When the Golden Knights pulled off the blockbuster trade to acquire Jack Eichel, it became clear they would have to do some serious work to on their salary cap. That work is now complete and it has resulted in the departures of Max Pacioretty, Evgenii Dadonov, and Dylan Coghlan.
The trio of players shipped out accounted for 42 goals last season with Pacioretty missing more than half of the year due to injury. Also, while still unsigned, it’s possible Mattias Janmark and his nine goals exit Vegas as well. That’s more than 50 goals leaving the organization without a single new player being added to the fold (at least to this point).
So, how do they make up that offense?
That question was posed to GM Kelly McCrimmon at today’s press conference and his answer was essentially four-pronged. Let’s go through each of them.
“We anticipate a healthy lineup will put more offense into our lineup”
McCrimmon specifically singled out Stone, but the larger point is that without virtually every important player on the team missing significant time, as we saw last year, there will be an influx in scoring.
Stone, Eichel, Karlsson, and Smith will all likely generate more this coming year than they did last year. Between them, they scored 51 goals and tallied 128 points in 2021-22. The career averages of those four players calls for something closer to 98 goals and 245 points. Throw in Martinez, Howden, and Hague and there’s room for even more.
It’s pretty clear that if the team is significantly healthier, scoring will go up.