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Lightning Round: Vegas Golden Knights break LTIR record

And the NHL season gets extended

Vegas Golden Knights v Edmonton Oilers
EDMONTON, AB - FEBRUARY 8: Max Pacioretty #67, Chandler Stephenson #20, Mark Stone #61, Brayden McNabb #3 and Shea Theodore #27 of the Vegas Golden Knights skates during the game against the Edmonton Oilers on February 8, 2022 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images

You might recall from the NHL Trade Deadline that the Vegas Golden Knights tried to get rid of Evgenii Dadonov to Anaheim in order to give them the cap space to bring back Jack Eichel. After that trade was rejected (Vegas didn’t honor Dadonov’s no-trade clause that they apparently didn’t even know about), the Golden Knights moved the mess around by putting Mark Stone on LTIR. Now, Stone is back.

What the team did to keep themselves from going over the cap (which they so very clearly are, by about $10 million) was to put an astonishing seven players on LTIR in order to activate Stone with minimal room left over. Seven players on LTIR at once is actually the new NHL record since its development in 2015.

Chicago had six in 2021 with Toews, Seabrook, Shaw, Smith, Dach, and Nylander.

Toronto has six as well in 2020 with Horton, Clarkson, Rielly, Ceci, Mikheyev, and Johnsson.

Neither of those teams, from what I can tell, weaponized that cap space in order to be over the cap by acquiring players when their guys were injured. They just had injuries and needed the space to bring in spares. The Tampa Bay Lightning weren’t trying to juggle Kucherov in and out of the lineup all season either by clearly acquiring more players than they could afford. He was out the whole season, no one knew what he would be when he came back. The LTIR contracts of Gaborik and Nilsson never counted towards a playable roster.

I think if people have a problem with what the Lightning did — which they only had a problem with once they won the Cup — they should have a much bigger problem with what’s going on over there in Vegas. Just my opinion.

Lightning Links

It wasn’t a shining example of end-to-end hockey, more like what you might expect out of two exhausted teams playing at the end of the season. The Dallas Stars scored late to secure the 1-0 win. Many thanks to Peter for staying up through the whole game to recap it for us.

The New York Islanders won their game against the Pittsburgh Penguins last night to keep their playoff dreams alive. If they lose a game outright or the Lightning win one game, the Islanders will lose another path to the playoffs. It's a longshot for them, but they could still catch the Capitals or Penguins.

The NHL schedule is officially getting extended in May with the Winning Jets needing to postpone their game against the Seattle Kraken due to a massive blizzard hitting Manitoba. Officials are urging people to stay inside and not travel as there will be zero visibility. This game isn’t expected to have playoff implications with Winnipeg five points behind Dallas and having played two more games, so it’ll be interesting to see if the Stanley Cup Playoffs will start on the weekend or on Monday (May 2nd).

The Anaheim Ducks are keeping Dade City’s own Dallas Eakins for another year as the head coach.

Freddy Andersen, what exactly are you doing out there?