The Vegas Golden Knights are expecting to be back on the ice Wednesday as they prepare for a Friday night tilt against the Los Angeles Kings, their first game back after COVID protocols postponed three matches. Unfortunately, they’ll be without defenseman Brayden McNabb, who suffered a lower-body injury last Tuesday and was placed on long-term injured reserve. That means he will miss at least ten games, though his exact recovery timeline has not been announced.
While other Golden Knights defenders like Shea Theodore and Alex Pietrangelo get most of the headlines, McNabb is still an integral part of the Vegas blue line. The 30-year-old has averaged nearly 20 minutes a game this season and is the most physical defenseman on the team, routinely racking up 200+ hits in a full season. His absence will likely lead to increased responsibility for young defenseman Nicolas Hague, but it certainly does weaken the Golden Knights’ depth.
In a shortened season, missing ten games is a huge chunk of the schedule and that is just the minimum for McNabb at this point. Being placed on LTIR however does open some added flexibility for the Golden Knights, who have been flirting with the salary cap ceiling all season after adding the expensive Pietrangelo.