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Nick Holden says his priority was to stay with Golden Knights

Updated February 25, 2020 - 6:59 pm

Defenseman Nick Holden perhaps could have made more money as an unrestricted free agent in the offseason.

But instead he jumped at the chance to sign a two-year extension with the Golden Knights.

“My priority was to stay here,” Holden said Tuesday, a day after agreeing to a $3.4 million deal. “My family is settled in here, and they love it. The team is awesome, the organization is great.

“For me and my family, it’s huge to be able to sign a two-year deal knowing we’re going to be here. We’ve loved it since we’ve been here, and our goal is to stay here, so when they came to us saying they’d like to talk about an extension, we were excited.”

Holden, 32, and his wife, Angela, have four kids, including a son who was born in Las Vegas in September 2018.

“We bought a house last year,” Holden said. “The kids love their school, and the community is amazing. We’ve enjoyed it so much, and we’re excited to have two more years.”

Holden said his contract situation wasn’t necessarily on his mind, but added that there’s some relief knowing he won’t have to deal with it this summer.

DeBoer feels for former player

After Knights coach Pete DeBoer was asked about his team’s acquisitions at the trade deadline, a question was posed about one of his former players who wasn’t moved.

Veteran Sharks forward Joe Thornton expressed his disappointment Tuesday about not being traded to a contender, and DeBoer was sympathetic.

“Nobody deserves to be holding a Stanley Cup more than Joe Thornton based on his career and what he’s done and what he stands for,” DeBoer said. “I know he’s disappointed, but he’s also a family man and his backup plan isn’t bad, which is finishing the season in San Jose in a jersey he’s worn for a long time and being with his family every day.”

Still waiting

Forward Nick Cousins, acquired from Montreal on Monday, was absent from practice Tuesday. He’s expected to arrive no later than Wednesday morning.

“They’re obviously waiting on visas and things,” DeBoer said. “It’s a little more complicated bringing him in from Canada.”

The coach said he thinks Cousins will be a valuable addition.

“I’m a big fan,” DeBoer said. “I’ve known and watched him since juniors. He’s a competitor. You know you’re playing against him. He’s got a real edge to his game, and he’s got more skill than people think.”

Free pick

Lost in all the moves Monday was the Knights picking up an additional pick in the 2021 draft.

The Knights received a conditional pick when they traded Erik Haula to Carolina in the offseason that kicked in as a result of the Hurricanes sending Haula to Florida on Monday.

They’re back

Forward Nicolas Roy and defenseman Zach Whitecloud were recalled from the American Hockey League’s Chicago Wolves on Tuesday. Both were sent down Monday to ensure that they would be eligible for the AHL postseason.

Roy remains day to day after suffering a minor injury in Saturday’s home win over Florida.

Contact Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com. Follow @AdamHillLVRJ on Twitter.

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