Why this "Original Misfit" not returning makes sense

One of the "Original Misfits" isn't returning to the Vegas Golden Knights. Here's why that makes sense.
Vegas Golden Knights v San Jose Sharks - Game Seven
Vegas Golden Knights v San Jose Sharks - Game Seven / Lachlan Cunningham/GettyImages
1 of 3

The "Original Misfits" are a beloved staple in the Las Vegas community. This ragtag group of Vegas Golden Knights went on a historical run in their inaugural season, making the Stanley Cup Finals. Their unprecedented story put them in the same realm as the 1989-90 UNLV Runnin' Rebels men's basketball team. By uniting a shaken community, they've grown into beloved figures.

Unfortunately, one of those "Misfits" isn't returning to the Golden Knights next season. The player in question is William Carrier, one of three players named to not return to the team. It's sad to part with such a revered member of the group. However, it's best to move on to better things. After all, Vegas is in the middle of a salary cap crunch, with only $897,516 of non-LTIR space to work with. If you truly love something, you must set them free (although Vegas not re-signing Carrier wouldn't be as dramatic).

How did the left winger do this season? He scored six goals and two assists this season in 39 games, with a postseason goal to boot. During his Vegas tenure, he's scored 53 goals and 46 assists in seven seasons, with a career-high of 16 goals in 2022-23. Not much, but it fits him well for being a fourth-line player. After all, his role revolved around hitting his opponents, with 1,116 career hits during his time in Las Vegas.

Of course, there are some good reasons why Carrier isn't returning to the team. The Vegas Golden Knights must find the right pieces to maximize their Stanley Cup window. Therefore, it's time to let the "Original Misfit" free and pursue other opportunities. Here are three reasons why letting the 29-year-old go in free agency makes perfect sense.

William Carrier has an injury history

William Carrier had a tough time staying on the ice, playing 372 games during his seven seasons with the Vegas Golden Knights. That averages out to 53 games a season. Granted, there were some outliers during his time in Las Vegas, including the COVID-shortened 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons. However, not being on the ice hurts the team's chances of competing.

That's especially true with the Golden Knights being hit by injuries in the past few seasons. Whether it was the 2022-23 season with the wave of goaltender injuries or losing many forwards this season, Vegas hasn't been safe. What good does it do when another player can't stay healthy for the team and adds to the carnage?

The forward's history is vastly decorated, with numerous upper-body injuries hampering his career. Therefore, it would be better for general manager Kelly McCrimmon to search for cheap talent that can stay healthy. That way, they can plug themselves into the lineup regularly. With these difficulties come the obvious decline...