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The Dog Days of Summer for the Golden Knights

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Development camp has come to an end, free agent craziness has quieted down, the draft happened nearly two weeks ago, and William Karlsson’s epic speech feels like forever ago.

This is officially where the “dog days of summer” starts. Below is a list of items Vegas Hockey Now will be keeping an eye on.

Brett HowdenOne of the 22 National Hockey League players to file for arbitration, it will be interesting to see what comes of Howden’s next contract with the Golden Knights. Howden had a regression year over year in the regular season but came up big in the playoffs with 10 points in 22 games. $1.5 million for one year is believed to be the offer on the table from the Golden Knights to Howden. Will the arbitrator side with Howden and offer a slight raise? Will the two sides come to an agreement prior to the arbitrator making a decision later in the month?

Pavel Dorofeyev: The Golden Knights have extended a qualifying offer to Dorofeyev. A restricted free agent, a deal will get done sooner rather than later. Dorofeyev could play a big role with the Golden Knights next season.

Free Agents: General manager Kelly McCrimmon has a bit of money to work with. The free agent pool has been picked over, but a few interesting names remain. Phil Kessel was one of the unsung heroes of the Golden Knights Stanley Cup run and fits in the budget. Tomas Nosek shined as a bottom-six-center previously with the Golden Knights. Perhaps McCrimmon wants an insurance policy for the goaltenders and looks at Jaroslav Halak.

Coaching Changes: Bruce Cassidy has a vacancy behind the bench as a result of Ryan Craig being named head coach of the Henderson Silver Knights of the American Hockey League. No candidates have emerged to replace Craig as of yet. It would be logical for Silver Knights assistant coach Joel Ward to be among the top candidates.

Director of hockey operations Misha Donskov was wished good luck on his future endeavors via tweet at 8:44 pm Sunday, July 2 by the Golden Knights. Some of Donskov’s responsibilities included providing day-to-day leadership to the team’s management group, overseeing video/technology and analytics, and managing amateur and pro scouting administrative platforms. Donskov will be tough to replace.

Robin LehnerAll signs point to Lehner not being part of the Golden Knights for the 2023-24 season. But this is Vegas and there’s drama surrounding the goaltenders. Will Lehner arrive at City National Arena at any point this summer with his equipment saying “Put me in coach?” Sounds impossible, right? Does anyone remember what the Vegas Golden Knights had on the ice during the season one Stanley Cup Final? “Welcome to impossible.”

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