Losing Mark Stone: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

The Vegas Golden Knights saw Mark Stone go out of commission on Tuesday against Nashville. How Vegas can prep for the aftermath.
Minnesota Wild v Vegas Golden Knights
Minnesota Wild v Vegas Golden Knights / Ethan Miller/GettyImages
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The Vegas Golden Knights got some bad news regarding their captain, Mark Stone. It came after a terrible hit in Tuesday's game against Nashville.

As if the Golden Knights didn't want to hear more bad news regarding their captain. They just got Shea Theodore back, only to lose a vital part of their attack. It's the old phrase: "One step forward, two steps back."

While there's a silver lining to all this (such as freeing up cap space by putting him on LTIR), the Golden Knights are down another man. The latest injury has Golden Knights fans saying, "Here we go again."

This Isn't the First Time for Mark Stone

Last season, Mark Stone played through a broken wrist in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals. He also sustained various back injuries throughout his career, where he missed some time. Having a second back surgery in 13 months is an example of this.

So it shouldn't come as a surprise that the center is sidelined once again. There are numerous issues with not having your leader on the ice. For one, you're losing a key offensive figure. That's especially true on the forecheck, where you need a forward with a 200-foot game.

Stone is also a spark plug for the team. His passion and emotion reach his teammates, inspiring them to improve their game. Without Stone, you have a team that's less inspired and is looking for answers to their woes. Having Stone gets more out of the team in tough times.

That's especially true with the upcoming slate of games. With games against Toronto and Boston, life isn't getting easier for the Vegas Golden Knights. Whether it's Adin Hill returning to form or slowing the offense down, something must change. Without Stone, Vegas loses a key voice.

How Vegas Can Save Themselves

For one, Jack Eichel was reported to be returning "in the not so distant future." Having arguably your best player return is a big part of the puzzle, boosting Vegas offensively.

Vegas could also look to add an additional piece to improve their roster. Remember, the trade deadline is March 8. Vegas has plenty of time to swing a trade for a player, whether it's Frank Vatrano or Reilly Smith, the Knights must swing a move.

Whatever the case, a solution must come quickly. In 2021-2022, injuries devastated a Golden Knights team where they missed the playoffs altogether. Without the proper adaptability and resources, Vegas will fall behind.

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