This season, the theme of the Vegas Golden Knights goaltending story has been opportunity due to injury. When starting goaltender Robin Lehner was announced to be out for the season, and Laurent Brossoit also being on the mend at the start of the year, Logan Thompson and Adin Hill got their shots in the NHL as a full-time tandem. But now a wrench has been thrown into that duo with Thompson out week-to-week with a lower-body injury.
The door has re-opened for goaltender Laurent Brossoit, who has been recovering and improving his game with the Henderson Silver Knights in the AHL whilst also recovering from hip surgery.
"I am really happy with the added potential the surgery has given me, and I am just hoping I can see that through," said Brossoit.
Brossoit isn't your average third-string goaltender, as he actually has the most NHL experience out of all three goalies we have discussed. He has been in the league for eight years, playing in 106 games with the Edmonton Oilers, Winnipeg Jets, and Golden Knights.
"He played some good hockey down in Henderson, and he's played in the league. So he's not a newbie. It's just a matter of finding the right amount of stars for him while LT (Logan Thompson) is out, and we don't know how long that will be," said head coach Bruce Cassidy.
In July of 2021, Brossoit signed a two-year $2.35 million AAV contract which gave the Golden Knights a stable backup behind Lehner after they traded Marc-Andre Fleury. Last season his record was that of 10-9-3 last season, and he posted a .895 sv% and 2.90 GAA.
Like many of the playoff-missing Golden Knights last season, he struggled down the stretch as LB lost 11 of his last 16 starts. His final game last season was a poetic and ugly loss to his former team, the Winnipeg Jets, where he let in four goals on 13 shots and was pulled.
But now, after having off-season hip surgery and spending some time in the AHL, Brossoit is ready to pave a permanent path back to the NHL.
"I think it's ideal circumstances for him in terms of 'Okay, I've now had my surgery, recovered, and got a lot of starts. Let me put my best foot forward. The team is playing pretty good defensively in front of whatever goaltender is there.' So I would think that would be his mindset. This might be his opportunity this year right now, so let's take it," said Cassidy.
Brossoit has played in 23 games with the struggling Silver Knights and posted a 2.72 GAA and .909 sv% this season. He had back-to-back shutouts in mid-December and was subsequently named the AHL's player of the week.
"I have been working towards small victories throughout the season, mentally and physically. I was able to stay positive the whole time and be productive… There a lot of mobility stuff I have access to that I haven't had since maybe junior," said Brossoit.
Cassidy, who has never seen Brossoit play in person for the Golden Knights, expects to rotate his goaltenders accordingly.
"Adin (Hill) has done a good job for us, especially recently. He's given us quality starts, so we'd like that to continue. Obviously, for LB (Laurent Brossoit), it's not ideal circumstances. But Logan (Thompson) and Adin got here because of injuries, so that's the way it works sometimes. You gotta take advantage of whatever's in front of you," said Cassidy.
The Golden Knights will play the Anaheim Ducks tomorrow at noon at home. Then they will be off until Thursday, when they will play the Sharks at 7:00 p.m., also at home. Thompson is listed as week-to-week.
Each week I've felt stronger and stronger. I'm starting to feel really good.