The Vegas Golden Knights certainly have something to prove after missing the playoffs last season for the first time in team history.
Most of the team’s star players were injured for part or most of the 2021-2022 NHL season. And, when they were in the lineup, they may not have been playing at 100% of their abilities. But, in professional sports, there are no excuses.
So, it appears that the upcoming 2022-2023 NHL regular season, which officially begins on Friday October 7th, could end up being one where the team’s mindset and locker room have the feel of the inaugural season. That is when they called themselves “The Misfits,” because many of the players were allowed to leave in the expansion draft. That first season was magical, as the Vegas Golden Knights rode the brilliant goaltending of Marc-Andre Fleury all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals, where they lost in five games to Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals.
Now, after a season and off-season where we saw the face of the franchise (Fleury) traded away for practically nothing, and then star winger Max Pacioretty traded away for almost nothing as well, the team seems to be getting closer to being under the salary cap. General Manager Kelly McCrimmon recently picked up veteran goal-scoring winger Phil Kessel to help out on the power play. He has been playing in Arizona for the Coyotes for the past few seasons, and he may have something to prove as well. Check out this article from Vegas Golden Knights insider Gary Lawless here.
The major question heading into the new season will be in net since starting goaltender Robin Lehner is out for the season. Which one of these goaltenders not only has the talent, but also the mindset, to become the team’s number one netminder: Laurent Brossoit, Logan Thompson, or newly acquired former San Jose Sharks goalie Adin Hill?
We’re just about a month away from the start of the season and many of these questions will be answered during training camp. Let’s just hope we see a relatively injury-free season for our team, and a brand new attitude on and off the ice.
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Larry Martino is the long-time Afternoon Drive personality on 96.3 KKLZ. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of Larry Martino and not necessarily those of Beasley Media Group, LLC.