The Vegas Golden Knights have sent forwards Vadim Shipachyov and Alex Tuch along with defenseman Shea Theodore to the team’s AHL affiliate, tweeted first by our own Danny Webster, later confirmed by the club.
But don’t freak out. We’re (pretty sure) everything will be okay.
The Knights had to submit a final 23-man roster in accordance with the NHL’s 2:00 pm PST deadline. That being said, this is not the final roster, nor will it dictate the starting lineup for Friday’s season opener. This is especially evident given the fact that the roster currently features 11 forwards, nine defensemen and three goalies (as listed below), rather than the standard makeup of 13 forwards, seven defensemen and two goalies.
Clayton Stoner (Injured Reserve)
We’ve known for quite some time that general manager George McPhee would be forced to make at least one trade prior to the start of the 2017-2018 season. He and head coach Gerrard Gallant decided it would be best to make those decisions at the conclusion of training camp.
As Shipachyov, Tuch and Theodore are all waiver-exempt, there was no risk in sending them down. Having more freedom and flexibility with the NHL roster will allow McPhee to make at least one transaction, likely several. Once those deals are completed, Shipachyov, Tuch and Theodore will be recalled.
There is little doubt Shipachyov will be this team’s first-line center and will be on the ice Friday night in Dallas. While the same cannot be said of Tuch and Theodore with similar certainty, both had strong preseasons and likely did enough to earn permanent roles on the roster.
The next few days figure to be fascinating for the Knights’ roster construction, but in under 72 hours, some combination of Golden Knights will take the ice for the first real game in franchise history.