Golden Knights Receiving Eye Rolls from Around the League as Stone Returns to Practice

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

President of Hockey Content for Daily Faceoff, Frank Seravalli, made a statement that aligns with how many view the Vegas Golden Knights handling of Mark Stone’s injury with respect to the salary cap.

Here is why people are questioning Stone’s situation. This is the second year in a row Stone returned to practice from an injury that ended his regular season exactly eight days before the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs are scheduled to start.

Stone played game one of last year’s NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs. I will go out on a sturdy limb and assume Stone plays game one of this year’s NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Let’s get this out of the way. Stone suffered a lacerated spleen, a legitimate injury. The NHL can, and probably will, pull medical records to verify the injury. The Golden Knights did not conspire a plan with Stone and the Nashville Predators on Feb. 20 for Stone to lacerate his spleen.

“I don’t know how much more time that he’ll miss beyond that,” General Manager Kelly McCrimmon said on Mar. 10. “It’s really an unknown for us. These are different type of injuries than what hockey players normally sustain. It’s impossible to know what the timeline is.”

It is fair to say the fanbases of the other 31 NHL teams rolled their eyes at McCrimmon’s statement last month. Now those same fanbases are saying, “I told you so.”

Let’s go back to Seravalli’s statement. It is a fair take. Supporters of the Golden Knights should also acknowledge what Seravalli said as being fair.

Let’s pretend that the Golden Knights did not cement their spot in the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs heading into regular season game No. 82 and that the team had $9.5 million available to activate Stone. Could Stone play in game No. 82 of the regular season?

If a player is able to play in game one of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs, is it fair to assume they could have played in game No. 82 of the regular season? How could the NHL police this?

This is where the current LTIR rules are coming into question. What does NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman think about the current LTIR rules?

“It wasn’t a topic of conversation here (GM meetings) because it hasn’t been that big of an issue,” said Bettman. “The instances of LTI replacement leading into the playoffs is something that we monitor closely, and I think everybody’s satisfied, at least to this point, there hasn’t been game playing in that regard.

Let’s be clear. The NHL wants the star players on the ice during the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Golden Knights added Tomas Hertl, Noah Hanifin, and Anthony Mantha as a result of the cap space available due to Stone’s injury.

Are the Golden Knights breaking any rules? No, if they were, the NHL would penalize them for it. Could the Golden Knights usage of LTIR force changes down the line? Dallas Stars GM Jim Nill had this to say at the GM meetings.

“I think for any game you play, you should have to be cap compliant,” Nill said. “Once you get to the playoffs, you should still have to be cap compliant. Say it’s $80 million, and you’re at $90 because of LTI; you still have to be at 80 for what you put on the ice.”

If the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs started today, the Golden Knights and Stars would meet in the first round.

We Got The Jack Inside The Rink

In episode 8 of the Inside The Rink podcast, Matty and Smitty are joined by new co-host Conrad Jack. After the long hiatus, we get back to hockey with a PACKED episode!Matt Rempe & the Devils vs. Rangers Line BrawlCould the Vancouver Canucks squander a playoff opportunity? Have the Winnipeg Jets finally figured out their lines?Flyers Head Coach John Tortorella is a sound byte MACHINEOvechkin is on his way to 895, Who is next?McDavid joins elite company with 100 Assists in a seasonRyan Hartman was suspended 3 Games, was it worth 3 games??Can Auston Matthews hit 70 Goals this season?The Eastern Conference Wild Card race is heating up, who lands the two playoff berths?For all of your hockey news and more from the show, visit us at insidetherink.com and watch us on YouTube! How to support us and our sponsors:TicketmasterColumbia Sports ApparelESPN+ SubscriptionFanaticsDraft Kings – CODE ITR
  1. We Got The Jack
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