Being the first expansion team in the history of the salary cap era paid off big time for George McPhee and the Vegas Golden Knights, and we haven’t even seen the second wave of transactions yet.
2017 1st RD pick (#15)
2019 2nd RD pick
New York Islanders:
Expansion Draft Consideration (VGK picked J.F. Berube)
F David Clarkson
2017 1st RD pick (#24)
2019 2nd RD pick
Expansion Draft Considerations (VGK picked William Karlsson)
Two 2017 first round picks and two 2019 second round picks, to take some salary cap off the hands of the Isles and BJs (yeah, we’re going to keep doing that).
So what does it mean for Vegas?
Well, financially, there are a lot of unknown details that include insurance policies and such but honestly, none of us should worry about, because if you told The Creator he had to pay $5M for a first round pick, he’d do it. As for the cap, Clarkson has three years left on his deal he’s owed $5.25M. Grabovski’s cap hit is $5M for just one more year.
Prior to trades, the Golden Knights actually almost exceeded the top end of the cap. According to CapFriendly.com Vegas’ projected cap as it stands right now is $74,125,833. $10.25M of that is in the injured contracts of Clarkson and Grabovski, and that number is going to go way down when the rest of the trades are completed.
If you want to get elbow deep in long term IR (LTIR) read this, but in general terms when a player goes on it, the team is allowed to exceed the salary cap by a certain amount depending on their current cap situation. For the Golden Knights, it won’t matter this season. In other words, they essentially paid cap room for a pair of first and a pair of seconds.
Of course, they also laid off the likes of Joonas Korpisalo, Alexander Wennberg, Josh Anderson, Jack Johnson, and David Savard from the BJs, and Ryan Strome, Josh Bailey, and Shane Prince from New York.
Vegas flipped the Columbus pick (#24) to Winnipeg to move up to #13 and let the Jets off the expansion hook too.