The Vegas Golden Knights have placed Mark Stone on long-term injured reserve (LTIR), creating an additional $9.5M in LTIR cap space heading into this season’s NHL Trade Deadline. The move was expected and insiders were calling the Golden Knights a team that could be real players on some of the bigger names if they could move things around, which they officially did on Monday night.
Vegas’ LTIR pool now eclipses $23.5 million with Shea Weber, Robin Lehner, and Nolan Patrick also on the list. They’ve already used $750K of that with an emergency recall of goaltender Michael Hutchinson but the organization has plenty of room to chase after big names like Patrick Kane or Timo Meier. A rental is more likely considering the cap space needs to come off the books at the end of the season.
The one thing Vegas will have to account for is that if they add a big contract, Stone can’t be activated off of LTIR until the playoffs begin. If he’s healthy and they need him for a push to get into the postseason, they won’t have access to him. The only alternative would be another player or two going down to LTIR injury.
This is not new territory for the Golden Knights. They’ve been dealing with injuries all season and this was a situation they faced last season as well. Stone was injured for a good portion of the 2021-22 campaign. Insiders fully expect the Golden Knights to be active on the trade front and rumors surrounding the team will begin almost immediately.
Stone has been injured since January 12 and has missed the last 13 games due to a back injury. He underwent a second back surgery in nine months and was announced as out indefinitely. The 2023 NHL Trade Deadline is just 11 days away and the Golden Knights’ regular season comes to an end on April 13, 2023.
Next: Latest Oilers Trade Deadline Talk: Erik Karlsson and Patrick Kane
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