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Annual tradition: questioning Mark Stone’s injury and Vegas’ intentions
Credit: Capture d'écran / Screenshot
And did you enjoy your trade deadline day on Wednesday, March 6?

Obviously, I’m not exactly the first to have made the tasty joke… but that’s for a reason: it moved en masse yesterday, some 48 hours before the March 8 deadline, at 3 p.m. Eastern.

Here’s what happened yesterday.

But what’s getting the most attention is the Vegas Golden Knights’ outfit. The club picked up Noah Hanifin to build a crazy blue line for the playoffs.

And to do so, the club’s GM (Kelly McCrimmon) got a helping hand from Mark Stone, who was again placed on the long-term injury list in the last few days.

The result? The Knights have artificially created salary cap space. This opens the door to Hanifin, Anthony Mantha, another potential acquisition (more on that later)… but also to suspicion, of course.

After all, for the third year in a row, captain Mark Stone was placed on the long-term injured list in February or March. And it should be remembered that the first two times, he returned at the start of the playoffs. As luck would have it…

Every year, it’s the same thing. And while we know that the Knights’ captain is injured to some degree, we also know that executives in every sport invent injuries and timelines to get their way.

In MLB, former Mets GM Billy Eppler was banned from Major League Baseball in 2024 for inventing injuries… which surprised many clubs since everyone in the league does it. And you think it’s only done in baseball?

But hey. All this to say that doubts are flooding in about the Golden Knights, who don’t give a damn. After all, no one’s going to stop them, since every team, one day, may need to do the same.

So the LTIR (season-only salary cap) helps the club, and fans continue to make jokes about Stone – and Alec Martinez, who could also go on the long-term injured list.

Why Martinez too? Because the club isn’t done shopping yet.

According to Frank Seravalli, the 2025 first-round pick going to Calgary for Hanifin could become a 2026 first-round pick if Vegas trades his pick by tomorrow afternoon.

And I don’t know if you’ve checked out Cap Friendly lately, but the Vegas club is still in possession of its first pick in a few months, in 2024.

I know the draft will take place in the City of Vice’s sphere, so at home, but the club is keeping the door open to trade its first pick in 2024 AND 2025 in the next few hours.

Nothing less.

Is Jake Guentzel, who is in the club’s sights, becoming a possibility for Vegas? Of course. The price is too high for Florida and Vancouver, but obviously, the Golden Knights aren’t afraid of that.

Vegas executives should look at what happened in New York last year (adding Vladimir Tarasenko and Patrick Kane destroyed the club’s balance, and it lost in the first round), but… which club would it be?

The 2023 champions would undoubtedly be the favorites to repeat the feats of 2023. And I say this as well, but if the club is willing to overpay, perhaps Dominique Ducharme could put in a good word for his former Montreal Canadiens defenseman, David Savard…

In Brief

– Here are the club’s summer free agents. Will Jonathan Marchessault find common ground with his GM?

– Ryan Whitney wants to see clubs trade a first-round pick. #WinNow

– Jake Guentzel: let’s keep an eye on the Hurricanes.

– Joel Edmundson at 25% salary, that’s attractive.

– Read more.

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