The Golden Knights are back from their bye week but there’s still a lot of hockey left before the playoffs begin. Let’s get to it:
“Could Nikita Gusev’s rights be in play at the deadline?” — @NHLJackManning (Twitter)
General manager George McPhee said on Jan. 22, “I couldn’t tell you right now what we’d be planning on doing,” at the NHL’s Feb. 25 trade deadline, so it’s unknown whether Gusev could be available.
Still, he’s a name Knights fans should know.
Vegas owns the NHL rights to the 26-year-old forward, who plays for SKA Saint Petersburg in Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League. Gusev is one of the KHL’s best players and was named the league’s MVP in May after scoring 62 points in 54 games in 2017-18.
He also could look to move to the NHL as soon as this summer. Gusev signed a two-year extension with SKA Saint Petersburg in June 2017 so there’s a chance he could play at T-Mobile Arena next season.
Even if he decides to stay in Russia, the Knights own his rights indefinitely. But for now he’s a valuable prospect (and trade chip) in the Knights’ system.
“(Could Erik Haula) be making a return to the ice soon?” — Rochelle (Facebook)
McPhee said recently he didn’t know whether Haula would play again this season after suffering a right knee injury Nov. 6 at Toronto.
“As I’ve said before, it’s a unique injury,” McPhee said Jan. 22. “It’s not one we’ve seen in hockey very often. He did have surgery and things are going really well, but until he’s on the ice and skating, we don’t know (if he’ll return this season).”
“Can the public go and watch (practices)? Is it crowded? Do you have to pay to park?” — Linda (email)
Short version: Yes, yes and no.
Knights practices and morning skates at City National Arena are always open to the public and parking is free. They often draw huge crowds, so showing up 15-20 minutes early is advisable to ensure a good parking spot and a seat in the bleachers.