Who is the Golden Knights’ #1 netminder? Head coach Bruce Cassidy goes 1-on-1 with FOX5
LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - When Bruce Cassidy was introduced as Golden Knights head coach back in June, Robin Lehner was the number one netminder for the VGK, but since then, Lehner has been placed on season-ending injured reserve due to double hip surgery. Golden Knights General Manager Kelly McCrimmon traded a 4th round pick to rival San Jose for goaltender Adin Hill, giving Vegas three options to fill the void left by Lehner.
“The positive on the flip side is you have Logan Thompson who has played some real good hockey for the team at the end of the year, gets a chance to now grab the net early,” explained Cassidy. “Brossoit, I talked to yesterday, he’s healing well from his surgery, again a guy that is highly motivated to get out there. Whether he joins us at the end of the year or two or three weeks in, we’ll see him. Those injuries are healing themselves a little bit now, which is a good thing and with Adin Hill coming in, he’s a guy that has played in the league, had some good numbers, and has a good opportunity to come in and compete with those two guys. To me, internal competition typically brings the best in your team, or it should. I’m excited about that, there is no defined number one.”
Cassidy tells FOX5 that as of now, Thompson has the edge as the number one guy due to his play at the end of last season and because Brossoit is still rehabbing from his off-season hip surgery.
Cassidy went on to say that the battle for the starting job, does not and probably will not be set in stone when the puck drops for opening night.
“I think it will take a bit to play out, I really do,” said Cassidy. “These are three guys that have all played in the league, had success, but I think it’s fair to say none of them have been proven or a number one for a long stretch of time. We’ll let that play out and hopefully, A, the team checks well in front of them, playing well in front of them, so you’re not putting all the onus on the goaltender, that’s the first thing the group has to take care of, no matter who is in the net, we have to make his life - I don’t want to say easy because he’s paid to stop the puck to - but we have to play well in front of him, give us the best chance to win and for them to get comfortable and have success. That will be the messaging early on.”
The crease is not the only question mark for Bruce Cassidy as the status of team Captain Mark Stone is also up in the air. McCrimmon has remained steadfast in his message that Stone is “trending to be ready for the opening of the regular season,” and Cassidy echoed a similar sentiment.
“Mark is on schedule, he’s doing really well,” said Cassidy. “When you have a surgery like he did you want to make sure you’re checking all the boxes as far as recovery. I know the medical side will be monitoring very closely, maybe a little closer than the other injuries and we’ll make sure we get Mark up to speed. At the end of the day, he’s going to decide where he is with his recovery, but we’re anticipating he’ll be ready to go, which is great. He’s a big part of the team.”
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