Golden Knights' McPhee not concerned about crowded blue line

Ethan Miller / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The Vegas Golden Knights have nearly enough defensemen for two rosters.

While it makes for a packed blue line - or press box - general manager George McPhee doesn't see his many extras as a pressing issue, particularly as training camp cuts loom in the weeks ahead.

"Our defensemen can count. They know there are a lot of 'D' here right now," McPhee told David Schoen of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "We'll just have to see how camp goes and how we proceed.

"To be fair, you'd like to say it's going to be the best six guys, but we'll see. Sometimes you have to think short term and long term in this job and do what's best for the organization from that standpoint."

In all, Vegas has 11 blue-liners under contract, according to CapFriendly:

Defenseman Shoots Age Cap Hit
Jason Garrison L 32 $4.6M
Luca Sbisa L 27 $3.6M
Clayton Stoner L 32 $3.25M
Nate Schmidt L 26 $2.225M
Brayden McNabb L 26 $1.7M
Jon Merrill L 25 $1.138M
Colin Miller R 24 $1M
Deryk Engelland R 35 $1M
Shea Theodore L 22 $863K
Griffin Reinhart L 23 $800K
Brad Hunt L 29 $650K

Which combination makes up the final roster remains to be seen, though McPhee noted he'd like to carry eight defensemen when the season begins.

In the meantime, the Golden Knights GM could opt to move a d-man or two - always a position in demand - to make things a little clearer.

It wouldn't be the first time he's done so since taking the Vegas job. Four blue-liners plucked in the expansion draft have already been shipped out: Trevor van Riemsdyk to the Carolina Hurricanes, David Schlemko to the Montreal Canadiens, Marc Methot to the Dallas Stars, and Alexei Emelin to the Nashville Predators.

With training camp set to open Thursday at City National Arena, the Golden Knights' new practice facility, little time remains before McPhee will need to whittle down his final roster. Still, he's prepared to let the process play out.

"We're completely open minded about what might develop (at training camp)," McPhee added. "I'm open for some unknown surprises. It's wide open, and it should be."

Golden Knights' McPhee not concerned about crowded blue line
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