With a trade finally in the books and a deal done, the Vegas Golden Knights have two items on their to-do list when it comes to Jack Eichel. Short-term, they’ll help facilitate him getting the artificial disc replacement surgery he wants. Long-term, they’ll need to figure out how to dance around the salary cap after adding a $10 million player and hoping he returns at some point before the playoffs begin.
Related: Hurricanes Were Also In the Eichel Trade Talks Until the End
It would be one thing if Eichel was simply out until the postseason. If that were the case, the Golden Knights could bring him back for the playoffs and not have to worry about his cap hit. However, Eichel is only expected to miss 3-5 months and he’ll likely be back sometime after the Olympic break. In fact, Frank Seravalli of Daily Faceoff reports, “Olympic participation was just one part of the push from Eichel’s camp for an exodus in the days leading up to the deal.” He adds, “There was an imminent need for Eichel to undergo surgery given the status of his injury, which lingered on since March, and new agent Pat Brisson of CAA Sports threatened to file a grievance by the end of this week – which appeared to help move the deal along.”
That means the Golden Knights will need to fit his salary onto the roster, while also finding room for Mark Stone, Max Pacioretty who they expect to have back before the regular season ends. With all three players healthy, the organization would be $10.3 million over the salary cap.
For the Sabres, they won’t have salary cap issues. Alex Tuch — who was a key part of the deal and just 25 years old — is is under contract for four more seasons at $4.75 million. They’ll be no worries for the Sabres in terms of money for a while, other than to get their own internal prospects signed to team-controlled extensions. The same can’t be said for Vegas who seems to treat the salary cap more like a suggestion than a ceiling.
Expect More from the Golden Knights
Just for Vegas to activate Eichel, there will need to be moves made. Those deals won’t need to happen immediately, but once word starts to spread that some of their injured players are ready to return, Vegas will need to dump money. Among players that could be on the move are Reilly Smith and Mattias Janmark who are both pending UFA forwards.
Not to mention, adding Eichel’s $10 million salary brings the Golden Knights to $78.74 million committed towards next season’s $81.5 million salary cap with just 11 players under contract, per CapFriendly.”
Next: Maple Leafs’ Coach Keefe Admits: We’re Not Close Yet!
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MICHAEL C ZACK
November 4, 2021 at 11:54 am
We will help our Brothers on ice, we stand ready to be dumped on (for a commensurate draft pick, of coarse)That 3rd rd 2023 pick you just picked up from Buffalo looks nice—. Mr Yzerman on line 2.
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