The Vegas Golden Knights were defeated last night by the Montreal Canadiens, giving them more frustrating memories of coming close but not reaching the top of the mountain. It’s been an incredible run for an expansion franchise, winning multiple playoff rounds in three of their four seasons in existence. But they still haven’t managed to win it all, meaning there will be changes once again this summer. On the 31 Thoughts podcast, Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet notes that this team has never been afraid to go after the big fish.
Not specifically about [Jack] Eichel, but they’ll be in on anyone that can help them. That’s the way they are, it’s their DNA. The surest predictor of future behavior is past behavior, and those guys go after the big fish. No matter who they’ve got. No matter who they’ve got, they go after the big fish.
Vegas made enough cap space to fit in Alex Pietrangelo last summer when the defenseman became available, but they’ll have to do it again if they want to add this year. Friedman and co-host Jeff Marek discussed the future of Marc-Andre Fleury, suggesting that moving his $7MM contract is the best opportunity for cap savings, while also noting that Alec Martinez is likely to be replaced in the lineup by Nicolas Hague full-time. The Golden Knights will be an interesting team to watch over the coming weeks as they deal with another heartbreaking loss.
- Though he hasn’t played an NHL game since the 2017-18 season, Brooks Laich is only just now announcing his official retirement. The 38-year-old forward last played for the Los Angeles Kings, but is far better known for his time with the Washington Capitals which included three consecutive 20+ goal seasons. Laich competed for Team Canada at the World Juniors and World Championships and will officially hang up his skates with 776 regular season games played in the NHL.
- One of the most impressive parts of the Canadiens’ series victory is that they did it without head coach Dominique Ducharme as he deals with a positive COVID test. Luke Richardson has taken over the head coaching duties in the meantime, and Darren Dreger of TSN explains how teams around the league may be keeping an eye on the former NHL defenseman. Of course, this isn’t the first time Richardson has held a head coaching role. For four seasons he led the Binghamton Senators of the AHL, and in 2017 he led the Canadian roster to a victory in the Spengler Cup. A one-time captain with the Columbus Blue Jackets, Richardson’s name will likely come up in connection to NHL head coaching vacancies.