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Golden Knights First to do This in Expansion Era

Logan Thompson didn’t play in last year’s Cup run



Vegas Golden Knights Game, 4-3 SO Loss Ottawa Senators
Golden Knights goalie Logan Thompson earned his first NHL playoff win on Monday.

The Vegas Golden Knights have proven to be trend setters since entering the NHL in 2017. They’re at again this spring in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

When the postseason got underway Monday, Logan Thompson was between the posts as Vegas beat the Dallas Stars 4-3. No surprise there. During the regular season, Thompson would lead the Golden Knights in games (46), starts (42), wins (25) and GAA (2.70).

His victory Monday, though, was his first-ever in Stanley Cup action. He’ll be back between the posts for Game 2 on Wednesday.

“I’m definitely happy for him,” Golden Knights forward Jonathan Marchessault said. “Everybody had adversity this year and he did great for us.

“The past few weeks he’s been unbelievable for us.”

What was surprising was the guy sitting on the bench as the Vegas backup goalie. It was Adin Hill, one of the heroes of last spring’s successful Cup run. Hill won 11 games, posting two shutouts and a 2.17 GAA in backstopping the Golden Knights to their first Stanley Cup title.

The Golden Knights would reward Hill, an impending UFA, with a two-year, $9.8 million contract. This season, he’s earning a base salary of $4.2 million and carrying a cap hit of $4.9.

While Hill got paid, as the playoffs got underway, it was Thompson who was getting played.

Golden Knights Making Unique Switch

To say this is a unique situation is a massive understatement. In fact, it hasn’t happened previously during the NHL’s expansion era, which began in the fall of 1967.

That spring, the Montreal Canadiens, who were two-time defending Cup champs, were opting to go with rookie Rogatien Vachon over veteran Gump Worsley as the postseason got underway. It was Worsley who was in net for both of Montreal’s 1964-65 and 1965-66 Cup triumphs, but he was backing up Vachon in the spring of 1967.

Vachon did backstop the Canadiens to the final, but they were upset by the Toronto Maple Leafs. Toronto coach Punch Imlach infamously chided Vachon, calling him a “junior B goalie.” In fact, Vachon had played junior B hockey during the 1965-66 season.

Thompson wasn’t playing junior B hockey last season. He was the No. 1 goalie for Vegas. Thompson was the club leader in games (37), starts (36), wins (21) and shutouts (two). However, a lower-body injury would put him on the shelf for the entire 2023 Stanley Cup run.