It seems as if many general managers in the National Hockey League are taking the word deadline seriously as we have more and more trades pre-deadline. The Vegas Golden Knights have made two trades, one to shed Shea Weber's contract, and another to acquire Ivan Barbashev.
But could there be more? What do the Golden Knights need before the NHL Trade Deadline comes and goes on Friday?
Even though the Golden Knights acquired a forward already in Ivan Barbashev, we think the team would be better off adding another. Big names such as Patrick Kane, Timo Meier, and Vladamir Tarasenko are off the trade board, but the VGK could still add a depth forward.
With Mark Stone still out indefinitely, the Golden Knights need scoring wingers to play alongside Jack Eichel, Chandler Stephenson, William Karlsson, and Nicolas Roy. Tyler Bertuzzi, Brock Boeser, Connor Sheary, and Max Domi are some of the more enticing names still out there.
The Golden Knights have cap space to acquire players with Stone on LTIR. They also have as many remaining picks and prospects left, minus Zach Dean.
As we mentioned in our piece earlier today, the Golden Knights have a fully healthy unit of six defensemen they know they can trust. They also have Ben Hutton, Daniil Miromanov, and Kaedan Korczak as solid substitute options if someone gets hurt.
Unless the team suddenly gets dealt a bad hand of an injured defenseman, we think it is unlikely that VGK will be in the market for a defenseman.
Goaltending injuries have been constant all season for the Golden Knights. It started in the summer with starter Robin Lehner being ruled for the entire season. Now All-Star rookie goalie Logan Thompson is hurt and both Adin Hill and Laurent Brossoit are alternating having day-to-day injuries.
Brossoit is currently out right now and Thompson remains week-to-week. If the Golden Knights want to add insurance in goal they could look to the trade market. Ottawa Senators goaltender Cam Talbot, San Jose Sharks veteran James Reimer, and Karel Vejmelka of the Arizona Coyotes could be options.
Trading for yet another goalie would give the Golden Knights a hectic goaltender battle as there would be 4-5 NHL-level goaltenders competing for two spots.
Adding players at the deadline for seemingly no current roster players means that tough decisions await head coach Bruce Cassidy. Already with the Barbashev trade, the Golden Knights will have to scratch a player as soon as Nicolas Roy comes back from injury.
Adding another forward would only add to this "good problem to have" as the VGK would further add to their depth. The team has already dealt with this problem with their goalies Thompson, Hill, and Brossoit and will have to do so again when they all become healthy.
Then, you will have to factor in Mark Stone whenever he is ready to return.
Just for fun, here is what the VGK could look like come playoff time.
Projected Healthy Golden Knights Line Combinations
TDL Forward– Jack Eichel- Mark Stone (C)
Reilly Smith- William Karlsson- Jonathan Marchessault
Will Carrier- Chandler Stephenson- Phil Kessel
Paul Cotter- Nicolas Roy- Ivan Barbashev
Alec Martinez- Alex Pietrangelo
Brayden McNabb- Shea Theodore
Nicolas Hague- Zach Whitecloud
Logan Thompson/Adin Hill
Spares: Laurent Brossoit, Ben Hutton, Daniil Miromanov, Kaedan Korczak, Michael Amadio, Brett Howden, Keegan Kolesar, Byron Froese, Jonas Rondbjerg
LTIR: Robin Lehner, Nolan Patrick