Featured in this article:
  • First preseason games being played on Sept. 24 and the regular season starting on Oct. 11
  • No. 1 goaltender Robin Lehner will miss the season because of a hip injury
  • The Knights are +2200 to win the Stanley Cup

3 Minute Read

Vegas Golden Knights head coach Peter DeBoer, center, talks to players during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Chicago Blackhawks in Chicago, Wednesday, April 27, 2022. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)

The Vegas Golden Knights might have an issue in net this coming season.

The start of the 2022-23 NHL season is not far off with the first preseason games being played on Sept. 24 and the regular season starting on Oct. 11.

The Vegas Golden Knights made the postseason in each of their first four seasons – including a memorable run to the Stanley Cup Final, losing to Washington, in their expansion year – but missed out in 2021-22 with 94 points, three out of the final Wild-Card spot in the Western Conference.

Vegas already has received some bad news for the coming year as No. 1 goaltender Robin Lehner will miss it because of a hip injury that requires surgery. The 31-year-old Swede was 23-17-2 with a 2.86 goals-against average and .907 save percentage last season.

Bovada has a Golden Knights playoff special posted and even sans Lehner, they are -310 to play extra hockey and +225 to miss out.

Thompson The New No. 1? 

Moving Lehner, who has won two Jennings Trophies and was a Vezina Trophy finalist in 2019, to long-term injured reserve will give Vegas around $5 million in extra money to spend, but there’s not a heck of a lot out there in terms of free-agent goaltending help. The team also has veteran Laurent Brossoit on the roster and youngster Logan Thompson. Brossoit was 10-9-3 last year with a 2.90 GAA and .895 save percentage, and Thompson 10-5-3 with a 2.68 GAA and .914 SV. Brossoit is coming off hip surgery himself and isn’t a sure thing to be ready by Opening Night. The Golden Knights also have journeyman Michael Hutchinson under contract.

Possible trade targets in net include the Islanders’ Semyon Varlamov, Stars’ Anton Khudobin and Ducks’ John Gibson.

Vegas took a hit earlier in the offseason in trading away former All-Star forward Max Pacioretty to Carolina in a salary clearing move. Pacioretty scored 37 points in 39 games during an injury-plagued 2021-22 season. He had 97 goals and 97 assists in 224 games with the Golden Knights. Another forward, Mattias Janmark (25 points), left in free agency for Edmonton.

The Knights also have a new head coach for the coming season in former Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy. Vegas fired coach Peter DeBoer on May 16 and Cassidy was fired by the Bruins on June 6 after six seasons as their coach. Cassidy held a 245-108-46 regular-season record with Boston and went 36-37 in the playoffs. He is Vegas’ third head coach since its initial season in 2017-18.

Vegas’ season opener is Oct. 11 at Los Angeles. The Knights are +2200 to win the Stanley Cup and +750 to win the West. The player on the team with the shortest odds to win the Hart Trophy is Jack Eichel at +2500. He was limited to 34 games last season (25 points) after coming over in trade from Buffalo, so having Eichel for a full season will be a plus.

James Guill

James Guill is a former professional poker player who writes fro GambleOnline.co about poker, sports, casinos, gaming legislation and the online gambling industry in general. His past experience includes working with IveyPoker, PokerNews, PokerJunkie, Bwin, and the Ongame Network. From 2006-2009 he participated in multiple tournaments including the 37th and 38th World Series of Poker (WSOP). James lives in Virgina and he has a side business where he picks and sells vintage and antique items.

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