The Vegas Golden Knights have just added a major player to their playoff push.
Captain Mark Stone is listed as a game-time decision for Tuesday’s game against the Vancouver Canucks and is expected to play. He has missed 26 games with a back injury and was put on long-term injured reserve to free up cap space for Jack Eichel. Tuesday night will be Eichel and Stone’s first game together.
Now I know what you are thinking. How can the Golden Knights activate Stone with the limited cap space that they have? The voided Evgenii Dadonov trade was Kelly McCrimmon’s plan for salary cap management but that fell through. So what now?
Well, the answer is quite simple. The Golden Knights have placed more players on LTIR. William Carrier, Nolan Patrick, and Laurent Brossoit have all been added Tuesday. They join Reilly Smith, Brett Howden, Nicolas Hague, and AHL defenseman Jake Bischoff on the list.
This gives the Golden Knights just enough cap space to activate Stone. They have only $466k in space, but it will suffice. If the Golden Knights make the playoffs, a huge sigh of relief will come to general manager Kelly McCrimmon given that the salary cap does not apply in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
This means all seven of these players will be able to come back in the playoffs with no repercussions. However, if the VGK do not make the playoffs, these players may have already played their last game of the season.
The risk of placing all these players on LTIR is well worth it for the Golden Knights. They are getting their captain and best two-way forward back. This season in just 28 games Stone has eight goals and 20 assists. His last game was on February eighth against the Edmonton Oilers.
The Golden Knights have nine games remaining and are in a fight for a playoff spot. They trail the Dallas Stars and Nashville Predators in the Wild Card race. In the Pacific Divison, they are behind the Los Angeles Kings. All three teams play Tuesday night.
Here are the updated line combinations for the Vegas Golden Knights.
See you at 7.