The Vegas Golden Knights have gotten some extremely encouraging news. Defenseman Shea Theodore and forward William Carrier have been activated off of injured reserve. Carrier has been out since January 14th, while Theodore last played in early December.
The news comes as the Golden Knights prepare to take on a formidable New York Rangers team. Theodore’s return gives the Golden Knights’ blueline a major boost. It’s been ravaged by injuries in recent weeks, and the return of Theodore will help take some of the pressure off of the defenders currently eating minutes for coach Bruce Cassidy.
When healthy, Theodore is the Golden Knights’ number-two defenseman behind Alex Pietrangelo. He has 22 points in 29 games this season and averages nearly 22 minutes per night. As The Athletic’s Jesse Granger reported, he’ll slot in next to Brayden McNabb on the team’s bottom pairing, while Kaedan Korczak will exit the lineup.
With Theodore back in the mix, the Golden Knights’ stable of blueliners is transformed into one of the stronger units in the NHL, and his addition will be a major help as the team looks to take the first-place spot in the Pacific Division from the Seattle Kraken.
While the addition of Carrier back into the Golden Knights’ lineup will come with less fanfare, it is a significant one nonetheless. The energetic winger, who was a member of the original Golden Knights squad from their expansion season, is in the midst of a bit of a breakout campaign. He’s already scored 11 goals this season and will slot in nicely next to Chandler Stephenson and Phil Kessel on the team’s third line.
The return to the lineup comes at an important time for Carrier, as he’s looking to sustain his hot goal-scoring touch. If he can find a way to reach the 20-goal plateau, he’ll set himself up nicely for when his current $1.4MM AAV contract expires at the end of next season.