Will the Vegas Golden Knights be aggressive again before the NHL Trade Deadline?
They acquired forwards Ryan Reaves and Tomas Tatar last season, paying a particularly high price for Tatar -- a first-, a second- and a third-round pick.
But there were special circumstances. They were at or near the top of the NHL standings at the time, blowing away expectations in their inaugural season. Instead of selling pending unrestricted free agents as they had planned, they were buying to make a run in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. They had a surplus of assets from maneuvering in the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft.
Reaves made an impact as Vegas went to the Stanley Cup Final. Tatar didn't fit.
This season, the Golden Knights already have made two major additions, signing center Paul Stastny as an unrestricted free agent on July 1 and acquiring forward Max Pacioretty in a trade with the Montreal Canadiens on Sept. 9. They spent more capital in the Pacioretty trade, sending Tatar, prospect Nick Suzuki and a second-round pick to Montreal. Stastny and Pacioretty have just begun hitting their stride after dealing with injuries during the first half.
While the Golden Knights (31-21-4) are comfortably in playoff position -- third in the Pacific Division with 66 points, 11 ahead of the fourth-place Vancouver Canucks -- they aren't near the top of the NHL standings. They've gone from scoring 3.27 goals per game last season, fifth in the NHL, to 2.95 this season, 15th in the League.