The Washington Capitals’ 4-3 victory in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup final was simply heartbreaking for the Vegas Golden Knights, who almost managed to write the perfect story ending to their inaugural season. The crowd was loud and believed the team could push the series to at least a sixth game, however, forward Lars Eller scored the winning goal, and just like that the hockey season is over, the Caps are champions and the Golden Knights are heartbroken…
Vegas lost four straight games for the first time this season, and it had to happen during the Stanley Cup final… and it sure shed light on what needs to be done to make a final improvement to push the team to hoist the prestigious trophy next spring.
According to Greg Wyshynski of ESPN, the Golden Knights should use their $26 million in salary-cap space to pursue a highly coveted player via trade. You’ve guess it, we are back with the talks of landing Ottawa Senators captain and star defenseman Erik Karlsson. During the trade deadline, the Golden Knights were believed to have been quite close to acquiring the blue liner. Now, with money available and young prospects to put up on the trade block for a rebuilding team like Ottawa, a match could be found and a trade completed.
Wyshynski also feels the Golden Knights could be tempted to pursue Washington’s John Carlson or the New York Islanders’ John Tavares via free agency.
One thing is sure: Golden Knights GM George McPhee isn’t afraid to make bold moves and could surprise us shortly after losing the grande finale. Team owner Bill Foley could be convinced to spend to the cap ceiling and McPhee might just have the green light to pursue a true franchise player, maybe even a captain.
The Golden Knights also have a deep pool of draft picks they could use in a deal if they use the trade route to upgrade the roster. However, Vegas will have to make tough decisions on pending unrestricted free agents James Neal, David Perron and Ryan Reaves, whom has quickly become a fan favorite in Sin City.
The story may not have the perfect ending last night, but it was one heck of a tale. "The Golden Misfits" came together to stun the hockey world by coming on top of the Pacific Division with an astounding 109 points before putting up a 12-3 record in the first three rounds of the Western Conference playoffs.
It may be even more next year, pending these potential bold moves...