As we enter the final hours until the NHL trade deadline (3 pm ET), the Vegas Golden Knights have thus far been quiet.
It makes sense given that to most hockey observers, this is a solid team with good depth in just about every position. But I’m going to aim high with a list of needs for the Golden Knights, because until you win every game you can always be better. So whether you agree or disagree here are the areas that the VGK could improve at the deadline.
Disclaimer: Salary cap hoops will not be discussed here, because while there’s always an answer, it is completely dependent on who your dance partner(s) are in the trade.
Number One Center
Yes, Chandler Stephenson is doing a good job centering Max Pacioretty and Mark Stone. The hope is that eventually, Cody Glass grows to be the top center everyone projected him to be when he was drafted. But why not shoot for a true number one center?
If Vegas added a true number one center I feel this line would be elevated to one of the absolute best in all of hockey. Chandler Stephenson has been a very good fit and honestly a bit of a revelation in this role. It really helped settle the concern before the season and honestly gives Glass more time to develop which he sorely needs. Rushing him into the role would be a mistake.
While this is a stretch because of cap and other implications and would require sacrifices in other salaries, I don’t mind moving a higher-priced wing for a top center at all. The flexibility provided would be even greater throughout the lineup.
Veteran Third Goaltender
I know these guys don’t grow on trees, but having an experienced third goaltender who you’d have the confidence in to step into a playoff series would be huge. Injuries happen, and sometimes you lose both goaltenders. Look at how it really kneecapped the Colorado Avalanche last season. They’re acquiring goaltenders left and right this year, especially knowing Pavel Francouz is not coming back this season. More depth here would make me feel much better heading into the playoffs.
Everyone in the Vegas Golden Knights top four has missed time due to injury this season, some more significant than others. Again, injuries happen especially when you block shots at the league-leading rate the Vegas Golden Knights do. The problem is that the typical defensive injuries are more along the lines of fractures and breaks which take weeks to heal. Getting a defenseman who can play a mix of physical and just makes safe, smart plays with the puck in his own end would be perfect. There’s no need for another big-time puck-mover or power play general. Just get me someone competent in his own end.
So there’s my shortlist for the Vegs Golden Knights. The clock is ticking. Let’s see what happens.