Golden Knights will have James Neal in the lineup for inaugural game

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The Vegas Golden Knights will soon begin their first NHL regular season game, and they will have James Neal in the lineup, per Steve Carp of the Las Vegas Review Journal.

Neal, taken in the expansion draft following Nashville’s Stanley Cup Final appearance, suffered a hand injury during the Western Conference Final versus Anaheim and missed the beginning of training camp with the Golden Knights as a result.

Neal was placed on the injured-non roster list only three days ago, but has been activated and will be in the lineup versus the Dallas Stars. In fact, he’s listed as one of the starting forwards, as he faces his old team.

That’s good news for the Golden Knights, particularly with the offensive attack, given Neal has reached at least 20 goals scored in each of his nine NHL seasons, no matter where he has played.

Neal, 30, is in the final year of his contract, which carries a cap hit of $5 million. He’s a pending unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.