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NHL Rumors: Vegas Golden Knights

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Latest Vegas Golden Knights trade rumors

Las Vegas Sun: Like many other NHL teams, the Vegas Golden Knights find themselves in a salary cap crunch.

Vegas is already over next year’s cap before the offseason even officially begins, so it’s going to take some financial Tetris to make everything work.

Vegas will get an extra $5 million free when David Clarkson is added to the long-term injured reserved list next season. That will allow the team to sign restricted free agents Tomas Nosek, Jimmy Schuldt and Malcolm Subban.

The two more expensive restricted free agents will be more of an issue: William Karlsson and Nikita Gusev.

If Karlsson and Gusev come in at $10 million combined, that puts Vegas at a $91.825 million cap hit without factoring in unrestricted free agents Deryk Engelland, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, Brandon Pirri and Ryan Carpenter.

They could choose to not retain some of their free agents. If they trade the rights to Karlsson and Gusev, they will be very close. They could save relative pennies by keeping Schuldt in the minors and bringing up a player on a minimum deal, which for next year will be $700,000. Both those outcomes are unlikely.

The Golden Knights could make a trade. Reports have defenseman Colin Miller and his $3.875 million cap hit on the trade block, and Vegas could look to shop the expiring contracts of Cody Eakin ($3.85 million) and Ryan Reaves ($2.775 million) as well.

The buyout could help save some space as well. Based on his cap hit, length of contract and depth at the position, defenseman Nick Holden is the likeliest candidate. If he is bought out, Vegas would recover $1.2 million of his $2.2 million cap hit, and take a $600,000 cap penalty in 2020-21.

The Likely Scenario for the Golden Knights is…

If the Golden Knights sign all their restricted free agents, trade Eakin, Miller and Reaves for futures without retaining salary, decline to re-sign Engelland, Bellemare, Carpenter and Pirri, keep Holden, and give roster spots to three players on deals close to the league minimum, it makes Vegas cap-compliant with a grand total of $113,333 left over.

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