The Vegas Golden Knights are grappling with uncertainty surrounding the availability of defenseman Zach Whitecloud for their opening night banner-raising against the Seattle Kraken next Tuesday. Head coach Bruce Cassidy, during a press conference Wednesday, expressed hesitance to confirm Whitecloud’s participation in the season opener.
Cassidy said that until Zach is on the ice, he can’t say he expects him to play. Whitecloud, a key depth piece for the Golden Knights, has been dealing with an undisclosed issue that has kept him off the ice during preseason activities for around a week. The 26-year-old missed significant time last season with injury, playing 59 out of 82 games and recording 12 points and a +10 rating. When healthy, he’s expected to resume his usual role on the team’s third pairing behind Alex Pietrangelo and Shea Theodore on the team’s right side.
Elsewhere in the Pacific Division today:
- Sticking with Vegas, they’re also dealing with a day-to-day injury to center William Karlsson that is not expected to stretch into the regular season. Cassidy said he’s been dealing with an undisclosed issue throughout training camp to date and that he will not play in tomorrow’s preseason contest against the Colorado Avalanche. Karlsson played a crucial role in the Knights’ run to the 2023 Stanley Cup, recording 11 goals and 17 points in 22 games. His 53 points last season were his highest since 2018-19, his sophomore campaign with Vegas, after potting 43 goals in the 2017-18 season.
- The Vancouver Canucks are bringing in some reinforcements, recalling multiple players from the AHL’s Abbotsford Canucks today. Goaltender Arturs Silovs, defenseman Filip Johansson, and forwards Arshdeep Bains, Linus Karlsson, Aatu Räty, and Max Sasson will be available to the team for tonight’s preseason contest against the Seattle Kraken. All will likely get returned to the minors tomorrow after being cut from Canucks camp earlier this week.
- Sportsnet’s Eric Francis believes a “significant announcement” regarding a new arena for the Calgary Flames could come tomorrow. Plans for a new home to replace the aging Scotiabank Saddledome are already well underway, with their ownership group and the Alberta government reaching a preliminary agreement for a new arena after the end of last season. The provincial government also greenlit the first C$39MM dedicated to the project last month.