Vegas Golden Knights: Breaking down the Salary Cap ramifications for 2020-21

LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 31: Marc-Andre Fleury #29 of the Vegas Golden Knights is introduced before the team's game against the San Jose Sharks at T-Mobile Arena on March 31, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Golden Knights won 3-2 and clinched the Pacific Division title. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 31: Marc-Andre Fleury #29 of the Vegas Golden Knights is introduced before the team's game against the San Jose Sharks at T-Mobile Arena on March 31, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Golden Knights won 3-2 and clinched the Pacific Division title. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /
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Alex Pietrangelo of the St. Louis Blues controls the puck during the second period of a game against the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center on March 11, 2020.
Alex Pietrangelo of the St. Louis Blues controls the puck during the second period of a game against the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center on March 11, 2020. /

What else the Knights need in 2020-21

It is no secret that the Golden Knights crave a puck-moving defenseman and an absolute horse on the blueline.

The perfect candidate to tick both those boxes could be on the open market this off-season in St. Louis Blues Captain Alex Pietrangelo, who is a pending UFA.

Pietrangelo would tick all the boxes for Vegas, as we outlined here, but he will attract a whole army of potential suitors and will likely command anywhere between $8-$11 million on the open market.

That would blow the Golden Knights out of the race given their cap situation next year, although it could have been so different had the salary cap risen as expected only a few weeks ago.

Of course, the Golden Knights could opt to try and trade one of their big hitters from the top-six, with either Paul Stastny or Reilly Smith seeming the most expendable options, in order to make room for a big-ticket defenseman.

That would just be speculation on our part at this moment, however, and we have tried to base this on fact.

Overall, should the salary cap remain at $81.5 million for the 2020-21 NHL season, then the Vegas Golden Knights will once again be pressed right up against the cap given the amount of free agents they have to try and re-sign.

They can play hardball with their restricted free agents in Nicolas Roy, Chandler Stephenson and Nick Cousins, but even getting that trio signed to new deals all at a bargain rate won’t give them too much relief.

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So, while they will still boast a Stanley Cup contending roster, the Vegas Golden Knights for the second year running won’t have the scope to fill too many roster holes or go out and attract a big-name free agent defenseman to truly push them over the top.

That is the harsh realities of the post-coronavirus world we now live in.

All salary cap date courtesy of capfriendly.com