Five days from now, on Oct. 10, all NHL teams must submit their cap-compliant opening day rosters to the NHL for the 2022-23 season. For the Vegas Golden Knights, Dallas Stars, and Ottawa Senators, this essentially means they have five days to sign their remaining restricted free agents.
The Stars have superstar Jason Robertson to sign, and the Sens have Alex Formenton.
For the Golden Knights, it’s defenseman Nicolas Hague who is coming off his entry-level contract. Money disputes have caused him to miss Golden Knights training camp and start training with his hometown team, the Kitchener Rangers, instead.
On a recent edition of the 32 Thoughts Podcast, NHL insider Elliotte Friedman suggested that the Golden Knights and general manager Kelly McCrimmon might be waiting for the season to start to sign Hague. That way, the team can utilize its long-term injured reserve cap space.
“I did have some teams suggest to me that they are wondering if the Golden Knights are playing this to maximize LTIR a bit in terms of when they sign him (Hague),” said Friedman.
The Golden Knights are expected to be without Robin Lehner and Nolan Patrick for the 2022-23 season. Shea Weber’s contract was also acquired from the Montreal Canadiens in the offseason. This gives the VGK with just over $3 million in LTIR cap space to work with when signing Hague.
Freidman also stated that he thinks Robertson, Hague, and potentially Mackenzie Weegar could all sign this week with their respective teams.
“There is no reason Robertson shouldn’t be done by this week. I’m not as sure about Hague. I think this is a big week in general. The other one, I think, is Weegar (signing this week),” Friedman added.
The Golden Knights start their season on Oct. 11th on the road against the Los Angeles Kings.
Here’s the episode in which Hague was discussed. Comments regarding Hague are around 31 minutes.