Published: Mon, June 19, 2017
Sport | By Fredrick Flores

NHL Expansion Draft weighted in giving Vegas competitive team

The Whitby, Ont., native hit for 23 with the Predators a year ago, adding six more in Nashville's run to the Stanley Cup final. For the Hawks, those players are forwards Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Artem Anisimov and Marian Hossa, defensemen Niklas Hjalmarsson, Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook and goaltender Corey Crawford.

Other notable forwards left unprotected were: Minnesota center Eric Staal, a nine-time 20-goal-scorer, Los Angeles forward Dustin Brown and Montreal's Tomas Plekanec.

As this lost season drags on, and even the ice grows exhausted of the Edmonton Oilers skating on it, I'm noticing more goals against where the entire Oilers team just doesn't look sharp. Aside from Fleury, other goalies exposed are Florida's Roberto Luongo, Detroit's Peter Mrazek and Philadelphia's Michal Neuvirth. It's expected that the Golden Knights will select some players in the expansion draft with the express goal of trading them to another team to build up their stock of draft picks and young prospects.

"It's a part of the reason we like this trade", Yzerman said of the deal, which netted Mikhail Sergachev, a high-upside defensive prospect who is exempt from exposure to Vegas. Those side deals won't be announced until Wednesday night, leaving nearly a full four days of pondering and guessing why Player A is exposed or why Player B was protected.

As expected, the Red Wings have protected seven forwards, three defensemen and one goalie in the National Hockey League expansion draft.

Thornton had a cap hit of $6.8 million and Marleau $6.7 million in the last of three-year deals. The Wild have too many defensemen, so Jonas Brodin's name has been bandied about in trade rumors, and the Ottawa Senators will have to do something because defenseman Dion Phaneuf said he won't waive his no-movement clause.

There's also a wealth of proven goaltenders available given that teams were required to expose at least one.

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Former Buffalo GM Tim Murray had the framework of a deal sorted out with McPhee to protect one of the Sabres' players, as detailed here, but time will tell what Botterill has up his sleeve for the expansion draft.

Several general managers, including Arizona's John Chayka on Saturday, noted how the Golden Knights can corner the goalie market and use those assets as trade bait.

The Bruins also must expose one defenseman and two forwards who are under contract in 2017-18 and played in 40 or more National Hockey League games the prior season or played in 70 or more National Hockey League games in the prior two seasons, along with one goaltender who is under contract in 2017-18 or will be a restricted free agent at the expiration of his current contract immediately prior to 2017-18. They also protected goalie Martin Jones.

Chayka was exaggerating, but only slightly.

The rules for the expansion draft essentially give the Golden Knights the option to select a third-line forward, second-pair defenseman or backup goaltender from every team. With the exception of the 31st team, the Golden Knights, teams will not be allowed to make trades, place players on waivers, or sign players to contracts during this period.

That doesn't mean the other GMs can't talk.

"We have a pretty good idea of what we would do if we had to put the list in right now", he said.

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