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Robin Lehner harm: Exploring Golden Knights’ goaltending choices for the 2022-23 season


With the information that Robin Lehner will miss the complete 2022-23 season because of hip surgical procedure, the Vegas Golden Knights are left trying to find solutions at goaltender. At this level, the workforce doesn’t have many choices, and those they do have are lower than superb.

The Golden Knights are coming off a extremely disappointing season that ended with them lacking the playoffs, and a multitude of a goaltending scenario contributed to these struggles. Lehner battled harm and solely performed in 44 video games, and Laurent Brossoit additionally bought injured and struggled mightily when wholesome.

Rookie Logan Thompson performed 19 video games and offered a vivid spot between the pipes for Vegas, however he stays an especially inexperienced possibility.

Regardless of some offseason turnover, Vegas will enter subsequent season as one of many prime groups within the Pacific Division, however hopes of a bounce-back yr might be derailed if it might probably’t discover dependable goaltending whereas Lehner is on the mend.

Let’s check out a number of the Golden Knights’ goaltending choices within the 2022-23 season.

Roll with veteran Laurent Brossoit

Brossoit is unquestionably probably the most skilled netminder in Vegas today. He has 106 profession video games performed, however the challenge is that Brossoit has by no means as soon as taken one a starter’s workload. Essentially the most video games Brossoit has performed in a single season is 24, which he achieved whereas Lehner was damage final yr. Brossoit was a serviceable backup with the Winnipeg Jets from 2018 to 2021, however he performed sparingly behind Connor Hellebuyck, among the best goalies within the NHL.

The opposite challenge is that, even when he was wholesome, Brossoit was unhealthy final season. His -7.32 targets saved above common, based on Pure Stat Trick, put him effectively behind each Lehner and Thompson. Regardless of the place he has performed, Brossoit has failed to point out that he’s able to being a No. 1 possibility on the NHL stage.

On prime of all that, Brossoit underwent offseason surgical procedure himself. Even when he’s prepared in time for coaching camp, there are well being considerations with the 29-year previous.

Give the crease to Logan Thompson

Primarily based on how he carried out in restricted work final season, Thompson does look like the most suitable choice for the time being. With Lehner and Brossoit out with accidents, Thompson got here in and acquitted himself effectively. In his 19 appearances, Thompson saved 3.91 targets above common, which was one of the best mark on the workforce. His high-danger save proportion of 83.1% was additionally fairly spectacular.

The most important challenge with Thompson is that he’s unproven. Just some years in the past, Thompson performed 32 video games on the ECHL stage for the South Carolina Stingrays. Thompson has carried out effectively for the Henderson Silver Knights on the AHL stage, however the leap to the NHL is a giant one. Thompson solely has 20 NHL video games beneath his belt, and that isn’t a sufficiently big pattern dimension to know whether or not he can backstop Vegas to contender standing.

Search for exterior assist

This could in all probability be the popular possibility for the Golden Knights, however it’s a sophisticated one for quite a lot of causes. For starters, the goaltending market has fully dried up in free company. Not one of the gamers left would supply a dependable improve over Brossoit or Thompson. If the Golden Knights needed to get loopy, they may offer-sheet Dallas’ Jake Oettiger, however that does not appear probably. Which means Vegas must pursue a commerce, and that makes buying a brand new goaltender much more troublesome.

The Golden Knights have little or no wage cap area to play with. They already traded Max Pacioretty to the Carolina Hurricanes for nothing simply to eliminate his cap hit, in order that reveals how dire the scenario is. If Vegas goes to commerce for a netminder, the deal has to satisfy a couple of standards. The participant should be accessible, the participant should be an improve over the present scenario, and the deal has to work on the monetary facet of issues.

Proper off the bat, Florida’s Spencer Knight, Boston’s Jeremy Swayman, Pittsburgh’s Casey DeSmith, Carolina’s Antti Raanta, and the New York Islanders’ Semyon Varlamov come to thoughts as goalies who would possibly verify at the least one or two of these containers. Nonetheless, who is aware of whether or not these groups could be prepared to maneuver on from them, or if Vegas might make an interesting provide that can be cap compliant.

There are some intriguing choices exterior of Las Vegas, but it surely will not be simple for the Golden Knights to solidify their crease by going that route.

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