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Theodore ready to assume larger offensive role

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Shea Theodore Alex Pietrangelo VGK Vegas Golden Knights

Shea Theodore is never shy when it comes to having the puck on his stick. The Vegas Golden Knights defenseman seems most comfortable when he’s in attack mode.

The Knights are going to need to compensate for the loss of Max Pacioretty and Mark Stone, the team’s top two scorers. Theodore may find himself having to contribute more offensively as part of a collective effort to pick up the slack.

“I know we’re going to be more relied on during this stretch,” Theodore said. “It’s a lot easier said than done. We’re talking about two of the top players in the league and they do their job putting the puck in the net.

“At the same time, I think we have enough depth. A lot of guys now have a chance to step up and play a different role and can thrive in that and excel. So it’s going to be an interesting test for a lot of guys.”

The 26-year-old veteran scored his first goal of the season in last week’s 6-2 loss to the Los Angeles Kings. Last year, he had eight goals in 53 games after notching a career-high 13 tallies in 2019-20.

“I was talking to (VGK head coach) Pete (DeBoer) and that’s something I need to do a better job of and try and create a little more offense from the back end obviously without taking too many risks,” Theodore said of increasing his offensive output. “You don’t want to give up too much defensively. But I’ll try to do whatever I can.”

Theodore said the time off following the loss to Kings may have been a good thing for the Golden Knights.

“When you lose a game like that, it can go one of two ways,” he said. “Sometimes it’s good to get right back out there. Or you get a couple days to think about it and we were able to work on some things that bled into our game and fix those things.”

Theodore’s postseason numbers dropped off last year. After scoring seven goals in the Edmonton bubble during the playoffs in 2020, he managed just one goal in 19 games as the Golden Knights came up short in their quest to reach the Stanley Cup Final. He did have nine assists, but still, it wasn’t the kind of output he expected from himself.

“The playoffs are a different animal,” he said. “Sometimes you have to take on a different role. If you’re not scoring, you do whatever you can to help the team win. I think that’s something I was fighting with a little bit. But as the season goes on, it’s going to be a long one and there’s going to be stretches like that so it’ll be trying to find ways to help the team.”

Theodore’s name has been bandied about for a spot on canada’s Olympic team. He said if the opportunity presents itself, he will go for it.

“I think every player wants to be able to represent his country in the Olympics,” he said. “If I can elevate my game enough to be considered, it would be a great honor.

“But first and foremost, its about winning here (in Vegas). Our goal is to win a Stanley Cup and my focus is on playing well here for this team.”

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