Latest posts by Yusuf Nakhooda (see all)
- Ten Things We Learned From The Conference Championships - January 22, 2018
- Willie O’ Ree’s Journey To Break The Color Barrier In The NHL - January 21, 2018
- Why Trae Young Is The Real Deal At Oklahoma - January 20, 2018
The Vegas Golden Knights are just three points out from being the No. 1 team in the NHL halfway through their inaugural season.
The Golden Knights used another gutsy effort on Sunday night to get by the New York Rangers by a score of 2-1. With the win, the club has now gone 14-1-1 in its last 16 games and has become the second team to hit the 60-point threshold.
After 41 games, Vegas is on pace to finish with 120 points. With a start like this it’s no longer a hot take to suggest that the Golden Knights will be playing playoff hockey this spring.
With the playoffs now on the horizon, the question is shifting to: What will the team do as it approaches it’s first-ever trade deadline? Generally, a team in Vegas’ position would be in the market to buy potential rentals in an attempt to bolster its lineup.
However, with Vegas still in its infancy, a clear plan in place, and no glaring holes on its roster, it makes more sense for the club to stand it’s ground at the trading dealine.
When general manager George McPhee set out to construct the Golden Knights’ roster he made it imperative that he not only load up on younger, skilled, roster players but to also stockpile his cupboard with a load of prospects and draft picks (a perfect example of which are first-round picks Cody Glass and Nick Suzuki).
Last June, the team made 12 selections at the draft. Going forward, the Golden Knights have 28 picks over the next three years.
The team found chemistry almost immediately and it’s led to the Golden Knights posting the second-most potent offense in the league, averaging 3.44 goals per game. On the other side, Vegas has given up 2.71 goals per game, good enough for the 11th-best mark. Despite their special teams being middle of the pack, it hasn’t particularly hampered the club in any way. Then there is the dynamic duo of Marc-Andre Fleury and Malcolm Subban manning the pipes.
It makes little sense to mess with a winning formula. In his short tenure, McPhee has shown he’s not going to make any critical moves that could jeopardize the team’s future.
Ahead of free agency last July, McPhee made it clear that his team wouldn’t be very active as it’s usually the time of the year where teams overpay for players. Then, after the Golden Knights went through a carousel of goalies with injuries to Fleury, Subban, and Oscar Dansk, McPhee said he wasn’t going to have a knee-jerk reaction and trade for a goalie. Instead, he elected to wait out the storm – which now looks to have been the smart choice.
The Golden Knights couldn’t have written a better script to this season if they tried. They worked the expansion draft to perfection by creating a model roster that’s been producing from the back end on out, they’ve stockpiled talent in their system, and – without a ton of tinkering – the team leads the Western Conference.
They should be able to compete without any additions. Doing so would keep Vegas’ current roster intact and more importantly keeps it’s future pieces in the fold.