ad-fullscreen

2-way contract could decide Theodore’s fate in making Golden Knights

It was just a wrist shot from the point of an NHL preseason game in which most of the participants will be playing at lower levels within the next few weeks, one barely distinguishable nuance over three periods.

It was really nothing in terms of Shea Theodore’s immediate place on the Golden Knights.

It was also everything.

If all was fair in love and hockey, Theodore would be secure in his place among the team’s top defensemen, certain to be helping man the blue line for the Knights when they open the season at Dallas on Oct. 6.

But a team’s fondness for a player is often impeded by the business side of things, and such could prove the case with Theodore as he tries to make a roster on which his skill suggests he very much belongs.

Traded to the Knights from Anaheim during the expansion draft, Theodore arrives still bound to an entry level contract, meaning he is waiver exempt and the team could send the 22-year old Canadian to Chicago of the American Hockey League to begin the season while not risk losing him to another franchise.

It’s a great deal for the Knights.

It can stink for a player who has proven himself NHL-worthy.

“I’m here to play the best hockey I can and make the team,” Theodore said. “In the back of my head, I know about the waiver exempt option, but you have to come in with a glass half-full mindset. I’m here to make the team and do what I can to stick on the blue line. That’s all I can do.

“I’m not shy to the business side of it. I dealt with that for two years in Anaheim going between (the Ducks and AHL). But when I’m playing well, I know can play against anyone.”

Which brings us to that wrist shot.

Theodore logged a team-high 23:12 among skaters for the Knights on Sunday, quarterbacking the team’s first power play unit in a 9-4 win at Vancouver, much as he did for the Ducks at times during last year’s playoffs.

But more than a standard wind-up-and-let-it-fly slap shot, Theodore constantly flicked wrist shots at the net, where goalies Richard Bachman and Thatcher Demko struggled all evening allowing rebounds.

On one such offering from Theodore, teammate Alex Tuch redirected the puck for a goal.

More than anything, Knights general manager George McPhee and head coach Gerard Gallant have championed the idea of a roster dominated by supreme skaters, a trait Theodore proved to own when playing 14 playoff games for Anaheim last season and 20 over the last two years.

He had eight playoff points while averaging 17:25 of ice time for a team that made the Western Conference Finals in May, displaying an offensive upside and ability to get pucks through on the power play often, not easy in today’s game.

Developing chemistry is no different in hockey than it is football or basketball, a point man on the power play very much like the NFL quarterback learning exactly where his wide receivers come out of breaks or a lead guard in basketball knowing at what spot his post payers like the ball fed.

It takes time, definitely more than a few weeks of training camp.

And yet while such ice rapport is maturing, Theodore plans on showcasing other strengths to make it overly difficult for the team to think about sending him down.

The only time he wants to spend in Chicago is when the Knights engage the Blackhawks.

“I can skate and move the puck and am dynamic on the back end,” he said. “I’m comfortable jumping into the rush but not to the degree I get caught and make bad reads. Apparently, I was a guy they wanted, so that puts me a little more at ease.

“When I’m good in my D zone and stripping guys with a good, hard stick, I think that will be noticed. I’m not going to take guys one-on-one. That’s for Juniors and American League stuff. You can’t get away with that here.

“I’m going to use my skating and show how fast I can move the puck. I feel like that’s where my offensive flair can come in and my puck-moving skills and my skating skills. I feel like that’s where I’ll be able to make the difference.”

It all should be enough for a trip to Dallas on Oct. 6, because if ability trumps business when deciding which eight NHL defensemen of the 11 who began camp make the cut, Theodore appears very much within the margin.

I suppose you never know until you know.

Or at least until you’re on a plane headed to Texas and not the Windy City.

Contact columnist Ed Graney at egraney@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4618. He can be heard on “The Press Box,” ESPN Radio 100.9 FM and 1100 AM from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. Follow @edgraney on Twitter.

section-ads_high_impact_4
Golden Knights Videos
Golden Edge Look Ahead: Pittsburg Penguins
Golden Edge host Bryan Salmond, Review-Journal reporters David Schoen and Steve Carp look ahead to the Golden Knights game against the Pittsburg Penguins.
Golden Edge: Deryk Engelland Sit Down
Golden Edge host Bryan Salmond sits down with Golden Knights' defensemen Deryk Engelland to talk about the fans and when he used to play for the Las Vegas Wranglers.
Marc-Andre Fleury talks about return from injury, playing Pittsburgh
Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury talks about what he expects when he plays against his former team as well as how he feels returning from a long injury layoff.
Golden Edge: Knights Lose In Overtime To Hurricanes
Golden Edge host Bryan Salmond, Review-Journal reporters David Schoen and Steve Carp go over the Golden Knights loss to the Carolina Hurricanes.
Engelland: The lack of intensity cost the Golden Knights
Golden Knights Deryk Engelland says that the team's lack of intensity coming out of the gate against the Carolina Hurricanes cost them.
Gallant on the Golden Knight loss to the Hurricanes
Vegas Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant discusses the team's loss to the Carolina Hurricanes which snapped a 4 game win streak.
Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant on injured forward Will Carrier
Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant talks to the media on Monday, Dec. 11, 2017, on injured forward William Carrier. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant on the upcoming 5-game homestand
Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant talks to the media on Monday, Dec. 11, 2017, about the importance of the upcoming five-game homestand that starts Tuesday vs. Carolina. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury on his concussion
Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury talks to the media on Monday, Dec. 11, 2017, about why he stayed in the game Oct. 13 and about his concussion symptoms after second-period collision. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury on his return
Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury talks to the media Monday, Dec. 11, about how hard it was to be away from his teammates while he was injured. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights marketing VP says team has big plans to grow the game
Golden Knights marketing VP Kim Frank said the initiatives already launched by the team have been well-received. (Steve Carp/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Local youth hockey coach impressed with Golden Knights’ commitment
Local youth hockey coach Jeff Bruckner is impressed with the Golden Knights' commitment to growing the game. Bruckner says the Golden Knights wants more kids to play. (Steve Carp/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Murray Craven confident youth hockey will grow in Southern Nevada
The Golden Knights senior VP Murray Craven says patience is the key to long-term success. Craven says he is confident that youth hockey will grow in Southern Nevada. (Steve Carp/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Edge: Knights Sweep Two-Game Road Trip
Review-Journal reporter David Schoen recaps tonight's Golden Knights game against the Dallas Stars.
Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant on Saturday's win over Dallas
Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant on the team's win over Dallas on Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights' Gerard Gallant on sitting Shea Theodore at Dallas
Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant on Shea Theodore, who was scratched Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017, against Dallas. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant on Friday's 4-3 shootout win at Nashville
Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant on Friday's 4-3 shootout win at Nashville. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights forward Reilly Smith on Malcolm Subban
Golden Knights forward Reilly Smith on Malcolm Subban's performance Friday at Nashville. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights forward Reilly Smith on his shootout goal
Golden Knights forward Reilly Smith on his shootout goal Friday at Nashville. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Edge: Knights Win In Overtime Against Predators
Review-Journal reporter David Schoen recaps the Golden Knights game against the Nashville Predators.
By the numbers: Expectations, challenges for Las Vegas’ WNBA team
The newly relocated Las Vegas WNBA franchise will begin play in the 2018 season. New owners MGM Resorts will integrate a professional franchise into Las Vegas’ busy sports landscape that’s shared with the 51s, Lights FC, Golden Knights and Raiders. Here are some of the expectations and challenges the team will have. 1. Ticket prices: The key to any sports franchise is selling season tickets and group outings. For Las Vegas’ team, that starts with locals. "(You don’t) just open the doors and tell everybody you’ve got a game and stand there waiting to sell tickets," 51s president Don Logan said. "You’ve got to get out, you’ve got to get out into the community and you’ve got to do everything we do. There’s no easy way." Last year, San Antonio charged $12 to $165 for single-game tickets for 17 home games. 2. Creating an identity: Coach Bill Laimbeer inherits a team from San Antonio that hasn’t made the playoffs or had a winning season since 2012. Las Vegas' team is also a franchise that lost its first 14 games last season before finishing a league-worst 8-26. 3. Patience will be required: Will they have to fill all 12,000 seats at Mandalay Bay for the season to be deemed successful? "They have to be realistic," Connecticut Sun CEO Mitchell Etess said. "If they could get 5,000 bodies into every single game, that would be pretty good for the first year."
Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant on facing Nashville
Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant on facing the Nashville Predators on Friday, Dec. 8, 2017. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Edge: Important road trip coming up
Bryan Salmond, Steve Carp and David Schoen discuss the Golden Knights recent overtime victory, how their defense is holding up as well as what to expect on the upcoming road trip.
Golden Edge: Knights secure first shootout win
Bryan Salmond, David Schoen and Steve Carp discuss the Golden Knights' shootout win over Anaheim — the first in franchise history — including Malcolm Subban's overtime performance, Alex Tuch's game-winner and upcoming games on the road against Nashville and Dallas.
Malcolm Subban enjoyed getting the win in the shootout
Golden Knights goaltender Malcolm Subban stopped all three Anaheim shooters to get the 4-3 win Tuesday night at T-Mobile Arena. (Steve Carp/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Alex Tuch grateful for redemption in Golden Knights shootout win
Vegas Golden Knights forward Alex Tuch scored the only goal in the shootout win over the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday at T-Mobile Arena. (Steve Carp/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant on injured forward David Perron
Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant on injured forward David Perron after practice Tuesday at City National Arena. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights forward David Perron on his collision with San Jose's Timo Meier
Injured Golden Knights forward David Perron talks about his collision with San Jose's Timo Meier. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
VGK University: Introduction to hockey, and much more
Vegas Golden Knights officials Misha Donskov and Murray Craven chat about VGK University, a five-course instructional for hockey fans, at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Dec. 3, 2017. (Ron Kantowski/ Las Vegas Review Journal)
VGK University: Introduction to hockey, and much more
Vegas Golden Knights officials Misha Donskov and Murray Craven chat about VGK University, a five-course instructional for hockey fans, at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Dec. 3, 2017. (Ron Kantowski/ Las Vegas Review Journal)
Golden Edge: Knights Beat Coyotes In Overtime
Golden Edge host Bryan Salmond, Review-Journal reporters Steve Carp and David Schoen recap tonight's Golden Knights game against the Arizona Coyotes.
Vegas Golden Knights Jonathan Marchessault interview after defeating Arizona Coyotes in overtime
Vegas Knights center Jonathan Marchessault is interviewed after defeating the Arizona Coyotes 3-2 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017. (Joel Angel Juarez/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nate Quote
Golden Knights defenseman Nate Schmidt is leading the team in time on ice. He talks about the adjustment to the style of play in the Pacific Division, as well as his pregame "Magic trick" ritual. (Steve Carp/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights goaltender Maxime Lagace on starting in goal
Golden Knights goaltender Maxime Lagace talks about his journey to becoming the starting goaltender Saturday, Nov. 12, 2017 at City National Arena. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights defenseman Nate Schmidt
Golden Knights defenseman Nate Schmidt talks about goaltender Maxime Lagace at City National Arena. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights forward William Karlsson
Golden Knights forward William Karlsson on the team's blue-collar mentality. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant
Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant talks about his team's accountability in the locker room. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights players stand ready to help Las Vegas heal following Sunday's mass shootings
Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Jon Merrill discusses what it means to him and the team to offer help to the community following the mass shooting that took place on Sunday.
TOP NEWS
ad-315×600
News Headlines
pos-2 — ads_infeed_1
post-4 — ads_infeed_2
Local Spotlight
Events
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like