According to a report from NHL insider Elliotte Friedman, the Vegas Golden Knights took a real run at acquiring Taylor Hall in free agency and Steven Stamkos via trade before committing over $61 million to defenseman Alex Pietrangelo.
Hall, of course, signed a one year deal with the Buffalo Sabres and it remains to be seen what happens with Stamkos and the Tampa Bay Lightning, but in his latest 31 Thoughts column for Sportsnet Friedman reports that Vegas GM Brad McCrimmon was in hot pursuit of the pair before signing Pietrangelo.
From Friedman's 31 Thoughts column:
What we’re hearing: the Golden Knights, aggressive from their owner on down, tried to do even more, considering Hall and Steven Stamkos.
We’ll get to Hall in a moment, but I do believe Stamkos was asked to consider waiving his no-move by Tampa Bay. There’s a wall of secrecy around it, and the captain is recovering from surgery. Obviously, his health is a huge factor. (Stamkos calmed the Lightning after their emotional overtime loss in Game 5 of the Stanley Final, re-assuring them, reminding them how well they played.)
For Vegas, creating the cap room for Pietrangelo was hard enough — creating even more is a multiple-Tylenol headache. As GM Kelly McCrimmon indicated, you chase difference-makers when they become available, because so rarely does it happen in the NHL.
Obviously the Golden Knights had to trade defenseman Nate Schmidt for practically nothing just to make room for Pietrangelo's salary, so it would be interesting to see what the team would have done in order to make room for Hall and Stamkos. I'd imagine that at least two of Jonathan Marchessault, Reilly Smith and Alex Tuch would have been shown the door. There's no way Vegas is trading Mark Stone, Shea Theodore or Max Pacioretty, but pretty much everyone else would be in play, you have to imagine. Of course, there's a real possibility that at least Hall signs with Vegas if McCrimmon was able to offload goaltender Marc Andre Fleury and his $7 million annual salary... but... well we all know how that went.
For the full article from Friedman, click below: