from Jesse Granger of The Athletic,
Golden Knights captain Mark Stone missed Wednesday night’s game in Calgary, and coach Pete DeBoer called the injury “something he’s been dealing with off and on for a while here now.”...
Frank Seravalli of Daily Faceoff reported Thursday morning that “league sources speculate captain Mark Stone could be placed on LTIR for (the rest) of the regular season with a back injury.”
That news sent the hockey world into a frenzy, considering the timing. Star center Jack Eichel, who the Golden Knights traded for in November, is nearing his return to the ice after recovering from neck surgery. Eichel joined the team for his first practice back on Jan. 11, and was cleared for contact on Monday.
Eichel’s $10 million cap hit, which has been stored on LTIR to this point, puts Vegas well above the $81.5 million limit. In order to activate him to the active roster, the Golden Knights could be forced to shed upward of $7 million in salary. That would require trading an important piece from the current roster.
If Stone were to be placed on LTIR, his $9.5 million cap hit would be off the books, clearing space for Eichel’s return with no need for a trade.
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