In this edition of Vegas Golden Knights News & Rumors, Jack Eichel is set to make his long-awaited season debut on Wednesday night. In other news, Robin Lehner is on the shelf and is reportedly dealing with a serious injury. As a result of the Lehner update, rumors came abuzz yesterday that management was considering re-acquiring Marc-Andre Fleury, though general manager Kelly McCrimmon shot it down. Last but not least, forward Adam Brooks was placed on waivers on Tuesday.
Eichel Ready to Go
For over a month now, Golden Knights fans have been getting teased about a potential Eichel debut. They will no longer have to wait in agony, as the 25-year-old will make his debut on Wednesday night versus the Colorado Avalanche.
It is an extremely exciting time for Golden Knights fans, who will get to watch their new franchise player for the first time in their threads. Though it may take him some time to get back into game shape, he is an elite player and increases the team’s Stanley Cup odds in a big way.
To make room for Eichel and his $10 million cap hit, the Golden Knights announced that Mark Stone has been placed on long-term injured reserve (LTIR) with a back injury. He has reportedly been playing through pain all season, and will now be shut down, perhaps until the playoffs begin. If that is indeed the case, McCrimmon will not need to worry about moving players in order to make his roster cap compliant, as there is no maximum salary cap in the postseason.
Lehner Injury Sparks Return of Fleury Rumors
The Golden Knights announced recently that Lehner was day-to-day with an upper-body injury and as a result will not be suiting up against the Avalanche. However, according to Frank Seravalli of Daily Faceoff, the injury is much more severe than they are letting on.
Seravalli said sources have told him Lehner is dealing with a torn labrum in his shoulder, an injury that will at some point require surgery. The hope is that he will be able to play through it for the remainder of the season, but that remains to be seen.
As a result of this update, Seravalli also reported that the Golden Knights were discussing re-acquiring Marc-Andre Fleury from the Chicago Blackhawks. The 37-year-old was traded this offseason, but is expected to be moved again ahead of the deadline due to the fact that he is a pending unrestricted free agent and the Blackhawks sit well outside of a playoff position. Hours after Seravalli’s report, however, McCrimmon shot down the rumor.
“There is absolutely no credence to that rumor at all,” McCrimmon said. “I wouldn’t normally speak (officially) on such things, but there will be so much racket about this, it’s important to let people know that’s not going to happen.”
Last season with the Golden Knights, Fleury picked up his first-ever Vezina Trophy after compiling a 1.98 goals-against average (GAA) along with a .928 save percentage (SV%) in 36 games. Though his numbers have regressed this season behind a poor Blackhawks roster, he still owns a respectable 2.88 GAA and a .910 SV%.
Brooks Placed on Waivers
On Tuesday, the Golden Knights made the decision to place Brooks on waivers. The 25-year-old has suited up for just seven games with Vegas this season, registering two goals. He has also played in an additional five games with the Henderson Silver Knights of the American Hockey League, where he has tallied three assists.
It has been a roller coaster of a season for Brooks, who is now being placed on waivers for the third time. Prior to the season beginning, he was claimed off of waivers by the Montreal Canadiens from the Toronto Maple Leafs. He then played just four games for the Habs before once again hitting the waiver wire and getting scooped up once again, this time by the Golden Knights.
Up Next for the Golden Knights
As already mentioned, the Golden Knights will begin their week with a game Wednesday night against the Avalanche. It should be a great battle between two teams that are considered by many to be the top two in the Western Conference. They will then take on the L.A. Kings on Friday, followed by the San Jose Sharks on Sunday. They will need to pick up some wins to get back into first place in the Pacific, as the Calgary Flames passed them last night after a win over 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: Yahoo Sports, Las Vegas Chronicle, Oil On Whyte, 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.