Deadline Day Sees Golden Knights Use Picks, Cap Space To Their Advantage
2017 - 2018 Season
After spending the past few months hiring people to run his new National Hockey League team, Bill Foley has also broken ground on the team's new practice facility in the Las Vegas suburb of Summerlin, NV. The new facility will be just east of the beautiful Red Rock Resort and Casino and is scheduled to be completed in time for the new team to practice in next fall.
While the facility will primarily be the home for the Vegas is Hockey NHL franchise, the University of Nevada-Las Vegas will also be a big benefactor according to UNLV play-by-play voice and Vegas hockey guru Dana Lane.
Monday, February 26, 2018
LOS ANGELES - Deal from strength. It's an old axiom in pro sports but it still rings as true today as it ever has. Don't make a deal which helps one part of your organization but creates a hole elsewhere. George McPhee made his hockey team better this week and didn't create issues which he'll have to deal with at a later date.
McPhee had cap space and surplus draft picks to use as currency in the trade market. He used both, addressing needs on his NHL roster while not burdening his organization's future.
McPhee added NHL forwards Ryan Reaves and Tomas Tatar as well as a fourth round pick. On the way out is prospect Tobias Lindberg and three draft choices, a first in 2018, a second in 2019 and a third in 2021.
"We entered the deadline wanting to improve the team and we accomplished that. We had a surplus of picks and we had a lot of cap space and we used those to our advantage in these deals," said McPhee. "We still have a surplus of picks and we still have cap space moving forward. In the next four drafts, we have 11 picks in the first two rounds."
Vegas also sent forward Brendan Leipsic to Vancouver in exchange for defenseman Philip Holm, who will report to the AHL.
McPhee is still in a surplus position of six picks over the next three drafts. The cap space he burned in brokering the Derick Brassard trade to Pittsburgh will be off his books at the end of next season.
Reaves arrives and changes the complexion of the Golden Knights fourth line. He gives the club beef and attitude. He's a coveted player - Pittsburgh spent a first round pick to acquire him last summer - who makes his teammates better.
Tatar likely slots in on the third line to begin but he's a top-six player. He can score and he's competitive. He'll raise the level of offense on the third line and provide insurance should injury or a slump affect the top six.
"He's a younger player, only 27. He's quick, competitive and he can score," said McPhee. "He scored 20 goals a season the past three years and he's on pace to do it again. We didn't want to trade draft picks for someone that's not going to be here after the summer. He has three years left on his contract and we're happy about that. Where he plays in the lineup is up to the coaching staff. We can play left and right side and he can play up and down the lineup. We just added another good player to our team and again he's a mature player but he's still young."
Chemistry has been a strength for Vegas all season and McPhee is confident the additions of Reaves and Tatar won't affect that balance.
"There will be no chemistry issues and in fact I think it enhances things in our locker room. We added a couple of people that are mature, quality people and proven players," he said. "We're delighted to be able to add these players because they do improve our club.
"You know when you talk to the player whether this is something that caught him off guard, something that they were hoping for or whether they were not happy about it or are really excited about it. You can tell by what they're saying and the way it comes through with their voice. Both of these players are really excited to be here and we're very excited to have them and excited that they're excited."
Las Vegas is the entertainment capital of the world and a city that is proud of it's 24 hour open sign that hangs on nearly ever business, so when the new professional hockey team in town announced they were having a 24 hour open house no one was surprised. The Vegas Golden Knights wanted to reach every fan so it only made sense to hold a 24 hour open house event at T-Mobile Arena just off the strip. With an attendance of more than 9,000 between Tuesday at 8 am and Wednesday at 8 am last week, they event could not have gone off any better.
The 24 hour concept allowed Las Vegas workers from every shift to be able to come inside the state of the art facility, choose season tickets, view the the rink from the seats they may have already purchased, play interactive games , mingle with Vegas Golden Knights representatives and enter to win opening day tickets which were given away every hour.
Vegas Golden Knights Taking Las Vegas By Storm!
by Gary Lawless @garylawless / VegasGoldenKnights.com
To say Las Vegas residents have taken to their first major professional sport franchise would be a big understatement. The newly named National Hockey League team, the Vegas Golden Knights burst onto the scene amidst the glitz and glamour that is Las Vegas and has become more than a conversation piece, but rather a rallying point for sports fans throughout the city.