In this edition of Vegas Golden Knights News & Rumors, talks continue to swirl around Pete DeBoer’s future with the club, and he recently confirmed to media that he will be meeting with team management in the coming days to discuss just that. In other news, Mark Stone is considering surgery after playing the majority of the 2021-21 season with a nagging back injury. Meanwhile, Laurent Brossoit will be undergoing surgery in the near future on an undisclosed ailment that sidelined him for the latter part of the season. Last but not least, Max Pacioretty told reporters he still believes in this team, and hopes the roster can remain similar for the 2022-23 campaign.
DeBoer Set to Discuss Future with Golden Knights Management
Coming into the 2021-22 season, expectations were very high for this Golden Knights team, one who has been a contender since their inaugural 2017-18 campaign. They failed to live up to those expectations, however, as they battled injuries and struggled with inconsistencies all season long, and missed the playoffs entirely as a result. Due to the major disappointment, there have been plenty of questions surrounding DeBoer’s future. While he knows changes may happen, he made it very clear that he hopes to remain with the team heading into next season (from ‘Ben Gotz: Pete DeBoer to meet with Golden Knights brass about future,’ Las Vegas Review-Journal, 03/05/22).
“I want to coach this team again,” DeBoer told reporters. “I’m at the point in my career where I’m 14 years in. I don’t worry about contracts. I worry about coaching with the opportunity to win a Stanley Cup, and I think we have that here.”
DeBoer has yet to win a Stanley Cup in his lengthy coaching career, though he has come extremely close. He helped lead the New Jersey Devils to the Cup Final back in 2012, and did the same with the San Jose Sharks in 2016. He has yet to advance to the Cup Final with the Golden Knights, but could very well do so if brought back for another season given the immense talent this roster has.
Stone Considering Surgery
As mentioned, the Golden Knights struggled with injuries this season, with perhaps the most crucial of all being the ailment that plagued Stone all year long. The 29-year-old was limited to just 37 games due to a back injury, and wasn’t nearly himself when on the ice with just nine goals and 30 points. He made it clear that being back to 100 percent is his top priority, meaning surgery is an option he is considering (from ‘Ben Gotz: Golden Knights’ captain looking at options to treat injury,’ Las Vegas Review-Journal 05/05/22).
“I don’t want to make a rash decision and do a procedure that’s not going to help,” Stone said. “I want to make sure I’m doing something that’s going to benefit me. Not just for next year but for the five years I have left under contract, and hopefully (I) sign a couple more after that.”
Having their team captain back at 100 percent for 2022-23 would be a huge bonus for this Golden Knights team. When healthy, Stone is one of the game’s top two-way players, one who is capable of putting up big numbers offensively, but perhaps even more importantly can shut down opposing teams’ top players. Had he been healthy this season, there is a good chance this team would be one of the 16 competing in the playoffs right now.
Brossoit to Undergo Medical Procedure
To say Brossoit’s first season as a Golden Knight didn’t go as he had envisioned would be an understatement. The 29-year-old, who signed a two-year, $4.65 million deal last offseason, was yet another player who struggled to stay healthy. In fact, due to an undisclosed injury, the last game he appeared in was on March 15, resulting in Logan Thompson being given the majority of the starts down the stretch of the season.
When speaking with media on Monday, DeBoer said that Brossoit will be undergoing a medical procedure this offseason in hopes of being ready for the start of the 2022-23 campaign. Assuming he will be ready, both he and the team will be hoping that he can improve on his 2.90 goals-against average, along with his .895 save percentage he posted in 24 games.
Pacioretty Confident in Golden Knights’ Roster
Despite the Golden Knights’ struggles this season, it appears the entire group is quite confident that this was simply just an off year. One player in particular who echoed those sentiments was Pacioretty, who has been arguably the team’s best offensive weapon since being acquired during the 2018 offseason. He, too, struggled to stay healthy this season, as numerous injuries limited him to just 39 games.
“We like what we have year,” Pacioretty said. “Everyone feels strongly that we have what it takes.”
The one concern moving forward is Pacioretty and his health. He has struggled with just that over his past five seasons, and at the age of 33, there are no promises things will get better from that standpoint moving forward. When healthy, he remains a top goalscorer around the league, and proved that again this season with 19 goals and 37 points. Whether or not he can get past his injury troubles for the 2022-23 season, however, remains to be seen.
Up Next for the Golden Knights
While there won’t be much of anything done from a player personnel standpoint for some time, the same may not be said in regards to this team’s coaching staff. To this point, nothing has been said on DeBoer’s future, but we should expect to hear more shortly after he meets with management. If they do choose to go a different direction, he should have a number of teams interested in hiring him this summer.
Colton Pankiw is a former Jr. A hockey player who now provides his knowledge of the game through writing. He’s been a very active and reliable source for nearly two years at The Hockey Writers. He is a credentialed writer for the Calgary Flames but also does features on other teams throughout the league. Other writing contributions include: Yahoo Sports, Las Vegas Chronicle, Oil On Whyte, and Markerzone.com. Colton is also a co-host of both Oilers Overtime and Flames Faceoff podcasts. Any interview requests or content info can be made through him on Twitter. Take a look at his work here.