The Vegas Golden Knights won’t have Alex Tuch until the second half of the season. According to GM Kelly McCrimmon, the gritty forward who was a prime candidate to get top-six minutes this season, will be out for six months after shoulder surgery.
Tuch, 25, scored 33 points in 55 games last season, including 18 goals. His surgery will provide the Golden Knights with short-term salary cap relief. The Golden Knights are about 36k over the salary cap but will be able to put Tuch on LTIR closer to the season start and will be able to spend over the cap by something close to Tuch’s $4.75 million salary.
Unless the Golden Knights copy the Tampa Bay Lightning’s treatment of Nikita Kucherov and put Tuch on LTIR for the entire season.
McCrimmon chatted with select media outlets on Friday after he traded another one of the cogs on the original playoff run to the Stanley Cup Final in 2018.
Thursday night, McCrimmon traded the Sheriff, Ryan Reaves, to the New York Rangers for a third-round pick. The move cleared $1.75 million off the Golden Knights salary roll, and Reaves already signed a $1.75 million extension with New York.
McCrimmon praised Reaves in an unusually effusive manner, and perhaps his courtesy to Reaves may strike a few Marc-Andre Fleury fans.
“Ryan was a very popular player with our fans and in our dressing room,” McCrimmon said. “I’m really proud of the man he is. I’ve known him for many, many years. I’ve watched him grow from a young player in the WHL to a respected NHLer who played great hockey for us.”
McCrimmon told reporters the Vegas Golden Knights trade culminated several days of discussions with Reaves about where he wanted to play. Reaves will come up against new Metro-Division foe Tom Wilson of the Washington Capitals.