There is no denying that this past season was a very frustrating one for the Vegas Golden Knights, but the good news is there is plenty of reason to believe they will be contenders once again in 2022-23.
The 2021-22 season was an injury plagued, inconsistent one from the get go for the Golden Knights. They had lengthy injuries throughout the year to some of their top contributors in players like Mark Stone, Max Pacioretty, Reilly Smith, Jack Eichel, William Karlsson and Robin Lehner just to name a few. Assuming all that is in the past, there is reason to believe this very talented roster will once again be one of the best in the NHL this upcoming season, and several, including former NHLer Mike Rupp, think that is exactly what will happen.
“I think this team healthy would’ve made it this past season,” Rupp said in regards to the Golden Knights missing the 2022 playoffs. “Health was the biggest thing that tied them up in and stumbled them throughout the [season]. They just kept stumbling through injuries. They had significant man-games lost by significant players. So having that group healthy, running back into a healthy start of the season, I think will do wonders. And they’re in the right division, and I think they can make some noise here.”
“I don’t know if they’re as talented and deep as they once were, but they’ve got some star power, and they can certainly carry this team and make some noise, so I’m interested to see how they go.”
Rupp’s comments seem to be how many around the league feel in regards to the Golden Knights. On top of the injury issues they ran into, they also had some conflict in the dressing room, as it was very clear that Lehner and former head coach Pete DeBoer were not seeing eye to eye. Likely in large part due to that, DeBoer was let go shortly after the 2021-22 season came to a close, and has since been replaced by Bruce Cassidy. While it remains to be seen, there should be no surprise if the Golden Knights are able to re-establish themselves as a Stanley Cup contender in 2022-23.
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