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Golden Knights Could Chase Pettersson Amid Other Contract Talks

Golden Knights could potentially trade for Elias Pettersson amid contract uncertainties, seeking to infuse another superstar onto the roster.

“If the Canucks are willing to trade Pettersson, it is a safe bet the Golden Knights will pursue the shiny-new toy.” These were comments written by Vegas Hockey Now’s Chris Gawlik who believes the Golden Knights could do what they often do and trade in aging and used parts for a newer model. In this case, Gawlik is suggesting a possible two-for-one.

His thought-provoking post this past week discusses the pending contract negotiations for Jonathan Marchessault and Chandler Stephenson and goes into a theory that Vegas might be looking to upgrade with another superstar, letting those two players leave the organization. Pointing out that both Marchessault and Stephenson are set to become unrestricted free agents next July, their remarkable performances could lead to substantial contract demands, casting uncertainty on their re-signing.

Golden Knights Elias Pettersson rumors
Golden Knights Elias Pettersson rumors

Marchessault and Stephenson currently account for a combined salary cap hit of $8.75 million in the upcoming 2023-24 season. However, their anticipated significant raises could lead to a staggering financial commitment for the Golden Knights. Given Pettersson’s recent decision to pause contract negotiations with the Canucks, Gawlik speculates that the young restricted free agent might find a trade to a contender appealing.

With Marchessault potentially looking at a three-year, $20 million range deal and Stephenson possibly securing a four-year contract worth $20 million, concerns arise over tying up approximately $27 million in salary cap space for four forwards aged 30 or above.

How Would This Massive Roster Change Work?

Gawlik proposes a scenario where the Golden Knights exchange aging players, potentially past their peak, for the 24-year-old Pettersson, who’s entering his prime. He’s not necessarily suggesting a trade that would see both players going to Vancouver, instead, he’s simply suggesting the Golden Knights move on — either letting them walk in free agency or trading their rights — and chase Pettersson via a trade package composed of draft picks and prospects.

Gawlik’s proposal echoes, “The Golden Knights have their first three round’s worth of draft picks for 2024, 2025, and 2026. A package of draft picks and prospects could possibly get a deal done for Pettersson.” He contemplates the Canucks’ current dilemma between rebuilding and competing for a low playoff seed in the Western Conference, suggesting that a reset might be in the cards.

As contract talks unfold and the Golden Knights weigh their options, the potential acquisition of Pettersson stands as an intriguing scenario with far-reaching implications for both teams’ future dynamics.

Next: Maple Leafs Already Had Interest in Long-Term Deal for Bertuzzi

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