According to Jesse Granger of The Athletic, preliminary offers to the Vegas Golden Knights for Nikita Gusev have included a second-round pick along with a low-level prospect or a lower draft pick.
Granger, who previously reported that Gusev is looking for an annual $4 million salary on a two-year deal compared to the Golden Knights’ offer of a $2 million AAV, believes the underwhelming offers may be the reason Vegas president George McPhee has openly discussed trading the 27-year-old.
Gusev joined the Golden Knights ahead of the playoffs this spring after nine seasons in the KHL but did not appear in a game with the team. He led the KHL in points in 2018-19 with 17 goals and 82 points in 62 games with SKA St. Petersburg before joining Vegas.
“There’s definitely an interest in him,” McPhee told The Athletic earlier this month. “We’ve had people call us on him. We’ll see what develops. I can’t tell you what will happen, but we’ll work on it. He’s been very, very good on the international stage. He wants to play in the NHL. He worked very hard to get over here, and we’re going to accommodate him one way or another, either here or with another club.”
The cap-crunched Golden Knights are already $3.5 million over the $81.5 million cap and have just $1.7 million left in space with David Clarkson's contract shelved on long-term injured reserve. Gusev is the team's lone remaining restricted free agent.