Max Pacioretty had successful wrist surgery today in a good news/bad news announcement for Vegas Golden Knights fans.
Pacioretty Has Successful Surgery, Out Indefinitely
Update: Max Pacioretty had successful wrist surgery today. He will be out of the lineup indefinitely. #VegasBorn
— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) December 30, 2021
The rest of the Western Conference is breathing easier with the announcement that Max Pacioretty will be off the ice indefinitely. Pacioretty has only played 16 games so far this season after sustaining a broken foot earlier this year. He returned on November 24th and went on an absolute tear, getting points in 12 of his 16 games. In total so far Pacioretty has 12 goals and 21 points. Vegas is currently duelling with the Anaheim Ducks for first in the Pacific Division, and his contributions will be missed.
Pacioretty was captain of the Montreal Canadiens when Vegas traded for him in 2018. He’s proven to be a leader on the then-sophomore team as well, serving as an alternate captain since 2019-20. In his 201 regular-season games with the Golden Knights, he’s racked up 90 goals and 178 points total. He played his usual 17:30-ish minutes in the Golden Knights’ last game, December 28th.
What Happens Now
It’s not like the Golden Knights are going to get a replacement for him. Not immediately, in any case. Sitting in the wings is Jack Eichel, who has been skating since the beginning of the month. There were questions about how the team would fit Eichel’s $10,000,000 cap hit on the team. At least some of that can have an answer in Max Pacioretty’s own $7,000,000 hit. Vegas already has current captain Mark Stone on the injured reserve list, along with quite the number of players on long-term reserve. With Eichel on their long-term reserve list are Alec Martinez, Patrick Nolan, and new arrival Jake Bischoff.
As important as Pacioretty has been to the team, Vegas is deep enough to withstand his loss. It’s unlikely they will try to bring in a replacement, especially if Jack Eichel remains on track to join the team by March. With the new “taxi squad” rules coming in and their cap limitations, the team is more likely to distribute his ice time.