Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alex Pietrangelo did not practice Thursday and his status for Friday’s game against the Los Angeles Kings remains in question.
Pietrangelo was the lone Vegas player to be in COVID-19 protocol as of Thursday.
Golden Knights head coach Pete DeBoer and assistant coach Ryan McGill remain in COVID protocol, assistant coach Steve Spott said Thursday. If DeBoer isn’t available, the expectation is Spott will take his place.
“At this point, we don’t know on Alex, and hopefully he’ll be back sooner than later,” Spott said.
The Golden Knights haven’t played since last Tuesday, a 5-4 shootout loss to the St. Louis Blues. Their following three games were postponed due to a player — Pietrangelo — and three coaches — which we can confirm to be DeBoer, McGill and assistant coach Ryan Craig — entering COVID-19 protocol.
Craig returned to practice Thursday.
Spott said the team would find out later if Pietrangelo would be available for Friday. If he can’t go, the Golden Knights would go without their top pair of Pietrangelo and Brayden McNabb (long-term IR, lower body).
Shea Theodore and Alec Martinez have acted as the top defense pair in practice and should expect to see the bulk of the minutes if Pietrangelo can’t go.
Rounding out the blue line could see Dylan Coghlan making his NHL debut if all remains chalk. The 22-year-old Coghlan scored 64 points in two seasons with AHL Chicago as an undrafted free agent with Vegas. Coghlan has been paired with veteran defenseman Nick Holden at practice.
Holden was placed on waivers Jan. 11 for salary cap purposes.
DeBoer has been on record saying Coghlan is “knocking on the door” to becoming an NHL defenseman. It looks like he’ll get his chance.
“No doubt in my mind I think he’s an NHL defenseman,” said defenseman Nic Hague. “I think he’s been ready for a while. He’s obviously excelled at the AHL level and a guy I’ve played with a lot. If he does get the chance to go, it’ll be great for him.”