The Vegas Golden Knights and the quality vs. quantity debate

With a wave of forwards hitting free agency this summer, the Vegas Golden Knights are tasked with a big question of properly approaching the offseason.
Vegas Golden Knights v Dallas Stars - Game Seven
Vegas Golden Knights v Dallas Stars - Game Seven / Cooper Neill/GettyImages
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The debate of quality vs. quantity often brings up an internal battle between having the best and having depth. It's two different spectrums on the eternal plane of life, with people arguing for one side over the other. The Vegas Golden Knights have that debate coming up in just over a month, with five forwards hitting unrestricted free agency.

Two of those forwards are Chandler Stephenson and Jonathan Marchessault, key components for Vegas's 2023 Stanley Cup victory. One was an "Original Misfit" who embedded himself into the heart and soul of Las Vegas through his personality, play, and off-ice work. The other has 30+ assists in the past three seasons. Both were valuable pieces to the puzzle in the last three seasons, which provides an added incentive to bring them back.

However, these pieces also represent a chunk of the salary cap, with big contracts due. The Golden Knights already have money tied up on players like Mark Stone and Jack Eichel, with new pieces like Tomas Hertl and Noah Hanifin added to the payroll. For some fans, that doesn't present a desirable situation, for they could lose out on seeing their precious stars forever.

But that great debate between quality vs. quantity should be explored further. Everything that happens this offseason will stem from which approach general manager Kelly McCrimmon wants. Does he want to stock up on depth pieces and make the position deep? Or does he want to bring back the fan-favorite(s) and go for one more run with the group?

The case for quality for the Vegas Golden Knights

Let's face it: Jonathan Marchessault is an essential part of the Vegas Golden Knights. He's proven himself to be valuable to the team, as made evident by his 42 goals this season. But his body of work stems far beyond this season: the winger has 192 goals and 225 assists in seven seasons with the Vegas Golden Knights.

He'll be the main topic of discussion heading into free agency. However, there's also a case for Chandler Stephenson being kept around instead of the winger. He's younger than Marchessault, is versatile, and has some speed to his game. The center could be a good alternative to bring back if everything falls through with Marchessault.

But what happens if both don't return? There have been growing rumors of Mitch Marner potentially going to Las Vegas. Shea Theodore and Logan Thompson have been discussed as potential trade pieces, which could work. However, the rumors have also torn apart the fanbase, with everyone divided on whether they want the Maple Leaf in Vegas.

Whatever the case is, it offers Vegas the chance to go for another shot at the Stanley Cup with beloved figures. If Jonathan Marchessault and Chandler Stephenson are off the table, then there's potential for acquiring a superstar like Marner. It offers McCrimmon an opportunity to make a splash, either in free agency or through a trade.