Robin Lehner damage: Exploring Golden Knights’ goaltending choices for the 2022-23 season

With the information that Robin Lehner will miss your entire 2022-23 season resulting from hip surgical procedure, the Vegas Golden Knights are left looking for solutions at goaltender. At this level, the staff doesn’t have many choices, and those they do have are lower than excellent.

The Golden Knights are coming off a extremely disappointing season that ended with them lacking the playoffs, and a large number of a goaltending scenario contributed to these struggles. Lehner battled damage and solely performed in 44 video games, and Laurent Brossoit additionally obtained injured and struggled mightily when wholesome.

Rookie Logan Thompson performed 19 video games and supplied a vibrant spot between the pipes for Vegas, however he stays a particularly inexperienced choice.

Regardless of some offseason turnover, Vegas will enter subsequent season as one of many prime groups within the Pacific Division, however hopes of a bounce-back 12 months may very well be derailed if it could’t discover dependable goaltending whereas Lehner is on the mend.

Let’s check out a few of the Golden Knights’ goaltending choices within the 2022-23 season.

Roll with veteran Laurent Brossoit

Brossoit is certainly probably the most skilled netminder in Vegas lately. He has 106 profession video games performed, however the problem is that Brossoit has by no means as soon as taken one a starter’s workload. Probably the most video games Brossoit has performed in a single season is 24, which he achieved whereas Lehner was damage final 12 months. Brossoit was a serviceable backup with the Winnipeg Jets from 2018 to 2021, however he performed sparingly behind Connor Hellebuyck, top-of-the-line goalies within the NHL.

The opposite problem is that, even when he was wholesome, Brossoit was dangerous final season. His -7.32 objectives saved above common, in line with Pure Stat Trick, put him properly behind each Lehner and Thompson. Regardless of the place he has performed, Brossoit has failed to indicate that he’s able to being a No. 1 choice on the NHL stage.

On prime of all that, Brossoit underwent offseason surgical procedure himself. Even when he’s prepared in time for coaching camp, there are well being issues with the 29-year outdated.

Give the crease to Logan Thompson

Based mostly on how he carried out in restricted work final season, Thompson does look like the most suitable choice in the intervening time. With Lehner and Brossoit out with accidents, Thompson got here in and acquitted himself properly. In his 19 appearances, Thompson saved 3.91 objectives above common, which was the perfect mark on the staff. His high-danger save proportion of 83.1% was additionally fairly spectacular.

The most important problem with Thompson is that he’s unproven. Only a few years in the past, Thompson performed 32 video games on the ECHL stage for the South Carolina Stingrays. Thompson has carried out properly for the Henderson Silver Knights on the AHL stage, however the leap to the NHL is an enormous one. Thompson solely has 20 NHL video games underneath his belt, and that isn’t a sufficiently big pattern dimension to know whether or not he can backstop Vegas to contender standing.

Search for outdoors assist

This could in all probability be the popular choice for the Golden Knights, however it’s a difficult one for numerous causes. For starters, the goaltending market has fully dried up in free company. Not one of the gamers left would offer a dependable improve over Brossoit or Thompson. If the Golden Knights needed to get loopy, they might offer-sheet Dallas’ Jake Oettiger, however that does not appear seemingly. Which means Vegas should pursue a commerce, and that makes buying a brand new goaltender much more tough.

The Golden Knights have little or no wage cap house to play with. They already traded Max Pacioretty to the Carolina Hurricanes for nothing simply to eliminate his cap hit, in order that reveals how dire the scenario is. If Vegas goes to commerce for a netminder, the deal has to satisfy just a few standards. The participant have to be accessible, the participant have to be an improve over the present scenario, and the deal has to work on the monetary aspect of issues.

Proper off the bat, Florida’s Spencer Knight, Boston’s Jeremy Swayman, Pittsburgh’s Casey DeSmith, Carolina’s Antti Raanta, and the New York Islanders’ Semyon Varlamov come to thoughts as goalies who may verify a minimum of one or two of these packing containers. Nonetheless, who is aware of whether or not these groups can be prepared to maneuver on from them, or if Vegas might make an interesting supply that can be cap compliant.

There are some intriguing choices outdoors of Las Vegas, but it surely will not be straightforward for the Golden Knights to solidify their crease by going that route.

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