The Vegas Golden Knights have had a busy off-season, but we haven’t quite seen the end of it just yet.
The seven-year, $61.6-million contract signed by star defenceman Alex Pietrangelo, the biggest catch of this year’s free agency class, upped Vegas’ status as a major Stanley Cup threat but it also upped their payroll, putting them above the salary cap limit of $81.5 million. Trading away Nate Schmidt (and his $5.95-million hit) at the time of the Pietrangelo deal got them closer to cap compliance but the team remains almost $1 million over as we eye a 2020-21 season that’s just over a month away, according to the NHL’s latest scheduling target.
An autumn of trade rumours had several names swirling, and Vegas’ penchant for making big splashes on the trade and free agency front suggested no one was safe — not even the club’s leading scorer.
“We’re not shopping Patches,” Foley said. “We do have cap issues, and so some of those things have to be resolved as we go forward, we started getting into the season. But he definitely is not being shopped.”
Pacioretty was acquired by Vegas in a September 2018 blockbuster with the Montreal Canadiens and quickly signed to a four-year extension upon his arrival. He has three more years on that deal, which carries a $7-million cap hit.
The 32-year-old is coming off one of the best seasons of his career, leading Vegas in goals (32) and points (66) while matching a career-high in assists (34).
Vegas is not alone in being above the salary cap at the moment. Nine other clubs — including the Vancouver Canucks, Toronto Maple Leafs, Winnipeg Jets and Edmonton Oilers — will need to make adjustments.