The Vegas Golden Knights reportedly have found a way to keep pending UFA Reilly Smith in town. According to Frank Seravalli, the two sides have reached a verbal agreement to be announced at some point in the future so that things work out better from a salary cap perspective.
UPDATE: The deal is reportedly $5 million a year for three years
The Golden Knights are currently over the salary cap for the upcoming season, with a current commitment of $85,157,143 to 16 players. NHL teams are allowed to exceed the salary cap by 10 percent during the offseason, but must become compliant before the start of the season. There’s also unknowns regarding who could be on LTIR, but I’d imagine the team will look to create flexibility to avoid repeating the headaches they experienced this past season while playing salary cap Jenga.
Smith’s been a very effective player since joining the Golden Knights, and has posted a line of 98-132-230 in 321 games. This past season he was limited to 56 games, but still finished with a respectable 38 points. He turned 31 in April, and the Golden Knights likely see him playing an important role in the top six for the next couple of years.
It will be interesting to see how the Golden Knights ultimately free up cap space, because they will need to open up a significant amount to ice a full roster that includes Smith. This story is just start to unfold, so be sure to stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.