General manager Kelly McCrimmon is good at finding diamonds in the rough. McCrimmon sent a fifth-round pick to the Washington Capitals for Chandler Stephenson in 2019. Stephenson went from scoring under 20 points per season in Washington to a consistent 60-point scorer in Vegas. Nicolas Roy was a depth player bouncing between the AHL and NHL with the Carolina Hurricanes organization. McCrimmon traded a fifth-round pick plus Erik Haula for Roy. Roy has become a Swiss Army Knife in Vegas that can play any position on the four forward lines.
Sidenote; You would think general managers would learn not to trade with Vegas when McCrimmon offers a fifth-round pick.
Michael Amadio was a waivers claim at the beginning of the 2021 season by McCrimmon. Ivan Barbashev has exceeded expectations and was a huge part of the Stanley Cup victory.
What is so special about Max Comtois? Take a look at the video below.
Many of the goals Comtois scored were from close proximity to the net. I refer to that area as the “money zone” with the 10u hockey team I coach. Commentator Eddie Olczyk tells kids to “go to the net and good things happen.”
When the Golden Knights win, coach Bruce Cassidy credits his forwards for doing a good job getting behind the other team’s defense. When the Golden Knights lose, Cassidy says that the forwards need to do a better job getting behind the other team’s defense. Comtois can get behind the other team’s defense.
Comtois was signed to a professional tryout on Tuesday. Where things go from here is anyone’s guess.
McCrimmon mentioned that the Golden Knights scouted Barbashev over 40 times prior to trading for him. It will be interesting to see how many times the Golden Knights scouted Comtois.
Finding a spot in the lineup for Comtois: Brett Howden, Michael Amadio, Paul Cotter, and Pavel Dorofeyev probably do not love the idea of Comtois potentially joining the Golden Knights. That would create a five-way battle for three forward spots on opening night. Comtois with Chandler Stephenson and Mark Stone would be a fun line to watch. Comtois on the third line with William Karlsson and any of the remaining wings can also be a productive line.
In any event, Comtois being signed to a PTO will remind Howden, Amadio, Cotter, and Dorofeyev that they will have to compete for ice time this season. Internal competition is not a bad thing.