(Photo by Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

Las Vegas–Tonight ahead of the Ottawa Senators matchup, Golden Knights defenseman Shea Theodore makes his return patrolling the blueline for Vegas.

Back on February 21, Theodore was placed on injured reserve as he fell victim to the recent flu bug due to a throat infection that kept him out of commission for the last five games.

Before he became sick, Theodore was in a bit of slump having been kept off the scoresheet in the eight previous contests in which he record a -5 rating in that span.

With the recent stretch of games that Theodore has been struggling, he’s looking for tonight’s contest as a way to bounce back and contribute again for his teammates.

“Just try to simplify, when you miss that many games after playing a good stretch you kind to have to get back in a rhythm a little bit, it might to take a few shifts, I feel good I feel ready to play.” Theodore on making his return to the lineup for Vegas.

The last two games against the Los Angeles Kings the Golden Knights lost the back-to-back contests by a score of 3-2 in overtime on the road in Southern California and a 4-1 final at T-Mobile Arena.

For Vegas this is the last matchup at home before their five game road trip that starts off in New Jersey and Theodore talked to us on what the Golden Knights need to do to get back in the win column.

“We have to simplify our game I thought from watching the past two games we were turning over too many pucks, we weren’t playing our style of hockey, I feel once we re-focus a little bit, recharge and get back to playing our game and that’s when we are at our best.” Theodore said.

Theodore noticed that in the last two games vs. the Kings they were playing really desperate and the fact the Stanley Cup Playoff race is in full swing the Golden Knights did not match that desperation against their Pacific Division rivals.

“Definitely, they were playing a solid game, they’re a physical team, I feel they wanted a little be more than we did. Coming into this last stretch of games we have to be on our game every night, were gonna have to be focused playing Knights hockey that’s when were at our best and that’s when were playing real strong hockey.” Says Theodore.

With the additions of forwards Ryan Reaves from the Pittsburgh Penguins and Tomas Tatar of the Detroit Red Wings it gives the Golden Knights a different feel and look since being acquiring them during the NHL Trade Deadline window and Theodore was complimentary with us on his two new teammates.

“Gives us more toughness and little more skill, they’re two great players, great additions from the deadline I feel like going forward they’re a good fit to our team.” Theodore on Reaves and Tatar.

Yesterday the NHL Seattle Group that is run by OVG Executive Tim Leiweke, investment banker David Bonderman, and Hollywood Film/TV Mogul Jerry Bruckheimer held their season ticket drive in an effort to demonstrate interest had the enormous support of the hockey community of the “Emerald City” and sold tickets in very quick fashion.

With the Golden Knights, there is a special connection to that town as defenseman Theodore spent 7 seasons (258 games) playing for the WHL’s Seattle Thunderbirds and even from his point of view there was some uncertainly to how that would go.

“Obviously I wasn’t sure what to expect, I wasn’t even sure that they were having that ticket drive, I kind of checked my phone after practice, saw that they raised that many tickets in that short amount of time which definitely shows they want a team there, they’re really trying to do everything they can to get it and I feel it’s going to be a good place for an NHL team.” Theodore on the NHL Seattle ticket drive.

With spending so much time in the juniors there in the Seattle market, Theodore knows about the heart, passion, and support that the hockey community brings to Thunderbird games which at that scale emulates to what Golden Knights fan’s showcase each night at “The Fortress”.

“It’s good, I know we played about an hour south of Downtown Seattle, our rink was always buzzing, it was definitely one of the more fun rinks to play in that’s for sure, I feel it’s going to be a good fit for a new team there.” Theodore on the atmosphere of Seattle hockey fans.

If the league decides to grant the NHL Seattle Group the 32rd franchise into the league this could bring Theodore’s hockey career full circle.

“I feel like it’d be cool, it’d be good to have quite the Seattle fan base with the junior team following the guys that played there I feel like it definitely be a good feeling to go back.”  Theodore on the potential of play a future NHL game in Seattle.

The NHL plans to make an announcement on NHL Seattle sometime in June.

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