In this edition of Vegas Golden Knights News & Rumors, while the chatter has cooled down, there are still whispers about whether or not general manager Kelly McCrimmon may be able to land Jack Eichel. In other news, Kaedan Korczak recently explained how being a part of last season’s playoff run has helped turn him into a pro, and as a result could have him making an impact at the NHL level in 2021-22. And, while it may be hard to believe, last Thursday marked the three-year anniversary of the acquisition of Max Pacioretty.
Eichel Still a Possibility?
All summer long, it has been a forgone conclusion that the Buffalo Sabres will be forced to move Jack Eichel. The 24-year-old is very frustrated with the organization for not allowing him to have a neck procedure that he needs in order to play, and will almost certainly never play a game for them again. However, it is now September and he has yet to be dealt.
While the frontrunner teams early on appeared to be the New York Rangers, L.A. Kings, Anaheim Ducks, and even the Minnesota Wild, the Golden Knights were also a team who was discussed. Despite acquiring Nolan Patrick earlier this offseason, they remain thin at the center ice position which is why trading for him would make plenty of sense. Of course, salary would have to be moved out given Eichel’s cap hit of $10 million, which in itself is a major risk given his current health situation. Nonetheless, it is an interesting topic which is still being discussed.
Korczak Speaks on Taxi Squad Experience
While the COVID-19 shortened 2020-21 season was a pain for most players, it was a blessing in disguise for Kaedan Korczak. The 20-year-old was able to get in 11 games at the American Hockey League (AHL) level with the Henderson Silver Knights, which fantastic in its own right, but what was even better was the fact that he got to spend valuable time with the Golden Knights during their playoff run as a member of the teams taxi squad.
“After they beat Colorado at home, I was down in the dressing room waiting for my ride, and they were all pretty fired up,” Korczak said. “That’s what sticks out the most for me, just how happy and fired up they were to knock off arguably the best team in the NHL. They were like young kids celebrating and listening to loud music, which was pretty cool to see.”
Korczak believes that being apart of that run helped better him as a player. Having some well-respected NHL veterans to guide him could prove to be very beneficial to the youngster down the road.
“Brayden McNabb was awesome for me, we talked quite a bit and I just asked for little pointers,” Korczak said. “I also skated with Alex Pietrangelo, and he has been good at giving me little tips. They have been great at letting me pick their brains.”
Korczak, who was drafted in the second-round (41st overall) of the 2019 draft, may find it tough to crack the Golden Knights’ lineup out of camp this season. However, assuming he plays well at the AHL level, he may very well earn a call up and get in some NHL games, which would be the first of his career.
Three-Year Pacioretty Aniversary
As mentioned above, last Thursday marked three years since the Golden Knights acquired Max Pacioretty from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for Tomas Tatar, Nick Suzuki, and a second-round pick in 2019. This is a trade that both teams are probably quite happy with, as they have both benefitted from it.
For the Golden Knights, Pacioretty has been the goal scorer they were hoping for, and had arguably his best season in 2020-21 with a team leading 24 goals while also putting up 51 points in just 48 games. The 32-year-old, who is one of the games more underrated snipers, has two seasons remaining on a contract that pays him $7 million per year.
As for the players the Habs received, Suzuki is truly developing into a star player. The recently turned 22-year-old had 15 goals and 41 points in 56 games last season, and had an even more impressive 16 points in 22 playoff contests. Tatar, on the other hand, is no longer a member of the Habs after signing with the New Jersey Devils this offseason, but had some good years in Montreal, none better than in 2019-20 where he put up a career high 61 points in 68 games.
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.