Kevin Weekes of ESPN, NHL Network, and TSN, got the Vegas Golden Knights faithful into rage mode when he mentioned on Twitter, “A few teams have called the Vegas Golden Knights to see if he’d (Logan Thompson) be available via trade.”
Golden Knights fans are sensitive to goalie drama. Marc-Andre Fleury’s agent once tweeted a bloody sword going through Fleury’s back. Robin Lehner has had issues on the ice and even more issues off the ice as of late. Another summer of goaltending drama, Vegas!
Is it possible that general manager Kelly McCrimmon would trade Thompson? In short, the answer is yes. Coming to terms on a deal involving Thompson would be incredibly difficult.
Thompson is under contract through the 2024-25 season with a cap hit of $766,667 per year which is basically the league minimum. In the 2022-23 season, Thompson had 21 wins with a 2.65 GAA and a .915 save percentage. The Golden Knights paid Thompson $36,000 per victory.
If Thompson was healthy for all of last season, that $36,000 per victory could have dropped to $19,000 per victory. For comparison, the Tampa Bay Lightning paid Andrei Vasilevskiy $279,000 per victory. The Winnipeg Jets paid Connor Hellebuyck $166,000 per victory. The Golden Knights have a bargain with Thompson, to say the least.
While not official, a deal seems to be in place to extend Adin Hill for two years with a cap hit of $4.9 million. Since Hill entered the NHL in 2017 his total starts per season were; 4, 13, 13, 19, 25, and 27. It would be a tremendous gamble for the Golden Knights to trade away Thompson. The only other goaltender with NHL experience on the books in Jiri Patera who has had just two NHL starts.
Let’s pretend for a brief moment that Thompson was in fact on the trade block. What would an appropriate return be? The NHL Entry Draft has been completed for 2023, so getting a high draft pick that could help immediately is out of the question. Making a trade for a pick for the 2024 draft comes with complications since we don’t know where anyone is going to finish. Chances are wherever Thompson landed, his new team would do well in the standings.
Is it possible to work out a player-for-player deal? That also presents complications as the Golden Knights only have about $2.7 million in cap space to work with. On top of that, the VGK still have a few expiring contracts to address.
Perhaps the Golden Knights could package up a deal that includes Thompson and Alec Martinez for a high level player? At age 35, there would not be many teams lined up to take on a $5.25 million contract of an aging vet.
To be fair, no one saw the Reilly Smith trade coming. You never know what McCrimmon has up his sleeve. Any deal involving Thompson would have to be incredibly advantageous for the Golden Knights. There are no indications that the Golden Knights are shopping Thompson.