Vegas Golden Knights: Signings, Players Lost, Gusev

Yesterday free agents were allowed to begin accepting offers from other teams and, as expected, there has been a lot of action around the league. Some players have re-signed with their current teams, while others have accepted offers from new teams. The Vegas Golden Knights had both of these things happen yesterday and still have a few moves to make. Let’s take a look at the transactions that have taken place, and look at the roster to see where it is now, and what it may look like in September.

Free Agents Who Re-Signed (Or will soon)

  • Tomas Nosek signed a 1 year, $1M contract. McPhee said in a press conference today that they particularly like that Nosek can play multiple positions. So whether he plays center or wing for the bottom six remains to be seen.
  • Brandon Pirri signed a 2 year, $775,000 AAV one-way contract. This was a shock for many since Brandon was a UFA and could have possibly received more money from another organization. His decision to stay was, among other things, based on the opportunity to play in the NHL as opposed to the AHL for another team. He believes Gallant has his back and has helped him develop as a player. The new One-Way contract is also an upgrade from his previous 2-way contract.
  • William Karlsson signed an 8 year contract with Vegas last week worth $5.9M AAV. He’s a solid two-way forward, and we’re happy he’s here to stay.

Players Vegas Lost

  • Pierre-Edouard Bellemare signed a 2 yr contract with the Colorado Avalanche worth $1.8M annually. This one hurt. Bellemare is a great guy on and off the ice, and we’re all sad to see him go.
  • Ryan Carpenter signed with the Chicago Blackhawks for 3 years at $1M AAV. He said he was grateful for the opportunity Vegas gave him to play and develop in the NHL. Fans are sad to lose him, but happy for him and his family as he was given a great contract from Chicago.
  • Max Legace signed a one year contract with the Boston Bruins worth $700k. Hopefully he’ll be given a chance to play in the NHL with them.
  • Daniel Carr (AHL) has signed a contract with the Nashville Predators for $700,000/1 year.
  • Erik Haula was traded to the Carolina Hurricanes last week to free up cap space ($2.75M). That’s right, he’s a Jerk now. He also got married on Saturday!
  • Colin Miller was traded recently to the Buffalo Sabres. His salary freed up $3.875M in cap space.

Players Vegas Gained (All Prospects)

  • Nicolas Roy (forward) was brought in from the Haula trade. He’s an aggressive center with a strong forecheck. He was previously with the Hurricanes’ farm team, the Charlotte Checkers.
  • Patrick Brown (forward) was the captain of the Charlotte Checkers.
  • Tyrell Goulbourne (forward) played part time in the AHL and part time with the Philadelphia Flyers.
  • Brett Lernout (defense) played 18 games with the Montreal Canadiens in 2017-2018, but has since been playing for their AHL affiliate.
  • Jaycob Megna (defense) was the captain of the San Diego Gulls (AHL) and played 28 games with the Anaheim Ducks this last season.

Players Who Haven’t Signed Yet

  • Deryk Engelland hasn’t signed his contract yet, but McPhee has confirmed that Deryk will be staying for another year. He said they know his total value, but are just working on figuring out the structure of the contract with bonuses. They are in no rush to sign him since Deryk already knows what the value of the contract will be and wants to stay here.
  • Malcolm Subban hasn’t signed his contract yet either, but it’s clear he will be staying as well, as he has been given a qualifying offer, and McPhee says they are just working on small details.
  • Jimmy Schuldt is a restricted free agent but was not on the NHL’s list of players eligible to receive offer sheets. This is because he doesn’t have enough NHL experience. So Vegas still owns his rights and may take their time in working out his contract.

What’s Going On with Gusev?

Nikita Gusev has yet to play a single game in the NHL and is also not on the eligible free agent list. According to a Russian reporter, as well as Jesse Granger, Gusev is asking for a 2 year contract with $4M AAV. Unfortunately, Vegas is only offering $2M (They can’t afford more without another trade). Yesterday McPhee made it clear in the press conference that if Gusev can’t come down to what they can afford, they have no problem trading him.

We think he’s a really good player. We’d like to work something out here. If that doesn’t work out, we’ll look at options. But there’s definitely interest in him. We’ve had people call us on him, and we’ll see what develops.

I can’t tell you today what will develop, but we’ll work on it. And He’s been very, very good on the international stage. He wants to play in the NHL. He worked hard to get over here, and we’re going to accommodate him one way or another, either here or another club.

-George McPhee, on Gusev.

Jesse Granger (The Athletic) asked McPhee if Gusev would be battling for a spot in the bottom 6 with Pirri. This is what McPhee had to say:

Well it would add another player, and then you know where they’d go from there is up to the coaching staff, but it’d be a heck of a lineup.

We really like we’re we are. We believe we have a real good team. And if you’re only looking to fill a hole or two a year, and you can do that with your kids, that’s always the best way to do it.

-George McPhee

To me, this sounds like McPhee is expecting to trade him. It’s possible that Gusev could see the benefits of staying in Vegas and decide to take less money, but since he’s not overly familiar with the NHL, he also may not. My personal hope is that he will agree to the $2M and Vegas develops him into the next Ovechkin… but with better defensive skills. I think it would be a shame to let him go without seeing what he can do here.

How The Knights May Look Next Season

I don’t think we really have any significant cap issues now. I think we addressed those last week… We’re sort of just working around the edges now… I can’t imagine there will be any significant moves.

George McPhee

With no more “significant moves” left to make, here’s what the roster may look like next season:

  • Smith, Karlsson, Marchessault
  • Stone, Stasny, Pacioretty
  • Tuch, Eakin/Pirri, Pirri/Gusev
  • Reaves/Carrier, Eakin/Nosek, Nosek/Prospect
  • Schmidt, Engelland
  • Theodore, McNabb
  • Prospect (Hague?)/Schuldt, Merrill/Holden

Scratches: Zykov, Carrier, Holden (all these switching out with others as needed)

  • Fleury
  • Subban

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2 thoughts on “Vegas Golden Knights: Signings, Players Lost, Gusev

  1. Thank you. This article clearly lays it out and is supported with fact over supposition. It’s been rough trying to get through all of the options.
    I wish Gusev’s manager would read this to see where he really stands, rather than push this kid out of the diva-door.

  2. Very nicely written and I have only one suggestion. When listing the lineups I would put in order left to right i.e. LW – C – RW.

    It would be nice if Gusev’s agent or confidant would let him know that VGK fans want him to play here.

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