Although some of this might be attributed to wishful thinking, the Edmonton Journal’s David Staples openly wonders whether Griffin Reinhart could find his way back to Edmonton. This comes only a day after Reinhart was signed to a reasonable $800,000 deal for two-years in Vegas. Staples wonders whether the excess of defense on the left side will force Vegas to place Reinhart on waivers in an attempt to send him to the AHL. He surmises, probably correctly, that GM Peter Chiarelli would take another gamble on the player if it were to get that far. It seems incredibly unlikely he would make it to Edmonton’s position in the waiver wire, however, as many worse franchises would likely place a claim. It’s even less likely that Vegas management would risk losing that sort of asset for nothing in the first place.
Reinhart is unlikely to make an Edmonton return, but it’s not totally inconceivable that he’d be the odd man out in Vegas. The team went heavy on defense in the expansion draft, and odds are that they will eventually lose someone to the waiver wire if they can’t maneuver more moves. Once Nate Schmidt is signed, they’ll have 11 defensemen on the NHL roster, and that’s if Erik Brannstrom doesn’t make the big squad. Even assuming the Golden Knights can trade two more players, they’re not likely to carry more than 8 defensemen. Someone will be sacrificed to waivers unless GM George McPhee can pull some magic before the start of the season.
The most aged players include Jason Garrison (32), who has a no-trade clause, Deryk Engelland (35), Luca Sbisa (27), and Clayton Stoner (32). Brayden McNabb, Colin Miller, Schmidt, and Shea Theodore will likely constitute the team’s future defense, and it might be difficult for Reinhart to crack that group. Brad Hunt and Jon Merrill are the least likely to attract any major attention if they were to be waived, so there is no necessity to start floundering yet. Hunt in particular would pass with almost no difficulty, as the 5’9, 28-year old defender hasn’t been overly impressive in his 33 career NHL games. Still, depending on who else is moved and whether Reinhart makes an impact at training camp, he could be seen as a non-core piece. McPhee will need to make a determination as to who will be getting major playing time, considering that at this moment things are far too crowded for the younger players to shine.
McNabb, Schmidt, and Miller seem the safest for the moment, but anything can happen. The right side has to be a concern, as only Engelland and Miller naturally play that position. As for now, we’ll have to wait and see who gets unloaded for picks and future assets, and whether they will be much difficulty in doing so. It seems unlikely that Vegas would move Reinhart, a young piece who they just re-signed, considering that if nothing else he can fill a 7th or 8th defensive position. Sbisa and Stoner seem to be the most likely to move out to a team starved for defensive depth, especially considering their contracts are each only good for one more season.
McPhee picked up garrison and engelland to be older guys. they had them fly in for draft. McPhee plan was move stoner and sbisa. he is finding same problem as with emelin. not much of a demand for 6 or7 defensemen with their salaries. he will probably end doing what he did with emelin paying half their salary. some team would be okay paying them 1.5 or 2 million not 3 or 4.
McPhee is awful. Having him as a GM stinks but to start a franchise. ughh
8 defense will probably be kept, Hunt will pass waivers. So that means ideally moving 2. But even though Theodore probably should be in Vegas, he has waiver eligibility until they make enough moves, worst case scenario wise.
Also, Vegas could still use a true young NHL forward still in my opinion, so maybe they will be able to deal Stoner or Sbisa for a forward.
Brayden McNabb is a UFA after this year, so he could be dealt and there would be plenty of suitors.
I’m more interested in Vegas’ stash of third line centers. I wonder what it would take to pry Erik Haula away.
Most of their D is actually FAs after this year. McNabb, Engelland, Garrison, Sbisa, Stoner are all pending UFAs.
Haula just signed a 3 year deal the day of the expansion draft, so I’m not sure on him. May be easier to get Karlsson.
Kings would have traded Mcnabb if he had any big value long before the draft
Whoever they traded him to would have had to protect him and he wouldn’t make the cut on many clubs.
Without the expansion draft to worry about, a 26 year old D man who makes less than $2 million is very tradeable.
They might be better off just putting Stoner and Garrison on waivers, though.