In this edition of Vegas Golden Knights News & Rumors, Jack Eichel is recovering after having what is being described as a successful neck operation last Friday. In other news, the team claimed forward Adam Brooks off of waivers, in big reason due to the injury bug they are battling. One player who isn’t injured but was out of the lineup on both Tuesday and Thursday was Jonathan Marchessault, who is currently on the NHLs COVID-19 protocol list. Last but not least, there have been some injury updates on a few players in the past couple of days.
Eichel Has Successful Surgery
After the Golden Knights acquired Eichel from the Buffalo Sabres earlier this month, it meant that the 25-year-old was finally able to get the artificial disc replacement surgery he wanted done. That happened this past Friday, and Dr. Chad Prusmack, who performed the operation, said it went very well.
Before the surgery, Eichel told the media that he hoped to recover in three months, which would put him back on the ice in February. Obviously, we are a ways away from seeing whether or not that will be the case, but the good news is that he is now finally progressing and should be able to suit up at some point during the 2021-22 season.
Brooks Claimed Off Waivers
Due to their tough go with injuries right now, general manager Kelly McCrimmon claimed Brooks off of waivers from the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday. The 25-year-old had a very short stay with the Habs, as he was claimed by them just over a month ago on waivers from the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Brooks has suited up for 22 career NHL games, registering four goals and five helpers. He can play both the wing and center ice position, so where head coach Peter DeBoer will use him remains to be seen at this point. What will be interesting to monitor is if he is slotted in the team’s top six, a role he has never been given a chance at in his NHL career but one that he certainly possesses the skill for.
Numerous Players in COVID Protocol
On Monday, the Golden Knights announced that William Carrier, who had already missed two games to that point, was going into COVID-19 protocol. Just a day later, one of his teammates in Marchessault was also placed on the protocol list. Things have continued to pile on as Amadio became the third to join that list on Wednesday.
There aren’t any updates on when these three will return. This has to be a very frustrating situation for a team that has had brutal luck injury-wise to begin the 2021-22 campaign, so hopefully, they are feeling little to no symptoms and can get back on the ice soon.
While it has been a tough go injury-wise for the Golden Knights this season, they received some good news as Mark Stone returned last Saturday against the Vancouver Canucks. The 29-year-old hadn’t played in nearly a month after suffering a lower-body injury against the LA Kings.
Things got even better on the injury front Thursday night, as both Zach Whitecloud and Evgeni Dadonov were able to suit up versus the Detroit Red Wings. Whitecloud, who scored twice in the 5-2 win over the Red Wings, hadn’t played since Oct. 22 due to hand surgery. Dadonov, who also contributed with an assist on Thursday, was forced to leave Tuesday night’s game due to a high stick that caused him to leave the game, but thankfully it appears it was nothing too serious.
One player who has not returned is Alec Martinez, who was moved to the injured reserve on Wednesday. The 33-year-old rearguard hasn’t played since a game on Nov. 11 where his face was cut by a skate blade, forcing him to leave immediately. It is unknown when he will be able to return to the lineup.
Up Next for the Golden Knights
With Thursday’s win, the Golden Knights have now won four of their past five games to improve to a record of 10-7-0. Though they had a slow start, it appears they are back on track and will look to keep rolling on Saturday when they take on the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Colton Pankiw is a former Jr. A hockey player who now provides his knowledge of the game through writing. He’s been a very active and reliable source for nearly two years at The Hockey Writers. He is a credentialed writer for the Calgary Flames but also does features on other teams throughout the league. Other writing contributions include: Oil On Whyte, NHLtradetalk.com, and Markerzone.com. Colton is also a co-host of both Oilers Overtime and Flames Faceoff podcasts. Any interview requests or content info can be made through him on Twitter. Take a look at his work here.