NHL Expansion Draft weighted in giving Vegas competitive team

19 June, 2017, 00:49 | Author: Randy Kelley

Saturday's trade deadline for teams looking to shuffle potentially exposed players around came and went with only a few deals being made; something which came as a pleasant surprise to McPhee.

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.

The San Jose Sharks are a team in transition as they have gone as far as possible in the playoffs with this group of players.

The Predators were put in a bind by exposing Neal, a 10-time 20-goal-scorer, because they elected to protect a fourth defenseman. Included on that list are backup goaltender Joonas Korpisalo, forward Josh Anderson and defenseman Jack Johnson.

Vegas will nearly certainly have a strong goaltending tandem next year. Pittsburgh goalie Marc-Andre Fleury revealed this week that he agreed to waive his no-move clause, while Ottawa defenceman Dion Phaneuf is reportedly unlikely to waive his.

Now begins the jockeying regarding some of those top players.

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"This means that before the Golden Knights claim a player off a team's unprotected list", Vegas said via a statement issued Saturday, "McPhee and his staff are willing to negotiate deals so the other clubs do not lose a player they would otherwise like to keep". "That really didn't happen, which we were really happy about", said McPhee.

In other NHL news Sunday, the league informed teams that the salary cap ceiling for the 2017-18 season will be $75 million, according to Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman.

At the same time, the NHL Expansion Draft will take place with the Golden Knights roster becoming a reality. Vegas will likely pick another player like Marcus Kruger or Trevor van Riemsdyk instead, but we're thinking that the team would rather protect a player that they gave up a mid-round draft pick for instead of a player like Rasmussen.

So, with all that in mind, here are the players the Bruins are expected to protect when the list is submitted and made public. They still have free agents of their own to sign (Schultz, Dumoulin, Conor Sheary) and need to sign or replace Nick Bonino and a couple of defensemen, but the Pens would be sitting pretty.

We'll know for sure on Wednesday night, but Fleury ought to be the center-piece of the Las Vegas team. "It's not so much an expansion draft for them as it is an accumulation of assets", Calgary General Manager Brad Treliving recently told Sportsnet 960 The Fan's "Boomer in the Morning".

The Blues can lose only one player in the expansion draft process. Some of the other names available to the Golden Knights from San Jose may be more attractive, but the team's roster is aging, so some of the better names are veterans. And now Vegas holds all of the cards.

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