Colin Miller, Max Pacioretty, and others may be cap casualties
(written prior to the Erik Haula trade but more cap cutting is still needed)
Jared Clinton of The Hockey News: William Karlsson signed a fairly friendly eight-year extension but the cap damage was long done. The Vegas Golden Knights stand $7.5 million over the cap with a few players yet to sign. Then, the fallout leads to Colin Miller.
Miller appears the most likely to go with his $3.875 million cap hit along with David Clarkson‘s contract. However, even after that, there lies another choice which will likely be made. Cody Eakin becomes an option with his $3.85 million AAV.
Even Max Pacioretty could be on the trade block. His $7 million off the cap would help immensely. However, he possesses a modified no-trade clause which makes him more difficult to be traded. Needless to say, Kelly McCrimmon working the phones over the next several weeks will have to result in some deals to give Vegas a little shelter from the cap heat.
Ed Graney of the Las Vegas Review Journal: The Vegas window to win the Stanley Cup begins now and is short-term. With the Golden Knights a good ways over the cap (just less than 10% over overall), several moves are necessary. George McPhee experience this before and observed:
“We are going to have to make a few moves, and we have planned for that,” said McPhee, incoming president of hockey operations. “We are going through that exercise right now, and when we’re done, we’ll talk about it and explain it. … We’ll be tight this year on the cap.”
Again, for the window to stay open two to three years, Marc-Andre Fleury must play elite. Furthermore, the thought process is that few teams will actively help bail Vegas out of their cap mess. This cost will be expensive and a lesson to be learned.
The plan from Vegas management is while Colin Miller is almost a given casualty, a goal is to keep the entire top-six core. Vegas takes this next trade deadline off more than likely given the lack of flexibility. That becomes the cost of doing business when trying to lock a young core up these days.