The Goose Watch is closed. In a quite staggering trade, the Vegas Golden Knights have traded Russian left-winger Nikita Gusev to the New Jersey Devils.
The deal works out somewhat decently for all parties involved. Vegas gets New Jersey’s third-round pick in the 2020 NHL draft as well as their second round in the 2021 draft. The Devils get Gusev, who proved to be an absolutely machine in the KHL. Gusev gets a two-year contract at $4.5 million AAV.
The trade comes as one of many power moves New Jersey is trying out this offseason. In June, they gave the Nashville Predators defensemen Steven Santini and Jeremy Davies for P.K. Subban. According to CapFriendly, even with these huge trades, they still have $12 million in cap space to play with.
The Golden Knights, however, don’t have much cap space to work with right now. After successfully trading off David Clarkson’s $5.25 million contract to Toronto, they only have $1.025 million to work with.
We previously stated that the Golden Knights had a couple options when we covered the Gusev situation a few days ago. As Katie stated, Vegas could bring Nic Hague up from the Chicago Wolves and give the Golden Knights a little defensive boost. Jimmy Schuldt would be a good addition as well.
With October still just over two months away (agonizing as it is), George McPhee might have a few tricks up his sleeve remaining. We will update as more information becomes available.