The NHL trade deadline is quickly approaching, and the Vegas Golden Knights have now dipped their toes into the pool of players up for grabs.
General Manager Kelly McCrimmon dealt away 2021 first round forward prospect, Zach Dean, 20, in exchange for 27-year-old veteran forward Ivan Barbashev on Sunday morning. Barbashev has played for the St. Louis Blues during his entire NHL career up to this point. He was an important member of the Blues Stanley Cup-winning team in 2019. One of his teammates on that championship squad was current Golden Knights defenseman, Alex Pietrangelo.
Pietrangelo was quoted in an article written by Gary Lawless on NHL.com as saying: “This is a good pick up for us. An underrated pick up for us.” He went on to describe Barbashev’s role with St. Louis when they won the Stanley Cup: “The year we won, he played on the fourth line in a shutdown role against Boston’s best players and he was a big reason why we won. He’s versatile, he plays the game hard and he likes to win.”
Vegas Golden Knights head coach, Bruce Cassidy, was Boston’s bench boss during that Stanley Cup Finals series in 2019. Quoting from the Lawless article again: “Hardnosed guy. Back then he was a physical fourth line energy guy who would get to the inside. They didn’t use him in an offensive role but he did his job really well. He was very effective,” said Cassidy.
The Golden Knights already have a very talented starting lineup. However, some players and coaches have felt that the team needs a little more grit and hard-nosed play on some of the top 3 lines. They have players like William Carrier, Paul Cotter, and Keegan Kolesar, who like to bring the physical aspect to their game. It appears GM Kelly McCrimmon agrees with those players and coaches who felt they needed more players like that as we get closer to the playoffs.
In another article on NHL.com, McCrimmon is quoted as saying: “We have a very good team, but this complements and broadens the skill set and makeup of our roster in terms of that type of player. He gets to the inside. He plays a hard game. He’s at the net. He kills penalties. He’ll have an important role.”
Barbashev will be wearing his regular #49 for the Golden Knights on Monday night in Denver when Vegas takes on the defending Stanley Cup Champion Colorado Avalanche at 6pm Pacific Time.
Will McCrimmon be making more moves before the 12 noon Pacific Time trade deadline this Friday, March 3rd? We will soon find out.
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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.
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