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2017-18 Vegas Golden Knights |
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5/29/18 1:40 PM
In the expansion draft, Vegas was able to choose star goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury from the two time Cup defending champion Pittsburgh Penguins, with whom the popular cageminder won three Stanley Cups. Teams could only protect one goalie, and young Matt Murray had assumed the 1A position with Fleury dropping to 1B.
The Vegas netminder plays the most important position and has played like a superstar.
Vegas succeeded and became one of the best teams in the NHL because:
1) The hard salary cap forced other teams to compromise their rosters
2) Like the 1967-68 expansion Blues, Vegas was able to obtain a proven veteran goaltender capable of playing at a level higher than any other goalie during a given stretch of time.
3) Vegas obtained a very competent head coach who many thought was wrongfully dismissed by his previous team.
4) Vegas hired a experienced GM who hired good people.
5) The Knights were the only expansion team, so they did not have to compete with other expansion teams for expansion draft assets and trade assets.
Vegas is a bit like the NFL's New England . The whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Hand picked roster of players who play together very well and very smart, with the goaltender serving as a Tom Brady analog.
I'm rooting for Vegas to win the Cup. It would be a victory for fairness. For so many years, we've seen expansion teams enter leagues and become cannon fodder for the established clubs for years.
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