Of course Mark Stone is going to be ready for the playoffs

Of course Mark Stone is going to be ready for the playoffs with Vegas.
Nashville Predators v Vegas Golden Knights
Nashville Predators v Vegas Golden Knights / Ethan Miller/GettyImages

The Vegas Golden Knights are one of the best franchises in the NHL. They are obsessed with winning and will do whatever they can to give themselves the best chance. It came together in 2023 when they won the Stanley Cup for the first time in franchise history. 

A large part of that was the Mark Stone story. They had him on LTIR at the trade deadline last year and they made some big trades to improve their team. His big cap number was replaced by some more depth pieces as LTIR players don’t hit the cap. 

Then he was magically ready to go for game one of the playoffs where there is no salary cap. Once he returned, he was one of the best players on the team as you’d expect. He didn’t win the Conn Smythe Trophy but he was in the mix. 

This year, they did the same thing with the same player. Both times he had an actual injury but they used it to their advantage. With him on LTIR, they traded for Noah Hanifin and Tomas Hertl who are great players that make them an even better team. 

The Vegas Golden Knights are smarter than everyone in the NHL

Now, on Friday we learned that Mark Stone skated in Vegas’ red non-contact jersey. With four games to go, he won’t play in them but he sure may be ready for the postseason on April 20th! It is allowed in the NHL and the Knights take full advantage of it. 

When healthy, Stone is one of the best players in the NHL. He is a winger who plays like a Selke-caliber center. His work in all three zones helps the Knights win like nobody else on the team. 

He is also the captain for a reason. He brings a tremendous amount of leadership which helps galvanize the players on the team. Few players in the league have impacted their franchise the way that Mark Stone has. 

Some stars are very passive. Mark Stone is not. There is some snarl to the way that he plays. If he is angry, few people are more frustrating to play against. 

The cool thing is that we get to see Mark Stone play again. He is very entertaining. There are going to be tons of people mad about it because of the cap circumvention that goes on in Vegas but people are mostly mad that their team isn’t smart enough to do it.