weather icon Clear

5 questions facing the Golden Knights entering training camp

It’s probably just an error in the coding.

Or, maybe the programmers are obsessed with the book “Ready Player One” and it’s an elaborate Golden Knights’ Easter egg.

Regardless, when EA Sports released the trailer last month for its “NHL 18” video game, the Knights’ computer-generated players were wearing black gloves.

And when the expansion team unveiled its jersey numbers Wednesday in a video produced by EA Sports, the black gloves were back.

What the heck happened to the white gloves?

Both videos showed the Golden Knights in their dark uniforms, so maybe the white gloves only come out for games away from T-Mobile Arena.

The mystery of the Knights’ multicolored mitts will be solved soon, as training camp gets underway Thursday when rookies report to City National Arena. The main camp officially begins Sept. 14.

Here are five (slightly more important) questions facing the Golden Knights heading into their inaugural camp:

1. Which defensemen will the team keep?

News flash: the Knights have a logjam of players along the blue line.

The team’s roster lists 13 defensemen, 11 of whom are under NHL contracts, according to CapFriendly.com. (Six or seven defensemen dress each game.)

Three players have more than 400 career NHL games played; three additional players have logged more than 200 NHL games.

That doesn’t include promising 22-year-old Shea Theodore. Or 24-year-old Colin Miller. Or Clayton Stoner and his $3.25 million cap hit.

Expect Golden Knights general manager George McPhee to try to move one or two players prior to the start of the regular season.

2. How quickly can Vadim Shipachyov adjust to the NHL?

The Knights will rely heavily on the 30-year-old Russian, who signed a two-year, $9 million free-agent contract in May.

Shipachyov was third in scoring last season in Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League with 26 goals and 50 assists, and he led SKA St. Petersburg to the KHL title.

The Knights have proven goal scorers up front with James Neal, Jonathan Marchessault, David Perron and Reilly Smith, and Shipachyov gives them the first-line playmaker they’re otherwise lacking.

If Shipachyov puts together a 70-point season like ex-KHL player Artemi Panarin did with Chicago in 2015-16, the Knights’ offense could be surprisingly productive.

3. Will Calvin Pickard challenge Marc-Andre Fleury for playing time in net?

Fleury was selected from Pittsburgh in the expansion draft to be the Knights’ No. 1 goaltender and face of the franchise in its infancy.

But the three-time Stanley Cup winner also turns 33 in November, and last season he finished with his highest goals-against average (3.02) since his second year in the league.

Pickard, 25, was Colorado’s second-round pick in 2010 (No. 49 overall) and the first player selected by the Knights in June’s expansion draft.

He posted a 2.98 GAA in 50 appearances last season for the woeful Avalanche, who had a league-worst 48 points.

4. Who will wear the captain’s ‘C’?

NHL rules prohibit goaltenders from being designated an on-ice captain. So, Fleury is out.

Defenseman Deryk Engelland is a longtime valley resident. At 35, he is the Knights’ oldest player and a valuable resource for teammates adjusting to life in a new city.

Neal was an alternate captain for three seasons in Nashville. And Smith wore an ‘A’ for the Panthers late in the 2015-16 season when current Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant was in charge in Florida.

5. Do any first-year players (aside from Shipachyov) have a shot to make the team?

Not likely.

Top draft picks Cody Glass and Nick Suzuki are almost certain to return to their major junior teams this season.

Erik Brannstrom would have gotten a long look considering the Knights’ lack offensive-minded defensemen, but he already is with his professional team in Sweden.

One youngster to watch is 6-foot-4-inch, 222-pound forward Alex Tuch. The 21-year-old was a first-round pick in 2014 and had 18 goals and 37 points in 57 games with Iowa (AHL) last season.

More Golden Knights: Follow all of our Golden Knights coverage online at reviewjournal.com/GoldenKnights and @HockeyinVegas on Twitter.

Contact David Schoen at dschoen@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5203. Follow @DavidSchoenLVRJ on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Golden Knights Videos
Golden Knights Watch Party At Las Vegas Ballpark - Video
The Golden Knights host a watch party at the Las Vegas Ballpark where fans gathered to watch the game against the Pittsburg Penguins.
Golden Edge Mailbag | October 17th, 2019
The Review-Journal's Ben Gotz and Cassie Soto are back for a new rendition of the Golden Edge mailbag! Send in your VGK questions, and they'll answer them live on the stream.
Malcom Subban Day-To-Day, Gallant Talks Golden Knights' Goaltenders - VIDEO
After suffering an undisclosed lower body injury in a loss to the Arizona Coyotes, Golden Knights goaltender Malcolm Subban was announced as having a day-to-day injury when head coach Gerard Gallant spoke about his goaltenders after practice.
Golden Knights lose 4-1 to Coyotes - VIDEO
The Golden Knights lost 4-1 to the Arizona Coyotes in Glendale. VGK Goalie Malcolm Subban exited the game early with an injury and is Day-to-day.
Golden Knights Head Coach Gerard Gallant knows Coyotes are "very aggressive" - Video
The Golden Knights will head to Arizona to face the Coyotes on Thursday with hopes to bounce back from Tuesday's 4-3 loss to the Bruins. Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant is fully aware that the Coyotes are a very aggressive team and knows his guys will have to match that speed.
Golden Knights Feast on Shark - Video
After swimming with (and defeating) the Sharks in their first two games of the season, the entire Vegas Golden Knights team feasted on their fair share of seafood at Zuma Las Vegas inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.
Golden Knights Greet Fans At Gold Carpet - Video
The Golden Knights walk the gold carpet before puck drop at their season opener against the San Jose Sharks at the T-Mobile Arena.
Golden Knights Hold Private Practice, Lunch for 1 October First Responders - Video
The Golden Knights held a private practice at City National Arena for first responders, Mandalay Bay employees and guests who were affected by the 1 October events. After practice, guests were able to meet the Golden Knights themselves to take pictures and get autographs.
Golden Knights Prepare to Honor Those Affected by 1 October - VIDEO
Golden Knights General Manager Kelly McCrimmon discusses the teams upcoming practice which will honor those affected by the events on October 1, 2017. The team has invited guests including first responders, Mandalay Bay employees and others who were impacted. (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights GM Kelly McCrimmon Discusses Roster Updates - VIDEO
Golden Knights General Manager Kelly McCrimmon discusses the teams roster and key injuries ahead of Opening Day (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Vegas Golden Knights Max Pacioretty on the Golden Edge Podcast - VIDEO
Vegas Golden Knights forward Max Pacioretty joins the Golden Edge podcast to talk about the upcoming season for the Knights, the rivalry with the Sharks and the Pacioretty 67 burger.
Golden Knights Alex Tuch, Cody Eakin Injured in Preseason Loss to Kings
The Golden Knights not only lost to the Los Angeles Kings 3-2 on Friday night, the team also saw Alex Tuch and Cody Eakin head off the ice with injuries. Golden Edge host Cassie Soto and Golden Knights beat writers David Schoen and Ben Gotz give an update on the players injuries as well as discuss what went wrong for the Golden Knights.
Golden Knights Suffer Second Preseason Loss to the Kings - Video
The Golden Knights suffered the team's second loss of the preseason, this time to the LA Kings 3-2. Head coach Gerard Gallant knows his team got off to a sloppy start but was impressed with the final effort.
Golden Knights Forward Ryan Reaves wants to play in the pre-season - VIDEO
Golden Knights Forward Ryan Reaves talks about coming back from an injury and a possible long term deal with the team. September 26, 2019.
Golden Knights Head Coach Gallant speaks on injuries and cuts before last two pre-season games - VIDEO
Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant speaks after practice on September 26, 2019, on injuries and cuts before last two pre-season games.
Golden Knights Suffer First Preseason Loss to Avalanche, 4-1 - Video
The Golden Knights suffered the team's first preseason loss, after falling to the Avalanche 4-1. Golden Edge host Cassie Soto and Golden Knights beat writers David Schoen and Ben Gotz break down what went wrong for the Golden Knights.
Golden Knights React to First Preseason Loss - Video
Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant called the first loss of the preseason a "team loss" that was "tough to watch."
Paul Stastny On Playing More Games - Video
Golden Knights forward Paul Stastny talks about preparing for the regular season and playing more games before the season starts.
Golden Knights Nate Schmidt Talks About Seeking Change With PED Testing - Video
The Golden Knights wrap up their practice for the day and Nate Schmidt hoping to see changes to PED testing.
Nate Schmidt On Wanting Change With PED Testing - Video
Nate Schmidt speaks about wanting to see change with PED testing in the NHL.
Fleury and Marchessault Play Heads Up - Video
Golden Knights Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury and Jonathan Marchessault play heads up VGK edition.
Aliens Invade City National Arena for Competition
Aliens attended the City National Arena for a competition to see who was best dressed. The prize was out of this world. (James Schaeffer/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights rally to beat Kings in OT, 3-2
The Golden Knights were down 2-0 halfway through the third period, but two quick goals helped get the team back on track to beat the Kings 3-2 in overtime.
Golden Knights' Deryk Engelland Shares Advice with Rookies - Video
Golden Knights defenseman Deryk Engelland has some advice for rookies: “Stick with what got you there.” The veteran NHL player also recalls his first goal as a pro.
Golden Knights Continue Preseason Success with Win Over Avalanche - Video
The Golden Knights prospects are continuing to prove they are worthy of a starting position, this time with a shutout 5-0 win over the Colorado Avalanche.
Golden Knights Head Coach Gerard Gallant Praises Prospects - Video
A day after the Golden Knights 6-2 preseason victory over the Arizona Coyotes, head coach Gerard Gallant discussed how impressed he is with the prospects, including defensemen Nicolas Hague and Dylan Coghlan.
Golden Knights On First Preseason Win - Video
The Golden Knights talk about their first preseason win including Max Pacioretty's hat trick and putting Malcolm Subban as the goaltender for tonight's game.
Golden Knights Zamboni Lessons 101 - Video
The Golden Knights preseason tips off on Sunday, Sept. 15 and you know what that mean, it's time to roll out the zamboni! Have you ever wondered what it takes to be a zamboni operator for the Golden Knights? Golden Edge host Cassie Soto finds out!
Allegiant Unveils Golden Knights Plane - Video
Allegiant air officially unveils its new Golden Knights airbus that will take to the skies soon.
Golden Knights Rookie Camp: 3 Takeaways - Video
Vegas Golden Knights rookies took to the ice on Friday morning for practice at City National Arena. While the rookies mainly participated in drills, it was good to see the prospects get ice time. Golden Knights beat writers David Schoen and Ben Gotz discuss their three takeaways from the practice.
Golden Knights Host Charity Golf Classic - Video
The Golden Knights held its 2019 Charity Golf Classic on Wednesday at TPC Summerlin. Before teeing off, Golden Knights players Ryan Reaves, Jonathan Marchassault and Alex Tuch said who they thought were the worst and best golfers on their team.