Wednesday "Knight" wisdom about cooling off

The Las Vegas heat is no joke. That's why fans are dreaming about the Vegas Golden Knights skating on the ice. Here's why they should be optimistic.
Chicago Blackhawks v Vegas Golden Knights
Chicago Blackhawks v Vegas Golden Knights / Candice Ward/GettyImages

July and August in Las Vegas are no joke. On Wednesday, July 10, 2024, it was 117 degrees Fahrenheit, with citizens cooking in the summer heat. As mentioned in a previous article, the dog days of summer can feel like a real drag. Just ask anybody who must work in this dreaded blanket of warmth.

With people roasting outside, it has Sin City thinking about Vegas Golden Knights hockey. It doesn't matter if it's tenured stars like Nicolas Roy or new prospects like Trevor Connelly. The Golden Knights have plenty to offer for fans looking to cool off, despite losing tenured players.

For example, they've suddenly become a younger team. Losing Jonathan Marchessault and trading for young stars like Alexander Holtz has made the team more youthful.

10th-youngest, eh? Not bad for a franchise that many thought would be getting older and falling apart. Of course, that has been Kelly McCrimmon's strategy since he grabbed the reins. Older talent is exiting the franchise for younger players with more upside. It might not say much for the team keeping tenured talent. However, there's a system in place and it's working.

For example, Marc-Andre Fleury was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks in 2021, making way for Robin Lehner. It wasn't the most popular move at that time, especially since Fleury found out about it on Twitter. However, it did pave the way for Vegas to make a unique move: Using Lehner on LTIR to get big names.

The Vegas Golden Knights have been the NHL's cool kings thanks to the front office

Creating more cap space through this venue has led to acquiring big-name stars, including Noah Hanifin. In turn, he got a nice eight-year extension with the team, acquainting himself with fellow Massachusetts native, Jack Eichel, further. More importantly, it boosts other aspects such as the power play, a lacking unit since the franchise's inception. While there has also been some salary cap gymnastics involved, this has been an underrated move that has helped Vegas form its current foundation.

The point of all this? The team hasn't cooled off because of the front office. Making bold moves is a part of every successful team. For example, Albert Pujols didn't return to the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2011-12 offseason. After being rumored to head to the Miami Marlins (which would've been a death sentence), he chose the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Pujols never saw the World Series again, while St. Louis made it back in 2013.

How does this relate to the Golden Knights? Vegas has the opportunity to make like the St. Louis Cardinals here. Granted, comparing Marchessault to Pujols regarding their impact on their respective sports is silly. While the "Original Misfit" was productive, he wasn't a legend in his sport like the three-time NL MVP.

Golden Knights fans shouldn't fret with solid talent like Nicolas Roy and Trevor Connelly on board

However, Vegas not retaining Marchessault's services isn't a bad thing. The team gets bigger and younger, giving fans hope in the long term. With notable stars like Nicolas Roy on board, they have versatile talent that grows each year. The same can be said for promising prospects like Trevor Connelly, who has the perfect opportunity to leave his past behind.

Life was never meant to be easy. Whether it's regular people walking the Las Vegas strip on a 118-degree Fahrenheit day or Kelly McCrimmon looking at which players to re-sign, the pressure can be immense in tough times. However, that should deter anybody from believing in a better future.

That's especially true for Vegas Golden Knights fans, who've grown accustomed to winning seasons. While the summer season will melt faces away, don't expect the Golden Knights to cool off because one player leaves the franchise. Soon, October will arrive and fans will be heading to T-Mobile Arena to cool off. Then, everyone can forget about the long, dreary summer heat.