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Golden Knights trade center Paul Stastny, clear cap room

Updated October 9, 2020 - 12:44 pm

DEER LODGE, Mont. — The Golden Knights started their offseason makeover Friday, trading center Paul Stastny to the Winnipeg Jets.

In exchange for the 34-year-old Stastny, the Knights received defenseman Carl Dahlstrom and a conditional 2022 fourth-round pick.

Stastny is entering the final year of his contract and carries a $6.5 million salary cap hit that the Jets will absorb in full. In Winnipeg, Stastny is expected to revisit the second-line center role he played at the end of the 2017-18 season when he was dealt to the Jets from St. Louis at the trade deadline.

“The last couple days, there’s been rumblings,” Stastny said on Sportsnet about the trade. “When I heard that Winnipeg was interested or that could be a possibility, we got a little excited. Once we knew we were going back there, my wife and I and the kids were pretty pumped up. My time there was great. I loved all the guys there and the organization. So many good players to play with, so it’s exciting to go back.”

Stastny played two seasons with the Knights after signing as a free agent in 2018.

He posted 42 points in 50 games during 2018-19 after missing most of the first two months of the season with a knee injury.

But Stastny got off to a slow start last season and was moved throughout the lineup. He settled into a role on the second line under coach Pete DeBoer and finished with 17 goals and 21 assists in 71 games.

Stastny said on Sportsnet he had no hard feelings about the trade. He even said he will still consider moving back to Las Vegas when he retires.

“From Bill Foley, the owner, the way everything’s run there, it’s a first-class organization,” Stastny said. “I’m thankful for my time there.”

The move puts the Knights under the $81.5 million salary cap and frees general manager Kelly McCrimmon to swing for the fences in free agency, which began at 9 a.m. Pacific time Friday.

Defenseman Alex Pietrangelo is expected to hit the open market after failing to come to terms with St. Louis, and the Knights are one of his reported suitors.

Dahlstrom, 25, has 10 assists in 64 career NHL games and probably will play for the Henderson Silver Knights.

The 6-foot-4-inch, 235-pound native of Sweden has one year remaining on his contract at $850,000 and will be a restricted free agent.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Contact David Schoen at dschoen@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5203. Follow @DavidSchoenLVRJ on Twitter.

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