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Vegas Golden Knights: Plans for the trade deadline

By Chris,

Entering the season as the 31st team to join the NHL, it was a given that the Vegas Golden Knights were going to be sellers at the trade deadline. Holding big-name impending UFAs in James Neal and David Perron, teams were already eyeing up a deadline trade with the Golden Knights, likely intending to pass over prospects and picks in exchange.

But, 55 games down the line and the Vegas Golden Knights stand just three poinst behind the perceived Stanley Cup favorites (Tampa Bay Lightning) in the overall standings and are already the best expansion team ever. This has resulted in them signing up the likes of Jonathan Marchessault and Brayden McNabb to new contracts, seemingly performing a U-turn on their anticipated ‘seller’ status at the trade deadline.

Neal and Perron are still without new contracts, but if Vegas can push in the postseason, they may well be snapped up before the season is up. Then again, they could be left dangling there as trade bait in case a buyer is willing to pay an arm and a leg for either of them; after all, the Golden Knights is an incredibly young franchise that still needs to build.

With the playoffs all but locked up and Vegas rated as one of the frontrunners for the Stanley Cup, who should they target, if anyone at the trade deadline?

George McPhee wants to be the best

 

The general manager of the Vegas Golden Knights, George McPhee, has said all season that their trade deadline activities will be dependent on their position at the time. At the end of January, McPhee stated: “The focus every day is to be the best we can be and see where we are come the deadline.”

Right now, the Golden Knights are flying high and aren’t showing any signs of slowing down. They’ve avoided a slew of major injuries which has helped, but even when Marc-Andre Fleury or David Perron missed time, Vegas managed to keep winning. But, with regards to the trade deadline, this brand new team has to keep the future in mind as they need to ensure that they can remain a competitive team in the league in the years to come.

They have a great chance to achieve something very special this season which has captured the imagination of ice hockey fans all over the world. They’ve even been seen as a popular use of the Oddschecker free bet offers to win in any given game. With so much going for them, it may seem foolish for the Golden Knights not to try to better their odds of doing the seemingly impossible and try to go deep into the playoffs.

Potential Golden Knights trade targets

 

One of the major aspects of this Golden Knights team is that the personalities in the locker room all suit the team. They’re all team players without over-inflated egos or huge draft tags over their heads – at least anymore. They’re all humble players, even the All-Star caliber Fleury and Neal. So, not disrupting the locker room or the trusted game plan is important to consider.

Some strength and depth should be what the Golden Knights are looking for as they may not continue to be so lucky on the injury front. With around $8 million in cap space and an inordinate number of picks available from trades during the expansion draft, Vegas has a lot of room to play. However, other teams will know of their picks haul, so will naturally try to drive up their prices.

Detroit defenseman Mike Green is hot on the trade rumor wheel, and would certainly provide an upgrade on the blueline for the Golden Knights. To add to this, he’s proven to be a model professional and a team player. However, many other teams are said to be in the hunt, so perhaps an experienced playoff defenseman in Ian Cole may be the better option or a big, brutish blueliner like Erik Gudbranson to help support the team and give their stars protection through the trials of the playoffs. A bit of added depth and experience in the forward lines could help down the line as well, with the likes of Thomas Vanek and Michael Grabner posing as possible targets.

This NHL trade deadline is set to be as exciting as ever, but everyone’s eyes will be on the Vegas Golden Knights, and what general manager George McPhee decides to do. 

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

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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

 

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