Over the next two months, the Golden Knights will tweak their roster in hopes of creating a legitimate contender. Every maneuver the club decides to make will need to keep the salary cap in consideration. Yesterday Ken shared his predictions, now here’s mine.
TRADE – Alec Martinez and a 5th round pick traded to the Detroit for a 4th round pick
There’s just no way around it, the Golden Knights need to shed salary. Trading Martinez to Detroit makes sense for both teams and the player. The Wings have space and could use an elder statesman to direct their young d-core, and mentor Calder Trophy winner Moritz Seider. Let’s not forget to mention Martinez was born and bred in Rochester Hills, MI. It’ll hurt the Golden Knights but in a cap world space is much more important than an expensive veteran with miles. This also allows some flexibility for a possible multi-year deal with Nic Hague.
TRADE – Laurent Brossoit and a 4th round pick to Dallas for 5th round pick
Brossoit is another easy candidate for some cap relief. Logan Thompson made his case to become Robin Lehner’s backup and proved he can handle the pressure of being a number one. This allows the Golden Knights front office to undo their unnecessary spending of $2.5M last summer. It might seem like an odd destination considering new Stars coach Pete DeBoer had some sharp comments after one of Brossoit’s performances in Vegas. However, there’s space and a fit for a veteran backup to support up-and-comer Jake Oettinger.
TRADE – William Carrier traded to Carolina for a 4th round pick
Remember, in a flat cap world every dime counts. It’ll be sad to see one the few remaining Original Misfits move on but the Golden Knights have shown in the past that business comes first. Unfortunately, Carrier can be replaced with cheaper options like Keegan Kolesar, Michael Amadio, and Brett Howden. On the other side, Carolina could use more muscle to add to their dynamic lineup. Carrier has the grit and the speed to keep up.
Max Pacioretty – Plays Out Contract
Here’s the truth (I believe), Vegas would love to trade Max Pacioretty. He’s been in trade rumors for the past few summers but clearly, the Golden Knights haven’t found the right deal. At $7M for one more season it’s possible a suitor is lurking, or maybe the club stomachs the cap hit for one more season. Realistically, the team lost offense by moving Evgenii Dadanov for cap space, losing Pacioretty’s offense would put VGK in a difficult predicament. Sure, they will have a full season of Jack Eichel and hopefully most of the season with a healthy Mark Stone but it’s not enough without #67. To compete with Colorado, Vegas will need as much offense as they can get. Trading Pacioretty will leave them with a large hole. There’s no doubt that the Golden Knights will try and move the 14-year veteran but ultimately, they will reunite for one more run at the Stanley Cup. After all, 31 goals on average is worth $7M or more.
Nic Hague – Threatens Hold Out
Hague is due for a multi-year, multi-million-dollar agreement, so why would the 23-year-old take anything less? The answer is easy, Vegas’ front office will offer him a qualifying offer and no more. The FO will try and intimidate the young defenseman into signing their deal ignoring that it truly doesn’t benefit the player. Hague doesn’t have arbitration rights yet but I’m sure his agent will threaten a hold out when negotiating with VGK’s shrewd managers. The holdout may not last long, but it’ll help the 6’6 defenseman earn the contract closer to what he desires.
Curtis Lazar signs a 1-year/$1.1M
Lazar added 16 points (8G/8A) for Bruce Cassidy’s Bruins last season. Lazar blocked shots, killed penalties, finished checks, and averaged 12 minutes per night. The 27-year-old former first round pick is not much of an offensive weapon but he can act as a versatile role player. Nevertheless, he won’t cost the organization much. Most importantly, he stepped up for Boston in the playoffs and has shown to be a bottom-six player Cassidy feels comfortable with.
Ryan Dzingel accepts PTO
The former Senator, Blue Jacket, Hurricane, Coyote, and Shark could serve a bottom-six role on the cheap and there’s very little risk. Dzingel is the classic reclamation project. He’s had success in the past averaging 24 goals per season from 2017 to 2019.
Considering, Vegas re-signs Nic Roy and Keegan Kolesar to market prices, here is next season’s projected lineup. There is plenty of time to negotiate so Hague is still in the lineup.