Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Now What Vegas Golden Knights?

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

Those writing or embracing the narrative of why their team didn’t go as far as Vegas are more than happy to grasp the final explanation, because then they don’t have to question the geniuses running their favourite squad. But if Vegas did get the core of a competitive team in the expansion draft, they certainly didn’t get the core of a Stanley Cup finalist. Which means the true explanation, if someone can ever figure it out, is what happened to that group of athletes once they were assembled and organized under the watchful eyes of Gerard Gallant.

Now, it’s what magic trick McPhee and Gallant can conjure up next.

They’ve got a fan base that now believes this is how it works and is what they’ll get every year. The most significant obstacle stopping that from happening is that the NHL rewards lousiness rather than success, so Vegas is extremely unlikely to get a franchise player in the draft this month because they don’t have a first-round pick. In the past, that’s where new teams would get the high-end talent they needed to build a contender. But Vegas traded its first-rounder, and two other picks, to Detroit to get Tomas Tatar. Given Tatar often couldn’t crack the lineup, that was a sizeable mistake.

The Knights will draft in the second round this month, but not in the third. So that’s one pick in the top 93, and none in the top 25. In terms of developing organization, that’s a punch to the solar plexus. Vegas had three of last year’s top 15 picks Cody Glass (sixth), Nick Suzuki (13th) and Erik Brannstrom (15th) so that lessens the blow to some degree.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: vegas+golden+knights



The hard thing to accept is that it could be decades before Vegas has this chance again. Nothing is guaranteed in this league. All they had to do was look across the ice to see that getting to the finals, let alone winning it is never a given, regardless of talent. San Jose and St Louis are still waiting despite having had rosters that were among the best on numerous occassions. Phildelphia hasn’t won since the mid 70s. Detroit, NYR and Toronto had lapses of 40 years+ with Toronto still waiting. Hell, the whole country of Canada has been waiting on a cup win 25 years now.

Here’s hoping the Vegas fans can keep this in perspective. It was a huge accomplishment not only for an expansion franchise but for any NHL team. Next season brings new hope but it will bring new challenges too. Enjoy the ride.

Posted by evileye on 06/12/18 at 11:57 AM ET

SYF's avatar

While this town went absolute bonkers with how far this team came along unexpectedly, this town’s fans are pretty level-headed because this is a whole new experience for so many of them.  My local church has a pretty sizable contingency and even they KNOW that it may not happen again.  We’ve seen the long odds and are prepared for it.

VGK has made believers of a bunch of bandwagon fans.  So many first timers can’t wait for the next season already.  Eternally optimistic.

Posted by SYF from a deja vu of the 85-86 season on 06/12/18 at 10:18 PM ET

Add a Comment

Please limit embedded image or media size to 575 pixels wide.

Add your own avatar by joining Kukla's Korner, or logging in and uploading one in your member control panel.

Captchas bug you? Join KK or log in and you won't have to bother.


Notify me of follow-up comments?


Most Recent Blog Posts

About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com