The NHL trade deadline is looming and Vegas needs to make a move. They got off to a hot start only to have fallen off in recent months. Therefore, they can’t afford a repeat of last year’s fallout. This is especially true with the emergence of teams such as the Los Angeles Kings and Seattle Kraken.
So what can the Golden Knights do here? Should they stay still at the trade deadline or go all-in? To gauge this, we’re going to look at Vegas’s trade targets based on… wing spiciness.
From the stale, outdated wing to the hottest target of ’em all, we’re judging the Golden Knights’ trade target based on how spicy they are. The hotter the target, the higher it is on the wishlist.
Keep in mind that Vegas has under $4 million in cap space to work with. They’re also tied to over $13 million in LTIR space, making matters more complicated. Therefore, it stands with good reason that they might not make a move at all. However, they do have plenty of draft picks to work with. With that, let’s do our tier list of potential Knights stars and savor the flavor!
Stale and Outdated
Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks
While Kane might appear to be a suitable fit for Vegas, there are numerous reasons why he’s not. For starters, he’s not the same Patrick Kane from the past (nine goals, 25 assists this season). The former No. 1 pick’s also 34 years old and isn’t going to be a one-year rental; he’s signed through 2023-2024 and has a cap hit with $10.5 million. Besides, do Vegas fans really want someone with a polarizing past?
Jesse Puljujarvi, Edmonton Oilers
The common prognosis on the former third overall pick is he’s inconsistent with his play. He’s also on the Oilers and is an RFA after this season, which complicates matters for trading him. Still, he’s young and he doesn’t have a massive cap hit to his name. Considering the Golden Knights need as much depth as they can get, it wouldn’t hurt to take a shot.
Dominik Kubalik, Detroit Red Wings
The Czech star has been surprisingly good for the Wings this season. With 14 goals and 20 assists, he’s been valuable alongside Dylan Larkin. Kubalik also carries a cap hit of $2.5 million, making him a perfect fit for a team that desperately needs scoring and depth. Bruce Cassidy would welcome his hard, accurate shot with wide open arms as well. Keep an eye on Kubalik in the upcoming month.
Noel Acciari, St. Louis Blues
The center might not light up the stat sheet for St. Louis. However, he’s familiar with Bruce Cassidy’s system; he played under the current Knights head coach from 2016 to 2019. Acciari can push the puck up the ice and help with the Vegas attack. Plus, he still has some solid scoring acumen, scoring 20 goals in 2019-2020 with the Florida Panthers. This is most likely the guy that Vegas goes after.
Ivan Barbashev, St. Louis Blues
Barbashev is similar to Acciari in that he’s a bottom-six forward that plays a rough style. He has a wide array of terrific shots at his disposal as well, from his wrister to his slapshot. This would also be a good play for Vegas to get, especially if they can get the two players in a package deal.
Max Domi, Chicago Blackhawks
A more suitable trade target from the Windy City would be Max Domi. Like Kane, the former Coyote is signed through 2023-2024. However, there are a couple of benefits to getting Domi: he has a cap hit of $3 million and he’s 28. Plus, he can play both center and wing, making him valuable for Vegas’s depth. If he’s worth his salt, the Golden Knights could possibly extend him for longer.
Travis Konecny, Philadelphia Flyers
24 goals on the season for Philly AND he’s only 25 years old? Not to mention his versatility in many roles and can move up and down the ice? Sounds like a dream for Vegas. So what’s the holdup? For one, it’s his cap hit of $5.5 million that’s problematic. He’s also had some injury problems in the past, specifically during this season (upper body). Would the Knights want to take on another piece that’ll probably land on the IR? Also, Philadelphia might want to hold onto Konecny, so Vegas must come up with a sweetheart deal to lure him.
Alex DeBrincat, Ottawa Senators
There are many factors that benefit getting the former Blackhawk; he’s 25 years old and has a dynamic skill set. While that sounds good, he is set to become an RFA after this season. His current cap hit is also $6.4 million, which means Vegas will have to part with a player or two. The Knights are mainly looking for depth pieces that can be inserted into the lineup, so this is unlikely to fit their needs.
Timo Meier, San Jose Sharks
Although he’s more likely to be a target for everyone, it’s still possible that Meier would be a Golden Knight. He’s 26 and is having a productive year (28 goals, 20 assists). However, the big snag is that his cap hit is $6 million. Considering the Golden Knights are in LTIR purgatory and Meier’s on the Sharks, it’s probably for the best that they don’t take a flyer on a one-year rental. Either that, or they’ll have to package one of their current players in the deal.
Bo Horvat, Vancouver Canucks (Now with the Islanders)
Horvat might’ve been out of Vegas’s league, especially after signing an eight-year contract extension with the Islanders. However, it would’ve been entertaining to see where the Horvat-to-Vegas trade rumors would’ve gone.
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