It seems the Vegas Golden Knights are always working on some kind of a roster move.
They have already been one of the busiest teams in the NHL this offseason, and still have more work to do to get under the $81.5 million salary cap by opening day. Somebody on the roster is going to have to go.
According to a couple of reports on Tuesday night, it could be a significant player.
Potentially even Max Pacioretty.
TSN’s Frank Seravalli reported on Tuesday’s edition of Insider Trading that the Golden Knights have “doubled down in recent days and weeks in an attempt to move” Pacioretty and the remainder of his contract. That contract, which contains a limited no-trade clause, still has three years remaining with a $7 million per season salary cap hit.
He was one of the Golden Knights’ best players this past season with 32 goals and 66 total points in 71 games.
[Related: ProHockeyTalk’s 2020 NHL Free Agency Tracker]
The Athletic’s Jesse Granger followed that report by saying he has heard that the Golden Knights have had talks with a number of teams regarding Pacioretty. He also added that Jonathan Marchessault and Marc-Andre Fleury have also been mentioned as they test the market on several players to see what values look like.
Fleury’s name is not a huge shock as he was rumored to be on the move earlier this offseason following the re-signing of Robin Lehner. Between the two the Golden Knights have committed $12 million in salary cap space to the goalie position for the next couple of years. That is significant. But given all of the goalie movement around the league this offseason it seems like a long shot to think Fleury could be moved at this point. The number of potential trade partners would be extremely limited.
The possibility of moving Pacioretty or Marchessault, though, is a little more surprising given how important they are to the offense. Pacioretty led the team in pretty much every major offensive category this past season, including goals, total points, even-strength goals, and shots on goal. Marchessault’s 22 goals were third on the team while his 47 total points were fourth behind only Pacioretty, Mark Stone, and Reilly Smith.
[Related: ProHockeyTalk’s Offseason Trade Tracker]
Trading any one of those three would not only drop Vegas below the cap, it would also give its front office more wiggle room to make more moves during the season if needed. And given their early track record, they would almost certainly use it. The Golden Knights have been one of the most active teams in the league since beginning play during the 2017-18 season and are constantly overhauling the roster with blockbuster moves.
That has been especially true this offseason.
Those two moves forced the Golden Knights to jettison significant salary in other moves. They started by trading Paul Stastny to the Winnipeg Jets for a 2022 fourth-round draft pick and Carl Dahlstrom.
Now another top player could be on the move before the start of the season.