The Vegas Golden Knights are bracing for another hopeful Stanley Cup run and it looks like they could get back a key piece at some point in the playoffs. Veteran Mark Stone was cleared to return to the ice on Friday, but it's still unknown when he'll play again.

Via Elliotte Friedman:

“Vegas announced Mark Stone is cleared to practice, will be at morning skate today in a non-contact jersey.”

Stone has been sidelined since February 20th due to a lacerated spleen. Last month, the Golden Knights announced that he wouldn't play again in the regular season. The 31-year-old was a integral part of this team en route to a Cup last season and was also playing well in 2023-24, registering 16 goals and 37 assists in 56 contests.

Golden Knights not sure when Mark Stone will return

Vegas Golden Knights right wing Mark Stone (61) warms up before a game against the Calgary Flames at T-Mobile Arena.
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Speaking at Friday's morning skate, Golden Knights head coach Bruce Cassidy dropped a rather murky update on when the squad will get Mark Stone back in the lineup but he made it clear that his presence alone is huge for Vegas. After all, he is their captain.


“It's good to see him out there. He's in a red jersey which means he's progressing from what his return to play would be,” Vegas coach Bruce Cassidy said Friday. “I'm not sure what's left on that (timeline). Obviously, he's got to get clearance for his injury. We'll see how it plays out down the road. Nice to have him back out there and see him back with the group.

“I'm glad he's around and moving and back being part of the group because it's been a few years in a row he's had to sit part of that out,” Cassidy said. “It can be tough for a guy mentally. … He's the captain. He's the leader of our team so to be around his teammates is terrific for everybody.”

Stone also missed a big chunk of the regular season in 2022-23 before returning in the playoffs, ultimately putting up 24 points in 22 games. That being said, this wouldn't be a new scenario for him. Stone is very capable of jumping back into the mix and contributing after a prolonged absence.

Stone, who dealt with a back injury last year, has had to be much more careful because this injury is internal. Cassidy shed light on how the Golden Knights are treading carefully because of that:

“There's doubt with that type of injury,” Cassidy said. “You don't know when he was coming back. There's scans and all these things he has to go through with an internal injury. You just don't know what's going on there. I'm not sure he did inside, to be honest. Now, he's at least been cleared to get out and be around people, just not in the heat of the battle. So that bodes well, for him and us.”

The Golden Knights can clinch a playoff spot (as a Wild Card) on Friday with a victory over the Minnesota Wild. Vegas is slumping as of late though, losing three in a row. As things stand, they would face the Dallas Stars in the opening round, the same opponent the Knights eliminated in the Western Conference Finals a year ago.