Golden Knights Acquire Ryan Kesler's Contract to Create Much Needed Cap Space

by

March 21

When the Vegas Golden Knights acquired Jack Eichel from the Buffalo Sabres, they had no conceivable way of being salary cap compliant with a fully healthy roster. Up until the waning moments of the NHL trade deadline, Vegas appeared hamstrung to their cap predicament.

Then, a division rival extended an 11th-hour olive branch.

The Golden Knights acquired Ryan Kesler’s contract and John Moore for Evgenii Dadonov and a second-round draft pick.

The move allows the Golden Knights to put Kesler’s contract on the Long-Term Injured Reserve to increase their cap flexibility. Up until this point, the Knights have shuffled players on and off the LTIR to remain cap compliant.

Eichel was on the LTIR when he was acquired. Vegas couldn’t activate him until Mark Stone and Alec Martinez were on the LTIR, as having all three players on their roster would have put them over the $81.5 million limit. Now, they can use Kesler’s contract to decrease their cap hit, allowing them to have Stone and Martinez back before the end of the regular season.

Although the move allows the Knights to have their best players on the ice for a playoff push, it does leave them short on regulars tonight against the Minnesota Wild. Vegas enters the contest as +152 underdogs, per FanDuel Sportsbook.

Thumbnail photo via Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

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