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New FSM Feature: The Vegas Golden Knights Get Busy at The Trade Deadline

Franchise Sports Media

 

The Golden Knights are making major moves at the NHL Trade Deadline in hopes of making another run at the Stanley Cup. Here is analysis on the moves and some names to keep an eye on at the NHL Trade Deadline.

 

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Photo Credit: NHL

It’s hard to believe that March has arrived which brings its own special version of Madness. No, I’m not talking about the usual college basketball “March Madness” but the trade deadline frenzy only found in the National Hockey League. Teams have until March 8th to make their final roster moves to jockey into a better playoff position or simply to unload salary cap space for another rebuilding campaign next season.

The NHL trade deadline always seems to bring out the flair for dramatic hype and sometimes delivers exciting blockbuster trade moves for top-tier hockey talent. More often than not, the March trade deadline also brings a level of functional, business-like trade moves to either save money or hopefully keep a team alive in the hunt for the Stanley Cup.

The Vegas Golden Knights are the reigning Stanley Cup champions and looking to repeat their fairy tale season this spring. However, the hockey gods have not been quite as kind to the Golden Knights this campaign and with the season-ending loss of team captain Mark Stone, Vegas should be in a mad scramble for immediate replacement talent to fill in for the seemingly irreplaceable Stone. After all, the Vegas Golden Knights are in a relatively comfortable second place in the Pacific Division right now with an overall record of 33-20-7 and 73 total points. That being said, the Golden Knights are still ten points off the pace of the division-leading Vancouver Canucks, and the Edmonton Oilers are only one point behind Vegas.

With the playoff race tightening with every single game, both the Los Angeles Kings and the Nashville Predators are looking to move from a wild card spot up into the relative safe zone of the top three in the Pacific Division and both teams are only three points behind the Golden Knights

 

Vegas Needs to Make Quick Trade Moves to Protect its Season.

Vegas Golden Knights | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: Vegas Golden Knights

Regardless of how you look at things (the glass is half full or half empty), the Vegas Golden Knights need to fill their glasses immediately to ensure a solid playoff run. Otherwise, the VGK players, coaching staff, and front office will be watching the postseason from the comfort of their living room couches. The urgent and absolute need right now is to find a replacement for Mark Stone. Yes, the team captain no doubt will return but he’s already been ruled out for the regular season and his playoff participation is hopeful in the best-case scenario. Vegas general manager Kelly McCrimmon has a short list of players to look at. Here’s my version of that list:

 

  • Former VGK Reilly Smith should be on Kelly McCrimmon’s shortlist. Could Smith be heading back to the 702 area code? Smith was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins in the offseason last year and he is one of the original Golden Knights. The Penguins are looking to head towards the golf courses and fishing ponds come April and may be more than willing to part with some of their salary cap to foster a youth movement. Reilly Smith is 32 years old and has a $5 million dollar salary cap with a year left on his existing contract. If you recall, Smith had four goals and 14 total points in the Golden KnightsStanley Cup run last season and that alone speaks volumes to Smith’s value with an eye on the postseason.

 

  • Pavel Buchnevich is another name floating around the VGK camp as we close in on the trade deadline next week. The St. Louis Blues forward is set to have another 30-goal season but does carry a hefty average annual value (AAV) salary of $5.8 million dollars. Speaking of the St. Louis Blues, former Blue Vladimir Tarasenko’s name has been linked to the Golden Knights as well and the 32-year-old winger does have a Stanley Cup ring so he knows what it takes to hoist that big silver cup come June.  

 

  • In a nod to finding a temporary playoff solution to the hole made by Mark Stone’s injury absence, the Golden Knights moved on F Anthony Mantha to provide additional offensive depth in the middle six shifts. Murthas’ name floated around the NHL for the past couple of weeks and it’s a logical move for Vegas to stock up on more offensive talent given the current question mark around Jack Eichel’s effectiveness and Mark Stone’s absence for the remainder of the regular season. (Acquired)

 

  • Defenseman Noah Hanifin’s name has been floating around NHL trade circles since the NHL All-Star break, and in another nod to shoring up the Golden Knight blueline, GM Kelly McCrimmon made the call to Hanifin’s agent to make the trade a reality. Hanifin has been the subject of intense speculation about when he would be traded from the Calgary Flames, not if he would be traded. Hanifn brings a wealth of experience and should quickly materialize into a top-line blueliner for the Golden Knights and is set to roll into the prime of his career with his new contract with Vegas. (Acquired)

 

Golden Knights Trade Analysis:

Vegas Golden Knights | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: Vegas Golden Knights

The countdown is ticking away and nearly every single NHL team is either a buyer or seller (and some are a bit of both.) With the current trade deals in place, the Vegas Golden Knights look to clean up their on-ice act and get back on a winning track – as quickly as possible. The Vegas Golden Knights are in a late-season slump, and they need to find a way, any way at this point to not only make the playoffs but to make a deep run towards keeping Lord Stanley’s Cup in Las Vegas this summer.

The addition of Anthony Mantha in the offensive zone, along with bolstering the blueline with Noah Hanifin should pay immediate dividends for the Golden Knights and their acquisitions should prove fruitful as Vegas starts their final regular season playoff push.

 

The Golden Knights are back at home when they take on the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday, March 9th, at 7:00 p.m. PST. Thanks for visiting FranchiseSportsMedia.com for your Las Vegas Sports news today.

 

Franchise Sports Media. Las Vegas sports news about Las Vegas Sports teams.

– Mike Gambill – Franchise Sports Media

Follow Mike on X: @michaelgambil10

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