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McCrimmon Gives Update On Eichel, State Of The Team, During Sunday’s Game

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The start to the 2021-22 season didn’t go as planned for Vegas general manager Kelly McCrimmon. After beginning the season 1-4-0 and seeing their roster shrink due to injuries, the future looked uncertain for the Golden Knights.

It’s been a different season. I’ve often used the expression that every team runs it’s own race. You look at last year where we were relatively healthier than we’d been this year. We won a lot of hockey games and we were fighting for first place with Colorado the entire season. This year the injuries began early. -Kelly McCrimmon on ATTSN intermission show

Like most fans, Vegas’ GM had confidence that the group he assembled would turn it around. The roster made up of healthy Golden Knights, Silver Knights and free agents kept the team above water and in place for the stars to return.

The reinforcements healed at the right time for a poised Vegas run to first place.

Our first 20-22 games was really survival mode and I give credit to the coaches and players a lot of credit for scratching and clawing. I felt with the Calgary game earlier in December, from there we started really playing with identity and look more like we want the finished product to look. -McCrimmon on ATTSN intermission show

Instead of panicking the organization played through injuries and gathered enough information about their roster to prompt Vegas’ GM to make another franchise shifting move by acquiring center Jack Eichel.

Jack’s rehab has gone real well. We’re getting closer to two months since he’s been rehabbing. We’ll get him to Vegas sometime in January. Confident he will be in the lineup this season. -McCrimmon on ATTSN intermission show

Roughly two months after Eichel’s elected neck surgery the organization expects more positive progression to come later this month. Once he’s settled in Las Vegas, the front office should have better feel for when the 25-year-old will make his Golden Knights debut.

I’ve cautioned people in different discussions that I’ve had, he’s likely to look like he’s closer to being ready than he may be actually is. There’s going to be the last piece where the body contact is what the doctors have to sign off on so that may take some time. It’ll take however long it takes. -McCrimmon on ATTSN intermission show

Currently, Vegas has roughly $37M in players on the shelf and it’s unknown when Mark Stone, Max Pacioretty and Alec Martinez will be available. Although McCrimmon sounded confident Eichel would suit up this season, was he implying regular or postseason? If all of VGK’s injured players return to the regular season lineup the general manager will be forced to make significant moves in order to comply with cap restrictions.

The Golden Knights GM never addressed potential roster corrections during his second intermission interview but I’m sure it’s a daily concern. If and when the Golden Knights make a decision it’ll send a ripple across the entire league. Vegas will either be a loaded, over the cap team or a cap compliant team that lost a key piece along the way.

It’s changed a little bit here again with some injuries but we’re competitive in our division, currently in first and first in the conference. In general terms we are pleased with where we’re at. -McCrimmon on ATTSN intermission show

For VGK fans, no matter who’s on the ice for the playoffs it’ll come down to strong goaltending and timely scoring. Which has been the key issue for two straight postseasons. A Cup run with Eichel will erase all of those painful playoff exits.

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31 Comments

  1. Herby

    BOLD PREDICTION!
    VGK will soon announce a surgery to fix Stones back issue. You can not time injuries but you can plan surgeries perfectly to make cap space for Eichel.

  2. trade

    Pacioretty and Stone and Martinez will be back long before the season ends. and they won’t need to trade any top players.

    and here is why—— from the Fourth Period—Pagnotta, the guy who appears quite often on NHL network.

    —————————————————

    The Athletic’s Jesse Granger provided some options in his article on Friday that would help the Golden Knights trim $2.225 million in space by waiving Ben Hutton, Michael Amadio and Adam Brooks, leaving the team with roughly $6.95 million in cap space. They could waive or trade another player to give themselves even more breathing space. But that doesn’t fully solve their problem.

    Enter Ryan Kesler.

    Well, Kesler’s contractual rights, that is.

    The Golden Knights are not afraid to spend money. They’ve got the pockets to do so. By acquiring Kesler’s rights from the Anaheim Ducks, they’d still have to pay him the balance of his $6.675 million salary, but they’d be able to utilize his $6.875 million cap hit in LTIR overage space and exceed the cap by that amount – something teams have done and continue to do.

    It is an option the Golden Knights are weighing and one that would help them hit their mark, get Eichel in a Vegas sweater and keep Smith without cap concerns. And those options are fairly limited.

    Buffalo acquired Johnny Boychuk’s rights this season to help them get cap compliant. The Sabres would still be over the $60.2 million lower limit if they dealt Boychuk and his $6 million cap space now, so he could be worth a conversation.

    Dallas goalie Ben Bishop’s playing career has ended, and he carries a hit of just over $4.916 million this season and next, but the Stars are in cap trouble themselves and Bishop’s LTIR overage allowance is helping them out.

    Chicago’s Andrew Shaw and his $3.9 million LTIR usage could be a nice combo add if Vegas wanted even more cap flexibility after acquiring Kesler or Boychuk’s rights.

    Kesler does own an eight-team no-trade list, but I can’t imagine he’d get in the way of a paper transaction, one of which lowers his overall tax payout in Nevada. And while the Ducks are in the thick of things in the Pacific Division, they aren’t deviating from their plan — adding young assets and/or draft picks would fit that narrative.

    McCrimmon and Co. drew up plenty of scenarios when they acquired Eichel back in November, so at least internally they did their due diligence. They have about a month to figure this out and we’ll likely hear more on this subject as the weeks progress.

    —————————-

    • Galdom

      Thank you for that. But Anaheim will not help Vegas out. That’s the only thing that doesn’t make sense.

      • trade

        they would be helping themselves, by saving themselves over $6 million in payroll, and acquiring a draft pick as well.

        if they don’t, Buffalo has the contract of Boychuk, etc etc

        there are other fish in the sea.

        • Craig t

          Leaner needs to go. 5 mil is too much. The guy needs to focus on getting his head right.

    • Galdom

      I think David Pagnotta is wrong. I don’t think it’s quite that easy. I’ve asked the question to the capfriendly website and I will let you guys know the response.

      • trade

        why do you think that Tampa acquired the contract of Brent Seabrook? it gave them an additional $6.875 million of LTIR cap space.

        • Galdom

          I’ve asked the question to the cap friendly site. Nobody knows the salary cap like them. David Pagnotta has been wrong about a lot of stuff in the past. Hypothetically, I just don’t think it’s quite that easy. I don’t think Colorado can acquire Ryan Kessler and then use his entire cap hit to add Tomas Hertl to the roster in a trade. It just seems too easy to me and something I think Toronto would do every single year. I think acquiring a player an LTIR can help your cap but not in the way that Pagnotta says it can.

        • trade

          accdg to CapFriendly website—–Tampa has $90,698,283 cap hit TODAY cap= $81.5 M
          cap space TODAY= $7,120,000

          how could that be, you ask?

          cuz they have $16,375,000 in LTIR cap relief, from the contracts of Kucherov and Seabrook.

          and they acquired Seabrook’s contract from Chicago for only one reason—CAP RELIEF

          • Blitz

            If you ignore the “projected cap hit” bullshit on capfriendly and you actually add up the *active* tampa players against the cap they are 7 mil short, which is what it says. They could add 74 more LTIR contracts and still be 7 mil short of the cap. So this magic cap adding LTIR guy doesn’t make sense to me. LTIR does allow you cap relief so you can replace hurt players, but doesn’t change your real active cap.

          • Blitz

            So here is the deal as best I understand it and using the Seabrook/Tampa example. Tampa needed Tyler Johnson off the books with his inflated salary. Seabrook (CHI) medically retired, which is like being on LTIR for the rest of your contract. Tampa traded Johnson and his inflated salary to CHI for Seabrooks contract. Seabrook is on LTIR and doesn’t affect Tampa’s cap, but Tampa will have to pay him for a few years. So the moral is CHI ate Johnson’s large salary cap, but don’t have to pay Seabrook for several year worth of payroll.

            This situation is way different than what was being conveyed.

            Vegas can still use this situation. Example: ANA eats salary cap for Vegas in exchange for Vegas paying Keslers payroll for the rest of the season. I assume a draft pick to ANA too. Personally, I don’t think ANA wants to help vegas out in a highly competitive year like this one. I don’t see this happening, but it might be a tactic for VGK elsewhere.

    • Pistol Pete

      trade, thank you very much for that excellent analysis and the DD it took to put it together. As I have been saying, the FO will figure the cap out. Eichel was a smart move and they did excellent getting decent terms from Buffalo.

  3. Galdom

    For shits and giggles, stats from November 10, 2015 to March 8, 2021. (When Jack Eichel was active.

    Jack Eichel
    361 GP, 134 G, 214 A, 348 PTS (ranked 20th)

    Mark Stone
    355 GP, 122 G, 204 A, 326 PTS (ranked 30th)

    Max Pacioretty
    370 GP, 140 G, 141 A, 281 PTS

    • Pistol Pete

      Galdom, thank you for that. Imo Eichel is just scratching the surface of his potential though. That span is his maiden run and on a lousy team. He’s on a good team now and will probably score more points per game—his 200 ft. game will improve too.

  4. Tim

    Getting anything out of management is like pulling teeth it’s painful to release any information on any player. Right now were winning and I think they’ll let it ride and let everyone get healthy for the playoffs. As I’ve said before Bill Foley at 76 and financially successful if it means winning a cup he’ let all four stars rehab at a snails pace. I’m talking Martinez, Patch, Stone, and Eichel which is 36 million saved against the cap. The key is if we keep winning but we do need Lehner back to stay in goalie shape. Believe me we all know how shrewd management was at the initial draft you don’t think these forward thinkers aren’t putting a plan together?

    • Galdom

      Tim, I agree on this management being shrewd. Unfortunately all it takes is a three or four game losing streak and everyone will tell us that they are incompetent.

      • Tim

        I agree some fans always look at the glass half empty myself I always look at the glass half full. Having a 95 million payroll would only be poetic justice. Year two between the league and the reffing crew they sent to do the playoff series between San Jose and us and how we got screwed this year beating the system as they say karma’s a bitch.

  5. THE hockey GOD

    VGK has a lot of assets, better to be in this position then not.

    NHL BETTMAN socialist rules are complicated mess. Instead of playing hockey and paying people what they worth, and rewarding successful teams; it’s all about punishment , socialism, make every team the same, evening the “playing ice (field) . It flies in face of diversity BS.

    The only thing the rules favor are the bean counters and liars, opps, lawyers, keeping track of all this red tape.

    The VGK will not be putting a quarter of their team on waviers. that is not practical. They will do what they did last year and play the final games with a 10 man squad, a midget in goal, a clown on stilts, and three legged dog wearing one of those shiny gold caps and VGK sweater.

    sez
    me

  6. Don Burchell

    Of the 16 teams currently in mid-season play off position, VGK has the worst Goals Against of any of them. This is not good at all.

  7. John W

    I am having a hard time believing that you can get cap relief by adding an injured player, as the active players are the ones that should count against the cap. That being said, let’s see what the good people at Cap Friendly have to say.

    Regarding McCrimmon, I think we need to give him a ton of credit for his moves this year. The players that he found on waivers (specifically, but not inclusive of Hutton and Amadio) have done a GREAT job. Grabbing productive players off the “scrap heap” is an art, and things have gone well this season.

    The call ups from Henderson did a great job. Still waiting for Logan T to get some net time, to see if he is a long term solution.

    Now, if we could just get him to give up on the Kolesar project, and replace him with somebody with a shooting percentage over 5%……
    (League average is just under 10%).

    Anyway, it should be clear that our FO is smart enough to have a plan. It will be fun to watch it unfold.

    • Blitz

      John you are correct to question the “cap relief by adding an injured player”. Look for my post above where I explain how it can actually happen. The guy who wrote that article (fourth period) had no clue what he was talking about. I am guessing he was regurgitating a Granger article and not correctly. I can’t see the Granger article (pay to see), maybe he had it wrong too.

      In a nutshell, other teams can eat your cap if you take on the contract and pay their injured/retired player. It has nothing to do with actually expanding your cap max etc.

  8. Erik

    Unfortunately for Eichel, body contact is a big part of the NHL game. I wish him luck.

  9. Galdom

    I knew it. The fourth period Guy tweets a lot of things just to get views. I knew it wasn’t right. When I get a an official response from cap friendly I will copy and paste exactly the way they answer it.

    Fourth Period guy has a way of posting things to sound like he is some kind of insider. I don’t wanna shit on the guy too much because I’m sure he works pretty hard and maybe he has established some contacts. What he did when he first started out around 2011 was he would just tweet out rumoured deals as being done like Rick Nash being signed to Toronto. But he had about as much success as any regular fan would because he was just guessing. He would be right about 5% of the time by just guessing and then would claim that he broke the deal. His other little trick would be tweeting something out moments after someone else broke it making it look like he broke it. It was annoying and I always thought he was a fraud but again, that’s 10 years ago and to start a magazine and a Twitter account with lots of views took some hard work so I’ll give him credit there and maybe he has establish some contacts but I personally don’t listen to a thing he says.

    Darren Dreger, Pierre Lebrun, Elliot Friedman are actual real insiders.

  10. Galdom

    In that article from the fourth period, The writer says with conviction that Max Pacioretty will be back in one month. Again, he just spews out of bullshit. Maybe he will be back in a month but nobody knows. The team has been tightlipped about it.

    • THE hockey GOD

      injuries are crapshoot, the wrist is especially tricky.

      no 67 moving parts have been subject to frequent breakage and need constant
      maintenance

  11. Donal Moore

    Yeah I heard them talking about it I’m the NHL network with Mike Mckenna who’s at the round table or something the discussion room

  12. sb

    Salary cap is based on a 23 man roster. The VGK could, for example, trade any roster player to Montreal for Shea Weber. Weber would be on the 23 man roster, on LTIR and his $7.5 mil cap hit could be utilized to bring Eichel to active status. The Knights would be limited to 22 active players , but be under the salary cap max.

  13. T

    NONE of this matters unless they can find someone to stop the puck. You cant win every game 6-5, especially in the playoffs.

  14. Just a positive comment: it is SO refreshing to read relative comments, WITHOUT the attacks by….well, we ALL know WHO. Thanks for keeping it civil, guys!! This is how a hockey site SHOULD be!! HAPPY, HEALTHY NEW YEAR!!

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