The Vegas Golden Knights have been decimated by injuries in 2023-24, watching key pieces Jack Eichel and Shea Theodore suffer long-term ailments. And that list got even longer after star forward Mark Stone was injured on Tuesday night against the Nashville Predators.

Stone sustained an upper-body injury late in the second period of a 5-3 Knights' loss to the Preds, and the 31-year-old got a brutal update from general manager Kelly McCrimmon on Wednesday.

The GM told The Sick Podcast that Stone would be out “for a while,” also confirming that the Canadian was getting additional testing done on Wednesday morning. It's possible he could miss the rest of the regular season. Later on Thursday, it was reported that Stone was diagnosed with a lacerated spleen and is week-to-week, per Frank Seravalli and the Golden Knights X account.

Sounds like #VGK Mark Stone is dealing with a lacerated spleen. Timeline is tough to pin down with an injury of that nature, but it’s obviously a significant one.'

‘Per Head Coach Bruce Cassidy: – Mark Stone is week-to-week with an upper-body injury. The injury is not related to his back. ‘

It's obviously an awful blow to a forward core that is still missing Eichel. McCrimmon also told the podcast the American remains on schedule after undergoing lower-body surgery earlier this year. He hasn't played since Jan. 11.

Stone is having an exceptional campaign and has stepped up in Eichel's absence, leading the defending Stanley Cup champions with 53 points and tied for second in goals with 11.

The captain is a key piece of this roster both on and off the ice, and his absence will be felt deeply in Vegas. His ailment could also cause McCrimmon to approach the Mar. 8 NHL Trade Deadline in a different way.

Knights could place Mark Stone on LTIR, free up space for a deadline deal

The Knights are strapped tight to the salary cap in 2023-24, but if Stone ends up replacing Eichel on LTIR, there could be enough space to make a deal or two.

Vegas could try to add another depth forward, or a defenseman, as they have at the deadline in previous years. Based on McCrimmon's comments, it seems very possible that Stone might not rejoin the club until the postseason.

“Sources say the ever-aggressive Vegas Golden Knights, who love chasing the shiny toy in their quest for a second straight Stanley Cup, are active in seeking an impact winger for their roster,” wrote Daily Faceoff's Frank Seravalli on Thursday.

“In fact, they were on that trail before captain Mark Stone went down with another injury – which the club says will keep him out ‘for a while.' Reading between the lines, that means the GM Kelly McCrimmon could have Stone’s $9.5 million to play with on LTIR.”

Look for the Golden Knights to be very involved at the deadline as they aim for a second consecutive championship in 2024.