The Vegas Golden Knights made a pair of roster transactions Thursday, sending forward Tomas Hyka and goaltender Maxime Lagace back down to the AHL to continue the season with the Chicago Wolves.
In 10 games with the Golden Knights this season, Hyka’s potted one goal along with a pair of helpers while mostly playing on Vegas’ third line. Lagace made two appearances in net since being called up in February, but Vegas ended up losing both of those contests (one of which being Wednesday’s demoralizing loss to the New Jersey Devils).
With Hyka and Lagace now back in the AHL, this opens the door for forward James Neal and goaltender Malcolm Subban to potentially make a return in Vegas’ Friday night game against the Minnesota Wild.
Neal’s absence has certainly been felt as of late. In the 11 games he’s missed since Feb. 17 (not including Vegas’ Feb. 26 game against the Los Angeles Kings, in which Neal played) the Golden Knights are 6-5-0 and have been held to two or fewer goals four times.
The return of Subban also takes a massive load off Marc-Andre Fleury’s shoulders, who’s started in 18 of a possible 19 games since Subban last played — coincidentally against the Wild on Feb. 2.