McPhee and Creator weigh in on salary cap plans after Eichel’s return
Every time Jack Eichel steps on the ice, his comeback gets a little closer. What seemed to take forever when he was first acquired from the Buffalo Sabers is now in sight.
And while there won’t be a more exciting moment in the Golden Knights’ regular season this year than when Jack plays his first game, that moment will have roster consequences.
If fully healthy, the current Golden Knights roster sits just over $10 million above the salary cap. To get Eichel, Pacioretty and Martinez back on the ice, the Vegas front office will have to make decisions, incredibly tough decisions that will change the makeup of this team.
We will have to make adjustments but we have a lot of guys who are injured. We’re looking at that and making sure we’re not doing something prematurely. We have a plan, alternatives, but we’re trying to wait until we really see how the injuries heal over the next 25-30 days. -The creator
George McPhee also echoed those thoughts.
We’ll see where we are when (Eichel) is ready. If we have injuries, that’s one thing. If we don’t, then we’ll have to make some decisions, which we kind of have already mapped out. We’ll see where that leads. But we’ve been aggressive so far, and we will continue to be, and we’ll find out when we get there. –George McPhee on Sportsnet 590
With Max Pacioretty expected to be sidelined for at least a month, it’s likely that when Eichel is ready, the Golden Knights will still have enough money in the LTIR space to activate him without doing much. else with the list.
It’s after that that it gets very tricky and may require the use of a crystal ball to give this Golden Knights team the best chance of winning the Stanley Cup.
The NHL trade deadline is 62 days away and the last day of the regular season is another 40 days away.
The next 62 days are easy, and that’s exactly what The Creator and McPhee are referring to with their wait-and-see mentality. Depending on what happens between now and then, decisions can be made for them. But those last 40 are where it could become problematic. While the Golden Knights may have their plans mapped out, getting rid of the salary requires a business partner.
The closer the calendar gets to March 21, the harder it will be to find the perfect fit.
It’s a complicated puzzle, unlike anything this franchise has seen in the past. The pieces to win a Stanley Cup are all there, but it will take a bit of luck and a lot of foresight to put them all together.