LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The trade Wednesday of high-scoring left wing Max Pacioretty continues a series of moves to free salary cap space by the Golden Knights.

The deal that sends Pacioretty, 33, to the Carolina Hurricanes relieves the Knights of the final year of his $7 million contract. The Knights also sent an improving player, defenseman Dylan Coghlan, 24, to the Hurricanes in the deal. In return, the Knights get future considerations.

On June 16, the Knights dumped the $5 million contract of forward Evgeni Dadonov, shipping him to the Montreal Canadiens for the contract of defenseman Shea Weber.

Weber, who is expected to retire because of injury, will be placed on injured reserve. It means his annual salary of slightly more than $7.8 million through the 2025-26 season will be used to further ease the Knights’ cap burden.

Last July, the Knights sent goaltender Marc Andre-Fleury, arguably the team’s most popular player, and his contract worth $7 million annually to Chicago for the minor-league contract of Mikael Hakkarainen. They also traded rugged wing Ryan Reaves ($1.7 million annually) to the New York Rangers for a draft pick.

The Knights announced Wednesday’s trade and the signing of wing Reilly Smith in a late afternoon news release. Smith’s deal, which was reported last month, is for three years at an annual salary of $5 million, which will offset some of the gains of the Pacioretty deal.

The team also announced a series of other signings:

  • Forward Brett Howden, one year at $1.5 million
  • Forward Jonas Rondbjerg, three years at an annual salary of $766,666
  • Forward Sheldon Rempal, two years at an annual salary of $762,500
  • Frward Byron Froese, two years at an annual salary of $762,500
  • Goaltender Michael Hutchinson, one year at $750,000

Pacioretty, 33, has 323 goals and 642 points in 850 career games. He spent his first 10 seasons in the NHL with Montreal and was acquired by the Knights in 2019 for a draft pick and forwards Tomas Tatar and Nick Suzuki.

Pacioretty was highly productive with the Knights, scoring 97 goals with 97 assists in 224 games. But he also was prone to injury, playing 39 games this past season and 49 games in 2020-21.