The Vegas Golden Knights seem to be a team that is being mentioned in multiple rumors for many pending unrestricted free agents despite having little to no cap room to speak of. The most recent one has the Golden Knights ready to pounce on St. Louis Blues star defenseman Alex Pietrangelo, who currently isn’t expected to re-sign with St. Louis.
David Schoen of the Las Vegas Review-Journal confirms that the Golden Knights are ready to go after the right-shot defenseman, who finished fourth in the Norris Trophy voting this year, assuming he reaches free agency on Oct. 9 and the team will deal with the salary cap juggling after that. Much of the reasoning comes from owner Bill Foley’s will to win and spend to the cap ceiling, while other teams are trying to refrain from that.
Of course, if Pietrangelo does opt to return to St. Louis or chooses another destination, the scribe notes there are other options for the team to upgrade on defense in free agency, including a pair of blueliners who spent time playing for head coach Peter DeBoer in San Jose, Brenden Dillon and Dylan DeMelo.
- ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski reports that the five Dallas Stars’ players who were “unfit to play” for Game 5 are still unfit as of Sunday. Ben Bishop, Roope Hintz, Radek Faksa, Stephen Johns and Blake Comeau are all expected to miss Game 6 on Monday. A new player to monitor, however, will be defenseman Andrej Sekera, who is considered to be a game-time decision, according to NHL.com’s Mike Heika. Sekera missed half of the first period and all of the second period after blocking a shot during Game 5 Saturday. He did return for the third period, but forced himself to play through the pain.
- Coyotes beat reporter Craig Morgan reports that the scouting cleanout in Arizona is continuing. The team, who recently fired scouting director Lindsay Hofford and assistant to the GM Jake Goldberg, has removed two more names in the front office. Phil McRae, director of North American Amateur Scouting and Mat Milbury, an amateur scout, are both no longer with the team.
- Murat Ates of The Athletic (subscription required) writes that Winnipeg Jets defensive prospect Dylan Samberg’s ability to make the NHL squad out of training camp next season could be critical to the team’s playoff chances. Samberg, the 6-foot-4 defenseman out of the University of Minnesota-Duluth, is believed to be close to NHL ready, but might need more seasoning in the AHL. However, with just four defenseman under contract and little cap room to maneuver with, the scribe believes that the quicker that Samberg can get acclimated to the NHL pace could be critical for the team. While there is little worry about this defensive game, there are questions on how well his offense will translate over.