Vegas already has plenty of their payroll earmarked for LTIR next season. Robin Lehner and his $5MM will be there after his hip surgery while they added Shea Weber’s $7.857MM AAV in a trade with Montreal this summer with the veteran’s playing days already over. Those two might not be the only ones on there, however, as Danny Webster of the Las Vegas Sun relays that it’s widely expected that forward Nolan Patrick will also be on LTIR in 2022-23 as he continues to deal with an upper-body injury that dates back to last season.
The 23-year-old has basically had nothing but bad luck since being selected second overall in 2017. He has missed considerable time with migraines and after getting a fresh start with the Golden Knights, Patrick missed 55 games to various injuries. In the end, he played in just 25 games, recording only two goals and five assists. On a related note, the player he was initially traded for in the three-way swap – defenseman Ryan Ellis – only played in four games himself last season with lingering questions continuing about his availability for next season as well.
If Patrick isn’t able to play, his $1.2MM would be added to Vegas’ already sizable LTIR pool which would give them a little bit more flexibility to work with this summer albeit with another roster spot to try to fill as well. On top of that, it would likely call his playing career into question. Things aren’t quite at that point just yet but if Patrick can’t suit up at all next season, it will certainly be fair to wonder if what once looked like a promising career will be coming to a very premature end.