The Vegas Golden Knights have made four trades so far in anticipation of the 2023 NHL Trade Deadline on Friday at noon. After the team missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs last season, general manager Kelly McCrimmon is trying to build a team that can make a run in the postseason and possibly win a cup.
Jonathan Quick, Ivan Barbashev, Teddy Blueger, and Dysin Mayo are now Vegas Golden Knights. Here are our thoughts on the trades so far.
VGK: Dysin Mayo ($950,000 AAV, 3 years remaining)
ARZ: Shea Weber ($7,857,143 AAV, 3 years remaining), 2023 5th (VGK)
I don't have high expectations for Mayo and don't expect him to play with the Golden Knights unless injuries arise. The 26-year-old has 82 games of NHL experience and three years left on a deal that pays him $950K. He will be a serviceable defenseman for the struggling Henderson Silver Knights.
This deal essentially boils down to the Golden Knights ridding themselves of an LTIR contract with Shea Weber. They had to give up an asset to do so, albeit a late-round pick, but his deal helps the VGK in the future because it allows them to take on more players with contracts that extend past 2022-23.
It's a simple move, and as a bonus, the VGK gets back a player in Mayo.
But when you realize this trade stemmed from the Evgenii Dadonov to Montreal deal, you realize that the VGK essentially traded Nick Holden, a third-round pick, and now a fifth-round pick for a year of Dadonov, half a season of Shea Weber's cap hit, and Dysin Mayo.
Trade Grade: C-
VGK: Ivan Barbashev ($2,250,000 AAV, pending UFA)
STL: Zach Dean ($883,000)
We all expected the Golden Knights to go after a forward, and on Sunday, they added St. Louis Blues winger Ivan Barbashev. Former 2021 first-round pick Zach Dean was traded to the Blues in return.
Barbashev is a sizy 200-foot winger, a Stanley Cup Champion, and the only player on this list who has made his Golden Knights debut so far. In two games he has one assist and is playing on the top line with Jonathan Marchessault and Jack Eichel.
Barbashev isn't the biggest name on the trade market but gives the VGK some solid depth with a player that has scored 60 points in the past. Giving up Dean is a tough bargain as Brendan Brisson is now the team's only first-round pick in the organization. But looking at some of the prices for wingers, this is fair.
This is a strong addition for the Golden Knights who have needed wingers all season but only makes the team marginally better.
Trade Grade: B-
From Riga, Latvia
VGK: Teddy Blueger ($2,200,000 AAV, pending UFA)
PIT: Peter Diliberatore ($880,833), 2024 3rd round pick (VGK)
More forward depth was acquired by McCrimmon on Wednesday as the Golden Knights traded for Teddy Blueger of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Blueger is a versatile bottom-six forward who typically played fourth-line center in Pittsburgh behind Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Jeff Carter.
With Nicolas Roy injured, the VGK added the 28-year-old Latvian forward in Blueger, whose career high in points is 28.
Adding both Barbashev and Blueger creates depth battles for the VGK as guys like Paul Cotter and Michael Amadio may be in danger of losing their spots in the lineup. Head coach Bruce Cassidy now has a good problem to deal with as he has over 12 capable NHL forwards.
However, this trade is a hard one to process for us as Blueger is not the flashiest of forwards and may have trouble even finding a spot in the VGK lineup. It adds depth, yes, but a third-round pick and a prospect for a depth forward who may not even play on an expiring contract is strange.
Trade Grade: C-
VGK: Jonathan Quick ($2,900,000 AAV (50% retained)
CBJ: Michael Hutchinson, 2025 7th round pick (VGK)
The rumors were true and Jonathan Quick is a Vegas Golden Knight. After reportedly being unhappy with being traded from the Kings after 16 seasons, Quick is back in the Pacific Division and back with Alec Martinez.
Adding goaltending depth makes sense, but in our opinion, Quick does not make the team much better. This is not the same Conn Smythe-winning player that we saw in 2012, and there was a reason the Kings were looking to move on from Quick.
It's nice to see the Blue Jackets do right by Quick, and even the VGK to swoop in and bring him back out West. But based on his abysmal .876 save percentage and 3.50 GAA, this is a head-scratcher, even if the price tag was a depth goalie and seventh-rounder.
Trade Grade: D
The Golden Knight's next game, against the New Jersey Devils at 7:00 p.m. on Friday will come after the Trade Deadline passes at noon.
For the updated team roster, click here.