The ride was simply a fantastic one for the Vegas Golden Knights in their inaugural season, but, as you know, every good thing must come to an end. And it was a brutal one for the Golden Knights on Thursday night following Washington Capitals’ 4-3 victory in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup final. Reality now sets in for the expansion team and several tough choices are needed to be made going forward.
The players cleaned out their dressing room on Friday and needed to face media members with tough questions on the championship loss, but also, on the uncertain future for a few of them. Several changes are expected during the offseason in Vegas: 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.
First, tough decisions need to be made on pending unrestricted free agents James Neal, David Perron and Ryan Reaves, whom has quickly become a fan favorite in Sin City. On Friday, it was revealed that one of them failed to get a contract extension during the season. Perron revealed that his agent and team management have been trying to find an agreement on a contract extension, however, it seems that the talks have not been successful.
According to Golden Knights insider David Schoen, Perron revealed he and his agent discussed a contract extension during the season but couldn't come to terms. The veteran forward seems to be heading to free agency on July 1st.
However, let's not forget that Perron is coming off the best season of his 11-year NHL career. The 30-year-old veteran managed to record a career high in assists with 50, and finished behind only teammates William Karlsson and Jonathan Marchessault for the lead in points with 66, despite missing 12 regular season contests.
It was however handed in the postseason for Perron, who missed five of the Golden Knights’ 20 playoff games due to an illness, but still tallied nine points through 15 contests.
However, let's not forget: every good thing must come to an end...