The Vegas Golden Knights will not have much money to work with to sign free agents. General manager Kelly McCrimmon does have a few expiring contracts to work out, which will not leave much money on the table. There are a few potential bargains out there and some familiar names that McCrimmon may kick the tires on.
Max Pacioretty: “Patches” has had some terrible luck over the last year. Not long after the trade to the Carolina Hurricanes, Pacioretty was diagnosed with a torn Achilles and missed the first half of the season. Just five games into his career as a Carolina Hurricane, Pacioretty suffered another torn Achilles. It remains to be seen what his health level will be heading into the 2023-24 season.
Ninety-seven of Pacioretty’s 326 career goals game as a member of the Golden Knights. Pacioretty had great synergy on a line with Chandler Stephenson and Mark Stone. It would be a gamble to bring Pacioretty back to Vegas, but a one-year contract in the $1.5 million range has nothing but upside for both parties.
James van Riemsdyk: With 20 goals in half of his 14 NHL seasons, van Riemsdyk can be counted on to score up and down any lineup. The 34-year-old had 19 goals and 21 assists in 66 games with the Flyers last year. Van Riemsdyk has been around for a long time and only played in one Stanley Cup Final.
Corey Perry: How much more fun would the Edmonton and Florida series have been if Perry was a Golden Knight? Perry is coming off a two-year contract at $1 million per with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Appearing in 163 of a possible 164 games, Perry is as reliable as they come.
Perry logged 31 goals and 34 assists, and 196 playoff games played, four Stanley Cup Final appearances, and one Stanley Cup victory is the type of proven leader that McCrimmon targets. At 38 years old, Perry doesn’t seem to be breaking down. Perry may love the opportunity to play in Vegas and make another run at the Stanley Cup.
McCrimmon will not have the opportunity to pursue a shiny new toy unless he has a big move up his sleeve. In all likelihood, the Golden Knights will have in the neighborhood of $1 million dollars to work with. That won’t be enough to make a splash, but plenty to take a flyer on one of the players above.