Power Rankings: The GM’s that made Vegas
The Non-Enablers Starring Doug Wilson
San Jose Sharks GM, Doug Wilson, was among many GM’s that didn’t trip over themselves trying to make Vegas take the perfect player. He also, quite frankly, had the benefit of dumb luck as Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau (who would sign with the Leafs) didn’t have to be protected. The draft rules also protected players like Joonas Donskoi and Melkar Karlsson which was a huge boon for the Sharks. Doug Wilson further protected his assets by dealing Micro Mueller to the New Jersey Devils for a better return than he probably deserved. The Sharks protection list was a no-brainer. They were even able to throw a dart at a wall with photo’s of Ryan Carpenter and Barclay Goodrow to decide the final player to be protected.
The Sharks would lose David Schlemko in the expansion draft who Vegas would then flip for a 2019 5th round pick to Montreal. Congratulations, Doug Wilson. This was one thing you didn’t mess up. Sure, you gave up Carpenter later for nothing, but that was later and a rant for another article. You didn’t really make Vegas better in the short term in the expansion draft and no one knew Joe Thornton would blow out his other knee this season.
The Other Non-Enabler’s
Here are some of the other teams in no particular order, that didn’t contribute significantly to the Golden Knights in their inaugural season. They also, with the benefit of hindsight, gave up the right player.
Joe Sakic, Colorado – Calvin Pickard (G)
Peter Chiarelli, Edmonton – Griffin Reinhart (D)
Although when you consider that Chiarelli gave up the 16th and 33rd overall picks in the 2015 draft to acquire Reinhart, losing him for nothing at the expansion draft is all kinds of hilarious. Unless you’re an Oilers fan I guess, then it probably isn’t all that funny. Also, that 16th overall pick was Matthew Barzal.
Jim Benning, Vancouver – Luka Sbisa (D)
John Chayka, Arizona – Teemu Pulkkinen (F)
Peter Dorion, Ottawa – Marc Methot (D)
Brad Treliving, Calgary – Daryk England (D)
Marc Bergevin, Montreal – Alexei Emlin (D)
Jeff Gorton, NY Rangers – Oscar Lindberg (D)
Stan Bowman, Chicago – Trevor van Riemsdyk (D)
In fairness though because of various No Movement Clauses, Stan Bowman was left with little choice as to who would be exposed.
Ken Holland, Detroit – Tomas Nosek (F)
The Red Wings were going to lose a quality guy, but it was just a question of who. Not giving up an extra asset and letting the chips fall where they may (see what I did there?) was a brave decision by Ken Holland and company.
Rob Blake, Los Angeles – Brayden McNabb (D)
Lou Lamoriello, Toronto – Brandon Leipsic (F)
Kevin Chevaldayoff, Winnipeg – Chris Thorburn (F)
Ray Shero, New Jersey – Jon Merrill (D)
Ron Hextall, Philadelphia – Pierre Edouard Bellemare (F)
Don Sweeney, Boston – Collin Miller (D)
Like the Red Wings, Boston was going to lose a decent player, but let Vegas make their choice without opening the piggy bank.
Brian MacLellan, Washington Capitals – Nate Schmidt (D)
The Caps were going to lose one of Schmidt or Grubauer and rolled the dice.