Will Vegas roll dice in free agency?
When their storybook season does come to an end, the Vegas Golden Knights have a decision to make.
Do they or do they not sprinkle into their lineup some highpriced available talent?
It won’t be easy making the playoffs in the Western Conference next season, never mind making it to this point or beyond. And the Golden Knights will have money to spend.
According to capfriendly.com, they are US$6,299,911 under the ceiling now.
Their list of unrestricted free agents includes James Neal (cap hit: $5 million), David Perron ($3.75 mil), Ryan Reaves ($1.125 mil) Luca Sbisa ($3.6 mil), Clayton Stoner ($3.25 mil) plus the “injured” Mikhail Grabovski ($5 mil) and buried Jason Garrison ($3.575 mil).
New deals will have to be offered to William Karlsson, who led all NHL centres in goals during the season and has a cap hit of $1 million, as well as defencemen Shea Theodore ($863,333) and Colin Miller ($1 million). And they might want to sign Marc-Andre Fleury ($5.75 mil) to an extension rather than have him play the season with an expiring contract.
But Vegas could get aggressive in any bidding war for UFAs John Tavares and John Carlson. A trade pitch was made for Erik Karlsson during the season and the Golden Knights could go knocking on that door. Or make overtures on Drew Doughty, who like Karlsson has one year left on his deal and wouldn’t have far to move in leaving the Kings.
Theoretically, the Golden Knights should be able to attract whatever players they want. Theirs might be the most desirable destination in the NHL.
And now they’ve even got a winning tradition.
If it continues to develop and includes the Cup, straying from what got them there will be tough to do for the Knights.