After last night’s NHL Expansion Draft, the Vegas Golden Knights selected one name that could prove vital to their success. Although they took big names like James Neal, David Perron, Alexei Emelin and of course, Marc-Andre Fleury, their second round selection of Marc Methot might be their smartest choice. With 10 years NHL experience on the blue line, he could be the franchise leader they are looking for.
Throughout the Ottawa Senators’ remarkable run to the Eastern Conference final; Methot was quietly brilliant on defence. Standing tall at 6 foot 3, the 32-year old Ontario native was easily the best d-man after Erik Karlsson. While Pittsburgh went on to spoil the party, Methot carried the spirit of the Senators and was always a large presence on the ice. Based on his experience alone it doesn’t seem impossible for Vegas to put the ‘C’ on his jersey.
Methot is kind of the figure Vegas desperately needs to help stabilise them. First years are tough for any new franchise and having a veteran to anchor the blue line is essential. While Vegas will be looking to score goals, Methot’s style is what makes him stand out as a leader. Known for his ‘stay at home’ style of defense, he hasn’t scored more than six goals in a regular season. Right now the team needs a figure who can repel attacks rather than surge forward.
He is also the least individual player on the roster and that makes him an attractive candidate. The blue line is one area that Vegas has given a great deal of thought to. Though they have some good quality in Griffin Reinhart, Luca Sbisa, Colin Miller and Nate Schmidt, but none stand out quite like Methot. A likely candidate to share top line billing alongside Emelin, he was the unfortunate sacrificial lamb by Ottawa. Forced to choose between Dion Phaneuf and Karlsson’s regular partner, Methot is now heading to Nevada.
Their loss is Golden Knights gain and they need a tough leader who can hold the side together. Methot brings a great loyalty with him and his strength and size will benefit Vegas greatly. Great at holding the puck and creating breakout plays, MM is a sharp and alert D-Man. His physical play is what makes him head and shoulders above the other candidates. No doubt Vegas had these qualities in mind when they took him and this is one selection that is criminally underrated.
Fans in Paradise, Nevada will be counting the minutes to the first game at T-Mobile Arena. I strongly urge Golden Knights coaching staff to take Methot’s candidacy seriously! There are not many out and out leaders on that roster and in MM the glue is ready to be applied.