The Vegas Golden Knights reached the Stanley Cup Final in their first season in the National Hockey League in 2017-18. They lost to the Washington Capitals in five games but set the tone early on that they wanted to win the Stanley Cup as soon as possible.
Since choosing their inaugural team in the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft, they have made several changes to the roster, including adding big-ticket players to the center Jack Eichel and defenseman Alex Petrangelo. The Golden Knights enter their sixth season with their third coach, Bruce Cassidy, who led the Boston Bruins to the 2019 Stanley Cup Final.
The Seattle Kraken finished last in the eight-team Pacific Division in its first season in the National Hockey League in 2021-22 and is taking a more patient approach to becoming a contender in the Cup.
They are trying to build through a project, taking Matty Penners With pick number 2 in the 2021 NHL Draft and Shane Wright at No. 4 in the 2022 NHL Draft. This off-season they signed the two-time Stanley Cup winner Andrei Burakovskybringing in a proven winner for coach Dave Huxtall’s team.
But which of the two newest NHL expansion teams will see their Stanley Cup dream come true first?
That’s the question for NHL.com Writer Tracy Myers and Editor-in-Chief Bill Price for this part of State Your Case.
price: There’s a growing feeling around the NHL circuits that the Stanley Cup window for the Golden Knights has closed, but I’m not buying it. Sure, they may struggle to make it to the playoffs this season after missing out on last season, but let’s not forget that this is Las Vegas. It’s a city that loves winners and owner Bill Foley knows it. He won’t be satisfied until there’s a Las Vegas street show. So, while they may not win it this season after coming close in their first few seasons, the idea that the Kraken could win the cup before the Golden Knights isn’t something I see happening as long as Foley is in charge in Vegas.
Myers: Sure, Kraken has had a difficult opening season, but the truth is that this is the first season that applies to every expansion team. It only pales in comparison to the anomalies of the Golden Knights in Season 1, which included a trip to the Stanley Cup Final. But back to Kraken: The NHL season is a marathon, not a sprint, and so is the construction of a trophy contender. Future prospects like Matty Benneris and Shane Wright will start to make their mark on this team, possibly as early as this season. It might take a few years, but I think that even if it was slow and steady, the Kraken would raise that trophy before the Golden Knights.
price: There’s no doubt that Seattle is building its team the right way, or should I say, Wright’s way. Wright’s fall into the arms of the Kraken as the No. 4 pick in the 2022 draft may be the biggest gift the City of Seattle has received since Eddie Vader moved there from California as a rising singer. And listen, by the time that argument is settled, we may all be enjoying specials on early birds somewhere in our Florida retirement community. However, the Golden Knights, despite the blows they’ve taken in the past few seasons, are much closer to the Cup, and I think Cassidy is one of the most underrated coaches in the NHL and will work wonders with Eichel and Mark Stone in the sector. And again, Foley won’t rest until the Grail is his.
Myers: There is no arguing about the Cassidy effect. He’s a great coach who led the Boston Bruins to the Stanley Cup in 2019, when they lost to the St. Louis Blues in seven games. Speaking of the trophy, the Kraken team has quite a few players who are familiar with this big, shiny trophy. straight ahead Yanni Gord Won it with Tampa Bay Lightning in 2020 and 2021, defenseman Vince Dunn With the Blues in 2019 and the goalkeeper Philip Grubauer With Washington Capitals in 2018. They acquired Burakowski, who won the cup with the Capitals in 2018 and with the Colorado Avalanche this year. Previous cup winners will help the young group emerge and let them know what it will take to reach the top. Yes, I agree with Bill: This probably won’t work out for a few seasons but I’m putting my money on the Kraken. No offense, Vegas.