The NHL trade deadline is rapidly approaching, and with the injury to Mark Stone, the Vegas Golden Knights are expected to be in the hunt for a high caliber player.
Days ago, NHL analyst Kevin Weekes linked Timo Meier, perhaps the biggest name available, to the Golden Knights. While that does remain a possibility, it seems likely that the San Jose Sharks would prefer to move their biggest trade chip to a team outside of their division, meaning it may be hard for Kelly McCrimmon to swing a deal for the 26-year-old winger. However, another big name has been linked to the Sharks, this time from Elliotte Friedman.
On his latest 32 Thoughts podcast, Friedman said he has wondered about the possibility of the Golden Knights going after St. Louis Blues centerman Ryan O’Reilly, which could make sense for a number of reasons. The first is that the Blues are sellers heading into this deadline, proven by the fact that they chose to ship of Vladimir Tarasenko to the New York Rangers this week. The other is the fact that O’Reilly would once again form a 1-2 punch down the middle with Jack Eichel, a situation which the two also did together as members of the Buffalo Sabres.
The 2022-23 season hasn’t been one to remember for O’Reilly, who has just 10 goals and 16 points in 37 games. That said, everyone is well aware that the 32-year-old raises his play when the stakes matter the most, proven by the fact that he won the Conn Smythe Trophy while leading the Blues to a Stanley Cup back in 2019. There are few in the league who are as big of gamers as he is, making him a potentially great add to this Golden Knights team.
What also makes O’Reilly intriguing, especially compared to Meier, is the fact that he would come cheaper. Given his down season, his value has lowered significantly, and he may be able to be had at a discounted price. Perhaps a change of scenery will be all he needs to get back to being the elite two way center he has been in the past. If that is the case, the Golden Knights could end up with a very, very impressive player in Ryan O’Reilly on their hands.
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