Vegas Golden Knights coach Bruce Cassidy hinted at the strategy to rotate Logan Thompson and Adin Hill. Thompson out-started Hill at a two-to-one ratio when both goalies were healthy last season. Hill was the backup goalie despite having a salary cap hit nearly three times greater than Thompson’s.
Hill was set to become a free agent after putting up the second-best playoff save percentage in league history last season during the Golden Knights’ Stanley Cup run. General manager Kelly McCrimmon was able to convince Hill to remain with the Golden Knights on a two-year deal worth $9.8 million.
Hill’s salary cap hit is over six times Thompson’s. The salary cap hit of either goalie did not equate to more starts last season.
“We have a plan laid out. I’m not going to give you the specifics of the whole plan. But it won’t be a true rotation every day.”
Cassidy when asked if the goalies will continue to rotate every game.
The Golden Knights have played three games this season. Hill started the opener and the most recent game against the Anaheim Ducks. Thompson started Thursday against the San Jose Sharks. Both goalies have looked great. The Golden Knights have given up just three goals in the young season.
Cassidy did not spell out what the rotation exactly would be, or who is considered the starter. It will be pretty easy to determine who Cassidy considers the starter to be for the early going. If Hill starts Tuesday against the Dallas Stars, then it is settled. That would be two consecutive starts for Hill. If Thompson starts Tuesday against the Stars and Thursday against the Winnipeg Jets, then Thompson is the starter.
Cassidy will look to manage both goalies’ workload. Thompson was limited to just 37 games last season with multiple injuries. Thursday’s game against the Sharks was the first full game Thompson completed dating back to late January of last season. Hill has never appeared in more than 27 regular season games in his career and had injury problems of his own last year. When factoring in last year’s playoff run, Hill had 43 appearances.
However Cassidy decides to chop up the starts, the Golden Knights are in a great spot if Thompson and Hill can stay healthy for most of the season. Neither goalie expects three or more consecutive starts unless injuries dictate.
The concern comes if Thompson and Hill get injured at the same time.