The Vegas Golden Knights have signed Max Pacioretty to a four-year deal worth $28 million.
The team announced the extension Monday afternoon, about 12 hours after announcing they acquired Pacioretty from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for Tomas Tatar, Nick Suzuki, and a 2019 second-round draft pick. The extension was in place before the trade was finalized, according to Golden Knight’s general manager George McPhee.
Pacioretty’s extension includes a limited no-trade clause that kicks in at the start of the 2019-20 season. He can submit a list of up to 10 teams that he cannot be traded to. According to NHLNumbers.com, Pacioretty’s cap hit remains at $4.5 million for this upcoming season, leaving the Golden Knights with approximately $9.5 million of cap space. Whether or not the Golden Knights should utilize that space is up for debate.
The team still needs to sign defenseman Shea Theodore, but they are not required to offer him more than a $1 million qualifying offer. Because Theodore is a restricted free agent with no arbitration rights, he is exercising his only leverage in the contract dispute by withholding from signing the qualifying contract.Theodore is expected to sit out the start of training camp, but it’s likely a deal gets done before the regular season begins on October 4.
With William Karlsson and Alex Tuch both set to become restricted free agents at the end of the season, McPhee will most likely avoid tying up any more cap space in the coming seasons. Add in the impending unrestricted free agency of Nate Schmidt, and the Golden Knights could be up against the cap ceiling next year. A far cry from last year’s inaugural season when they struggled getting above the cap floor. A surprise Stanley Cup Finals run will do that to a team.