Golden Knights forward and leading scorer Max Pacioretty was not on the ice for the team’s practice on Monday, being labeled as “unable to participate,” per coach Peter DeBoer.
DeBoer added that his absence was not due to a positive COVID-19 test. Teams are not permitted to disclose a player’s health as part of the NHL’s Return to Play Plan.
The Golden Knights’ top line left wing, Pacioretty was replaced by Nick Cousins for the White-Gray scrimmage at City National Arena. Cousins’ role on the would-be fourth line was filled by Tomas Nosek. Defenseman Jimmy Schuldt played forward during the 30-minute scrum.
Pacioretty is the second Golden Knights player to miss time during Phase 3 of the league’s training camp 2.0, but is the first to be labeled under the official unfit to play moniker. Marc-Andre Fleury missed the first three days of camp before returning this past Friday, but his absence was labeled as “maintenance.”
The 31-year-old forward, in his second full season with Vegas, finished the regular season one point shy of tying his NHL career high. His 32 goals were the most since the 2015-16 season when captaining the Montreal Canadiens, and the 34 assists tied his career-best set from that same 2016 season.
Prior to the season’s pause on March 12 due to COVID-19, Pacioretty was set to be week-to-week with a lower-body injury with no clear timetable on a return.
With Pacioretty healthy, it gives the Golden Knights one of the more formidable top lines in the NHL with William Karlsson centering and Mark Stone on the right. Stone (9) and Pacioretty (15) were named to NHL Network’s top 20 wings right now list for their production.
The Golden Knights finishing training camp this week before going to Edmonton to complete the 2019-20 season and competing in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Vegas plays the Arizona Coyotes in an exhibition game on July 30 and begins round robin play against the Dallas Stars on Aug. 3.