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Vegas Golden Knights

Core in Place for More Stanley Cups



Vegas Golden Knights, Jack Eichel

The salary cap era in the National Hockey League began in the 2005-06 season. Many feel it is hard to build a roster that has the ability to compete for a Stanley Cup for a long stretch due to salary cap constraints.

However, the Tampa Bay Lightning (2020 and 2021), Pittsburgh Penguins (2009, 2016, and 2017) Chicago Blackhawks (2010, 2013, and 2015), and Los Angeles Kings (2012 and 2014) have enjoyed multiple Stanley Cup wins in short periods of time since the salary cap era started.

A commonality among teams with multiple Stanley Cups in the salary cap era is a strong core. Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, and Marian Hossa were one of the strongest cores built in the salary cap era. Are the Vegas Golden Knights primed to go on a run similar to the Blackhawks?

Many key components of the Golden Knights roster are signed for multiple seasons. Mark Stone, William Karlsson, Nicolas Roy, and Alex Pietrangelo are signed through the 2026-27 season. Jack Eichel and Logan Thompson are locked up through the 2025-26 season. Reilly Smith, Shea Theodore, Brayden McNabb, and Nicolas Hague are under contract through the 2024-25 season. The 2023-24 season will be the final one of their deals for Jonathan Marchessault, Chandler Stephenson, and Alec Martinez.

Perhaps the best deal that general manager Kelly McCrimmon has negotiated for the Golden Knights is Zach Whitecloud. McCrimmon signed Whitecloud to a six-year deal at $2.75 million per year prior to the 2022-23 season.

McCrimmon has built a window through the 2026-27 season to add depth Stanley Cups for the NHL’s 31st team. There seem to be a million things that need to go right for a team to win a Stanley Cup these days, but it all starts with the roster.

McCrimmon has the right players in place for a long time to give the Golden Knights a shot at raising at least one more Stanley Cup in the next four seasons. The core of Eichel, Stone, Karlsson, and Pietrangelo are locked up at least through the 2025-26 season. There is a really good chance Smith and Marchessault get extensions through the 2025-26 season.

Of the 17 previous Stanley Cups awarded dating to the start of the salary cap era, four teams account for 10 Stanley Cup victories — Tampa, Pittsburgh, Chicago, and Los Angeles. It takes a strong core to win multiple Stanley Cups since the salary cap era started.

The Golden Knights seem to have a core in place to match any of those teams.

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