Pacioretty, Eichel, Reaves & More

In this edition of Vegas Golden Knights News & Rumors, Max Pacioretty will be out of the lineup indefinitely after undergoing wrist surgery last week. Many are starting to think about what the team might need to do to bring in Jack Eichel who will make his season debut with the Golden Knights next month. Ryan Reaves, Gerard Gallant and the New York Rangers will be playing in Vegas on Thursday night.

Pacioretty Out indefinitely

After it was revealed Pacioretty had been forced to leave, the Golden Knights were hit with some hard news last week. Get wrist surgeryHe will not be back in the lineup. This is disappointing for Pacioretty and the team. He has been great when healthy, scoring 12 goals and 21 point in 16 games.

Max PaciorettyAmy Irvin/ The Hockey Writers

Although a timeline has not been established, it is likely that he will be absent for at least one month. The Golden Knights are currently sitting first in the Pacific Division and have seen a significant improvement in their play. They should be able to function without Eichel. The team expects Eichel to be back in the near future and that he can return 100% healthy.

Scenarios to Fit Eichel’s Cap

The Golden Knights struck the largest deal this year when Eichel was traded to them from the Buffalo Sabres. The trade allowed Eichel to have the neck surgery he wanted. He is making good progress in his recovery. All indications are that he will be able to return to play sometime in February. The team will however need to figure out how to make sure that he meets his $10 million cap.

Jesse Granger recently of [Update News]We took a look at the possible actions of Kelly McCrimmon, general manager. Jonathan Marchessault (Reilly Smith) and Evgenii Dadonov are three players who could be traded prior to the trade deadline. While he referred to Dadonov as his preferred choice, he stated that Marchessault is less likely than the others. (from: Jesse Granger ‘Exploring the Golden Knights’ trade options to become cap-compliant when Jack Eichel Returns’, [Update News] ,12/31/21)

Related: 3 Golden Knights Who Probably Won’t Return Next Season

Smith, who is 30 years old, has been with the team from its inaugural season in 2017-18. He has been a great partner for the team that entire time and has been a strong two-way player. This summer Smith will be an unrestricted, free agent and there is little chance of him being able to sign a contract. Therefore, this Golden Knights team makes it logical to move him.

Reaves & Gallant Excited for Return to Vegas

Both Gallant and Reaves, who are set to return to the T-Mobile Arena on Thursday night, were a part of the Golden Knights’ Stanley Cup Final run back in 2018. Reaves admitted that this is a game that he had been putting off for this year and that he would feel more emotion if he returned to the Golden Knights this season after being traded to them by the Rangers. (from: Mollie Walker ‘Rangers’ Ryan Reaves, Gerard Gallant gearing up for Vegas homecoming’, New York Post, 01/05/22)

“I guess a little bit,” Reaves said. “You’re out in the community with the fans and with the city, you know, I have ties to the city. I’ve got a beer company. I think it’s gonna be a little extra something there. We’ll see how it goes.”

Reaves played a total of 209 games with the Golden Knights, and was always commended for being a physical presence, one who wasn’t afraid to drop the gloves in defence of a teammate. During his tenure, he also contributed 18 goals and 42 point.

Ryan Reaves Vegas Golden Knights
Ryan Reaves, a member the Vegas Golden KnightsAmy Irvin/ The Hockey Writers

Gallant’s return, on the other hand, is slightly different. After a slow start to 2019, the Golden Knights fired Gallant, a respected head coach. Despite his dismissal he appeared to have no ill intent towards the organization and seemed excited to be going back.

“I think [Thursday] night will be a little interesting,” he admitted to media. “Seeing that building, the national anthem, and the Knight thing comes up. It’s a great building. It was great that we played against them in New York two weeks ago. [Thursday] night will probably be a little tough, but it’ll be fun, I’m looking forward to it.”

Reaves and Gallant’s year has been great. The Rangers have a 22-8-4 record, making them one of the most successful teams in the NHL. The Golden Knights won the shootout 3-2 in their first meeting of the season, less than a month before. It shouldn’t surprise that Thursday night’s game will be just as close.

Next Up for the Golden Knights

The Rangers will be taking on the Golden Knights Thursday, as previously mentioned. They will then take on the Rangers on Thursday. On Saturday, they will face the Chicago Blackhawks in the final game. They are both huge games considering that they sit two points behind the Anaheim Ducks for the division lead.