NHL on NBCSN: Golden Knights Cup run starts now after quiet deadline
NBCSN’s coverage of the 2020-21 NHL season continues with the Wednesday Night Hockey matchup between the Vegas Golden Knights and Los Angeles Kings. Golden Knights-Kings stream coverage begins at 10 p.m. ET on NBCSN. You can watch the game online and on the NBC Sports app by clicking here.
The Golden Knights made one move at the deadline.
Mattias Janmark comes in from Chicago at the cost of three draft picks, two to the Blackhawks and one to the Sharks, who brokered the deal.
Aside from that, Vegas was quiet at the deadline, perhaps simply because they could be.
Part of it is how close they are to the salary cap with just south of $35,000 in room after adding Janmark, per Cap Friendly. There wasn’t room for any huge move, but they did all that in the offseason anyways.
Vegas making a splashy deadline day has become something of tradition, after seasons of adding Robin Lehner and Mark Stone. They didn’t need a piece like that this time around, and the move they did make reflects how confident they feel in the group they had, keeping it together and still finding a way to add something to the mix in the competitive West.
Janmark can make things easier for the Golden Knights to swap around the lineup with his versatility, something that attracted them to adding him when they had limited trade options.
[COVERAGE OF GOLDEN KNIGHTS-KINGS BEGINS AT 10 P.M. ET - NBCSN]
“That’s a real strength of his game,” general manager Kelly McCrimmon told reporters on deadline day. “He can play with a lot of different players, and players like to play with him. He adds, he complements a line. That versatility is going to be important for us.”
Janmark isn’t having a strong campaign; he has one goal in his last 14 games and none in his last 10. They don’t need him to show up and produce a ton of goals, though, just do the little things well which frees up the rest of the lineup.
“For me, it’s another really good NHL player that goes into our stable of players that is going to be able to move around depending on the situation,” head coach Pete DeBoer said during his deadline availability. “Both special teams, which is critical come playoff time.”
The Golden Knights are four points back of the Avalanche with a game in hand. Colorado has been on fire, earning points in 15 consecutive contests for a stretch and entering Wednesday night 8-1-1 in their last 10.
Vegas has won three in a row in its own right. They’re playing well with few flaws. Their plus-38 goal differential is the third-best in the league. Given the cap situation, it made little sense to do something drastic.
Perhaps three picks for Janmark is too much just for the sake of making a move, but the Knights believe it’s more than a compulsive deadline deal. They think he can help an already stacked, pricey lineup, and if he does that no one is going to care about a slight overpay.
“We weren’t going to take away from our team,” said McCrimmon. “That was a decision we made quite some time ago. We really our comfortable with the makeup of our roster, the personnel that we have. We need those players so we weren’t going to take away from that.”