In this edition of Vegas Golden Knights News & Rumors, NHL senior writer Dan Rosen recently explained what things would look like once the team activates Jack Eichel from long-term injured reserve (LTIR). In other news, the team recently signed three players in Brayden McNabb, Michael Amadio, and Logan Thompson to multi-year contract extensions. Last but not least, Jonathan Marchessault was named as a late replacement for the 2022 All-Star game.
Eichel Return Could Thin Golden Knights Depth
Earlier this season, Golden Knights fans were thrilled to learn their team had acquired Eichel from the Buffalo Sabres. Though they were aware he would have to miss some time due to a neck procedure, it isn’t just any day you land a top 10 center in the league. As he nears a return, however, it is becoming more and more aware that the team may be forced to make a trade to make room for his $10 million cap hit.
Answering questions from fans in an article recently, Rosen explained that there are still many things to consider regarding an Eichel return. One is that if he and Alec Martinez, who is also currently on LTIR, are activated, the Golden Knights would be forced to trade and perhaps waive some players. Not only would they be losing a key roster player like Reilly Smith or Evgeni Dadonov, but they would also likely have to lose some depth. That may not seem like the end of the world, but depth is a big reason the often-injured Golden Knights remain first in the Pacific Division this season.
Golden Knights Sign Three Players to Extension
On Sunday, general manager Kelly McCrimmon announced the team signed McNabb, Amadio, and Thompson to contract extensions. Though none of the three are anywhere near star status, they have all contributed to the team in 2021-22, and with these new deals likely will in seasons to come.
McNabb, 31, is the best known of the bunch. He was awarded a three-year, $8.55 million deal with an average annual value (AAV) of $2.85 million. It is a slight raise off of his four-year contract that has an AAV of $2.5 million. He has suited up for 46 games this season, putting up two goals and seven helpers.
Amadio, 25, started the season with the Toronto Maple Leafs but was claimed by the Golden Knights on waivers in October. He earned himself a two-year extension that will carry an AAV of $762,500. In 25 games this season, he has four goals and seven points.
The youngest of the bunch is Thompson, at just 24-years-old. He made his first NHL start earlier this season and has been very good in the American Hockey League in recent years. Thanks to that solid play, he earned himself a three-year deal with an AAV of $766,667.
As mentioned, none of these signings are headline news material. However, all three provide the team with great depth, something they will need in future years due to the massive contracts they have tied up to their star players.
Marchessault Selected for All-Star Game
The NHL announced on Wednesday that Marchessault and Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson have been selected to play in this year’s All-Star game. With the news, Marchessault will be one of three Golden Knights suiting up on the Pacific Division roster, alongside Mark Stone and Alex Pietrangelo.
It has been a great 2021-22 season for Marchessault, with 20 goals and 32 points through 41 games. The 31-year-old is on track to crush his previous career-high 30 goals scored back in 2016-17.
Up Next for the Golden Knights
The Golden Knights started their month off strong, defeating the Buffalo Sabres 5-2 on Wednesday night. They will now have the rest of the week off before taking on both the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames on back-to-back nights next Tuesday and Wednesday.
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.