Golden Knights News & Rumors: Eichel, Lehner & Pouliot

In this edition of Vegas Golden Knights News & Rumors, Jack Eichel exited Thursday night’s game after blocking a shot, and while nothing has been said to this point, many are concerned the injury could be significant. Speaking of injuries, there have been reports that goaltender Robin Lehner suffered a fractured knee cap recently and could miss the rest of the season, though he has denied that claim. Last but not least, the team announced on Thursday that they have signed Derrick Pouliot to a one-year deal.

Golden Knights Awaiting Word on Eichel Injury

Though they were able to pick up a massive 5-3 win over the Panthers on Thursday night, it wasn’t all good news as Eichel appeared to have suffered an injury. The 25-year-old left the game and didn’t return after blocking a shot in the second period. There have been no updates to this point other than the fact that it was an upper-body injury. He is believed to have had tests done this morning, but head coach Pete DeBoer didn’t have an update on those tests when speaking with the media on Friday.

Jack Eichel Vegas Golden Knights
Jack Eichel, Vegas Golden Knights (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

“Don’t have results yet,” DeBoer said. “He’s getting test results this morning, we’ll know more, I would say, by the end of the day. I would say doubtful for tomorrow.

“Big concern. It could be anywhere from a couple days to more than that. I won’t know until we get results.”

Any injury would be a devastating blow to the Golden Knights as well as to Eichel himself, as he has missed a ton of hockey over the past year. He has only played in 15 games this season due to a herniated disc in his neck which required surgery. While it took him some time to get back up to speed, he was starting to get back on track with five goals and 10 points.

Lehner Could Miss Remainder of Season

According to Jesse Granger of The Athletic, Lehner’s latest injury is believed to be a significant one and could result in him missing the remainder of the 2021-22 season. The 30-year-old has been out of the lineup since Mar. 9 with what the team is calling a lower-body injury. Frank Seravalli of Daily Faceoff said recently he believes Lehner has a fractured patella, which explains rumors recently that he was seen on crutches.

After coming across the video of Seravalli explaining the injury on Twitter, Lehner himself replied to the tweet with a message saying “Not true. Again…”.

What Lehner is referring to is the fact that recently, Seravalli said he had reason to believe Lehner had a torn labrum in his shoulder and could miss the remainder of the season, only to have the goaltender return roughly a week later. Generally, Seravalli is as accurate of a reporter as they come, so it would be quite surprising to see him get this wrong a second time, but Lehner’s reply certainly has some skeptical.

When he has been healthy, the 2021-22 season has been a bit of a struggle for Lehner. Through 38 games, he owns a 2.77 goals-against average (GAA) along with a .909 save percentage (SV%). Despite his inconsistencies, however, the team has missed him in a big way, as both Laurent Brossoit and Logan Thompson have failed to step up in his absence.

Pouliot Signs NHL Deal

On Thursday, the Golden Knights announced they had signed Pouliot to a one-year deal worth a cap hit of $750,000. The 28-year-old defenceman had been playing in the American Hockey League for the Henderson Silver Knights, where in 42 games, he registered two goals and 19 points.

Related: Eichel’s Return to Buffalo Should Provide Closure for Him and the Sabres

Pouliot has played in one game with the Golden Knights since signing the deal and was able to register an assist. It marked his first time in the NHL since the 2019-20 season, where he appeared in two games with the St. Louis Blues. In total, the eighth overall pick from the 2012 Draft has suited up for 203 NHL games, scoring eight goals and 49 points. He is simply a depth option for a roster that is dealing with a ton of injuries right now.

Up Next for the Golden Knights

The Golden Knights are looking to chase the Edmonton Oilers down for third place in the Pacific Division and will have a chance to close the gap on Saturday night in a game against the L.A. Kings. They are currently holding down the final wild card position in the Western Conference but are just a single point ahead of the Dallas Stars, making every game from here until the end of the season extremely important.

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