculous 23% and there’s 20 goals off the top which puts them at +20 on the year and they’re dropping quite a few spots in the standings.

    Lot of aberrations on that team which will not repeat themselves next year and any GM that tries to copy that model is out of their mind.

  27. Vegas being in the final is further proof that a rejuvenated Toews (which Kopitar did this year fwiw) normal Saad and a healthy Crow gives the Hawks just as good of a chance as anyone.

  28. That’s what I saying man. When we play we play. I know we sucked bad, besides the Crow. No excuses, that is what happened. if we weer that bad I say ok, eh. I better not ever have say sch. or other frowned upon things again. Whiles we still have Tazer and Kaner. The good thing is it happened on a deep draft yr and the young wave of faster players for us are getting closer to their prime yrs/start wise. Also we do not have to have a dynasty roster to win the Cup since there arnt any more ‘real’ top 5 teams anymore, once TB has to and then TOR does after them. Let WIN and NAS go hard for a couple yr, like we did for basically 7 yrs in a row then we had regular gas. That we way we can get back to putting in premium gas again.

  29. @ AJ

    Agree with your last post – I think Vegas’ success gives us Hawk fans some evidence to think things can turn around next year – the Hawks did have a lot of bad luck last year

    Can’t agree on Reaves though – I don’t mind if you think he’s a POS but like it or not he’s playing hockey. It’s not a top 6 role it’s a 4th line tough guy agitator role with a little bit of scoring thrown in. Almost every championship team has had such a player or more than one. Hockey is the ultimate team game – you need players to fill that role and Reaves is doing that.

    Sure he should have been called for cross checking on his goal but in the playoffs getting away with penalties happens all the time.

    Reaves got away with one and it probably turned the game in Vegas’ favour – we didn’t mind when one of Bolland’s uncalled penalties led to a Hawks goal.

  30. Vegas has 2 undersized players on their roster tonight! Marchessault and Carpenter!
    The rest have size and speed!
    Caps have none! All big boys!

    Formula is evident, much like those Hawks Cup teams.

    James Neil would look good with Schmaltz and Kane!

  31. The intensity, speed and size of all these players in the final is very impressive. The Pro scouts for Vegas were bang on building this team. Lots of 1st, 2nd and 3rd rounders in the lineup. Watching Miller and Theodore skate and shoot on defence is impressive.
    Hawks have a lot of work to build a team in the next two years to match up with these talented and intense teams.
    Osterle and the gang can’t are not at this level.

  32. Didn’t watch, as league deserves. 5 to 2 penatlays. Cross check around net called on Ohshe. Wait didn’t they let Vegas get away AND score on a cross check penalty goal. Not against the league team, PIT, VEG, SEA, etc.

    5-2

    Vegas took a shot at head/high area after clean hit. But wait Wilson is not allowed. Injury. What. Wait. Will the league step up and make it right. No they will continue to try to screw WAS just like they did and gave the tie 4-4 in game 1.

    This is just like Kentucky 40-0. It was paid my friends. With some big time money.

  33. There was a 5-3, what. Reading espn box as that is the league standard 2016-18. Ohshe slash/cross check in front of net. Yeh. Didn’t they let Puss on boots get away with that same cross check goal. See, there not a machine. 2 for 2 with refs/league. But oh yeah its a good hockey series I didn’t see it watch replay evens out they commited those penaltys. Ok, eh.

  34. Maybe WAS likes the plinko wheel of fortune shoulder design in the jerseys/sweaters. Those terrible change the channel how can you be allowed to get away with that for more then 82 games. Lifetime suspension.

    This is 2-0 league standards/refs. If its a evenly reffed games WAS could possibly beat the league heavy must win game for. Vegas could not have had/given a better start in these 2 games. WHos knows with league driven refs, WAS wins 2 of 3 and be up 3-2. It would be the first time in history of the expansion team that there down 3-2 in a series.

    Oh wait what should we do.

  35. Just love the espn/nhl cannels sucking it.

    Thought nothing compares to how much they sucked it in 2103.

    That was all time 100 yr.

    Suck on thaaaat. Bolly baby!

  36. “Vegas type- buzz saw players”

    Tim Soderlund- fits the Vegas style… quick as shit – in all directions… competes on all shifts… and IF he played full year w/ 88/8 types… skilled and smart enough to put up 45 + points

    Hino- is close… I don’t know if his IQ/D is there… but does have the “buzz- ability”.

    But- How much of the D/IQ/support should be credited to Gallant??? I think a lot!!!

  37. @ Makita21

    We agree on Neal – I’ve posted a couple of times that I thought Neal is someone the Hawks should try to sign – he’s got size, speed, skill, some nasty, can play top 6

    Term would be a worry however – wouldn’t go there on a long term deal – he’ll be 31 at the start of the season – you’d like to limit the term to 3-4 years

  38. I disagree on Neal….the Hawks don’t need any more players on the wrong end of 30 years old. They need to get younger.

    The decline in Neal’s game will be startling over the next 3-4 years and by midway, whoever signs him will wish they hadn’t.

    How many veteran wings in their mid 30’s are able to keep up with today’s game and maintain their effectiveness? Not many, and they usually are only of the superstar variety, like Kane, which Neal is not.

    He has a great shot and you probably could get a good year out of him but it is not going to be worth the annual cap hit and number of years required. In the end it will be another cap strapping contract and we are already saddled with enough of those (hossa, toews, seabrook, saad, anisimov)

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