For the Vegas Golden Knights, they have an interesting offseason in front of them given the fact that they did not participate in the current season in the NHL.
So far what the team has done was signing Brandon Wheat Kings forward Reid Duke to a 3-year entry level deal back on March 6, 2017. His 3-year contract is however rated at a 2-way deal.
Duke signed a PTO with the AHL’s Chicago Wolves to help him get acclimated to the next level in hockey in North America.
He is scheduled to participate in the Vegas Golden Knights development this summer at the Las Vegas Ice Center and then later before the preseason starts to take part in the organization’s first-ever training camp at their new Summerlin Practice Facility.
If Duke makes the opening night roster his contract gets upgraded and reflected against the team’s salary cap. His cap hit would be $770,000 per season.
Another move the Golden Knights made came on May 4, 2017, when George McPhee signed KHL Free Agent Vadim Shipachyov to a 2-year deal worth $9 million and an AAV at $4.5 million that includes a $2 million sign on bonus with the club.
The Shipachyov signing was actually bigger of the two deals that McPhee made due in part that he was highly sought after the completion of the KHL playoffs.
McPhee mentioned during the conference call with the media after the organization signed him that “we wanted him”.
It’s also been reported that Vegas is also going after Shipachyov’s former SKA St. Petersburg teammate Evgeni Dadonov. Both Shipachyov and Dadonov are currently competing in the IIHF World Championship tournament in Colgone, Germany.
As it stands today the Golden Knights have two players signed on their roster but the work does not end there.
For McPhee and his pro scouting department they have been going thru their monthly mock drafts to get a more of an understanding of what he called it “the whole universe” of players that might become available vs. the ones that are more likely to be protected by their current teams.
Another mock draft round is scheduled for this month by McPhee and his pro scouting team.
Earlier this week TSN’s Hockey Analyst and Resident Insider Pierre LeBrun reported on his Twitter page about the unique situation that the Vegas Golden Knights could have when dealing with teams who maybe want to use a special free agent window.
The league is looking at the possibility of extending the 48-hour negotiations window with Vegas and make it a 72-hour window. If it does get approved this could be something huge for Vegas in building their team.
It’s also been reported that the NHL and NHLPA are discussing with on another when Vegas can start the negotiation process with RFA’s/UFA’s likely to be exposed next month.
Since there are still teams engaged in the Stanley Cup Playoffs with the Anaheim Ducks facing the Nashville Predators in the Western Conference Finals while the Ottawa Senators square off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Eastern Conference Finals it could hold up some kind of agreement between the NHL and NHLPA.
With Shipachyov’s cap hit at $4.5 million per season Vegas has $68.5 million in space available to make deals in this years cycle.
To note that Vegas has the 6th overall pick for this years entry draft. With the draft class considered to be not as strong as previous classes most the of the players selected in the first round by their respective clubs will be what is called as “project players”.
In the following rounds 2-7 they will selecting in the 3rd spot in each of them.
When it’s time for Vegas to make its first ever entry draft selection these are the most likely players that will still be available defenceman Cale Makar and centres Cody Glass and Casey Mittelstadt.
With weeks away from heading into the NHL Expansion and Entry Drafts Goerge McPhee is going to be a very busy man as well as dealing with free agents.