1-on-1 with Golden Knights’ Logan Thompson: ‘The whole hockey world is doubting us right now’
LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - The Golden Knights announced that Robin Lehner would miss the entire 2022-23 season this past August, and once they did it created a big question mark in the crease for Vegas. New head coach Bruce Cassidy told FOX5 that it will be Logan Thompson who will get the first look as the number one netminder in training camp.
“It’s good to have confidence from the coach and the players in the room, but nothing is earned in this business, I know that,” explained Thompson. “I still have to perform; they’re not going to hand me anything.”
The 25-year-old will be the first to tell you, he hasn’t been handed anything in his hockey career, starting in the Western Hockey League, moving on to Brock University in Ontario, Canada, before hitting the pro ranks. Three years ago, Thompson was in the ECHL prior to signing his entry level deal with the Golden Knights. In 2021 he was named the AHL goaltender of the year, where that same season he made his NHL debut on March 11th, against Minnesota.
“Everything has moved really quick for me, kind of my last four years, seems I’m always in a new city and making a jump to another level,” said Thompson. “It’s exciting, I’m used to people doubting me, I think even when I came here there were a couple journalists saying he was a depth piece, he isn’t going to do anything, probably an East Coast guy. I use that stuff to motivate me, even now I think I took the next step to Henderson, great opportunity for me, we had a really great group, we had a really successful year, and I was ready to make the jump. Getting sent down last year and developing more I think helped my game, before making my debut last year and then this year I think a lot of people doubted me and doubted the team. I’m like everyone else , I just want to get out there and play hockey and hopefully good things happen.”
Thompson became a household name and a fan favorite here in Vegas late last season. Injuries to Lehner and Laurent Brossoit forced the team to lean heavily on Thompson to keep their playoff hopes alive, starting 15 of the final 20 games.
“I think with me I’ve always had that work ethic, and some of those tools. I’m not the prettiest goalie, but really, I go out there and I really don’t care. I just have fun and play games, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but it’s really good when you have a good game. You get to go to some of those press conferences and look at guys that have been doubting you and that’s kind of what helps motivate me as a hockey player.”
Thompson won ten of his 17 starts in the 2021-22 season, sporting a 914 save percentage. The Calgary native tells FOX5 he’s healthy heading into training camp and ready to be “the guy” for Vegas.
“It’s a really good opportunity for me, I’m just excited. I have got to earn the coaches’ trust, new coaches coming in, have to earn their trust. I know the team has my back, keep taking it day by day, game by game, and I think that’s the best way to approach it. work hard every day and hopefully good things happen, and things bounce my way.”
With just 20 National Hockey League games under his belt, there will be competition in the crease. Brossoit, who is recovering from offseason hip surgery, will be in the mix once healthy, as well as Adin Hill, who was a classmate of Thompson back in middle school.
“We were in the same grade, he was a year older than me in hockey, so I never got the chance to play with him, but some of the same classes. I remember him always being taller than me, a bigger kid. We would always do track day and he was a really good runner; I remember that. I used to hate him because I couldn’t catch him, but I’m also really slow. It’s cool, I haven’t seen him in years, so it’s a cool reunion, another Calgary guy, know a lot of the same people, same guy paints our masks, a lot of things in common, it’s good to have him in the organization.”
Golden Knights general manager Kelly McCrimmon said at the end of last season that he expects his team to have a, ‘something to prove’ attitude and Thompson believes that is very evident with this years group.
“It was too long of an offseason for us, and I think we’re hungry. The whole hockey world is doubting us right now, so we’re looking forward to getting back at it and showing people wrong, proving people wrong. It’s similar to how my career is, everyone has always pushed me to the side. I like it for our group, like I said we’re going to come out hot and hopefully prove a lot of people wrong.”
“A lot of excitement from our room and it’s going to be hard. Guys are going to go balls to the wall, and you look at last year, you see every team in the league was happy with how our season ended as an organization, so I think it’s a totally different mindset for us and we’re really eager to get after it.”
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