The Vegas Golden Knights Still Need a Center

The Vegas Golden Knights' surprising semifinal elimination by the Montreal Canadiens prompted speculation linking them to Jack Eichel. After moving Marc-Andre Fleury, the focus shifts to the team's search for a center.
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Vegas Golden Knights

The Vegas Golden Knights' surprising semifinal elimination by the Montreal Canadiens prompted speculation linking them to Jack Eichel. Trading Marc-Andre Fleury to the Chicago Blackhawks in a cost-cutting move was seen by some as a precursor to acquiring the Buffalo Sabres center.

Golden Knights general manager Kelly McCrimmon claims his club is done making moves after re-signing Alec Martinez, acquiring winger Evgeni Dadonov from Ottawa and adding Mattias Janmark and Laurent Brossoit via free agency. “We're not likely to be involved in any other discussions,” he told David Schoen of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. McCrimmon pointed out they've used up the money available to them and addressed their needs.

Except, of course, for that glaring one at center.

The Golden Knights are pressed for cap space, with Cap Friendly showing them sitting $1.787 million above the $81.5-million cap with 22 players under contract. Pursuing Eichel, with his $10-million cap hit through 2025-26, appears out of the question. However, that doesn't he wouldn't be interested if a more affordable option surfaced in the trade market.

Daily Faceoff's Frank Seravalli has had Golden Knights wingers Reilly Smith and Jonathan Marchessault on his list of this summer's trade targets for some time. Each carry an annual average value of $5 million. One of them could be swapped for a center with a comparable salary.

The New York Post's Larry Brooks believes Rangers GM Chris Drury faces a choice between re-signing Mika Zibanejad or acquiring Eichel. If Drury chooses the latter, perhaps McCrimmon offers up one of those wingers for Zibanejad, who carries a $5.35-million cap hit for this season. He could be willing to waive his no-movement clause to join a Cup contender in Vegas.

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