The last time the National Hockey League had an expansion draft, Steve Yzerman was coming off a Selke trophy-winning season as captain of the Detroit Red Wings.
If forward Jason Zucker is left unprotected by the Minnesota Wild, and the Golden Knights are game for instant cachet with fans, they'd land a hometown player faster than any other NHL Sun Belt team. So there are definitely some great goalies available. That forced the team to also expose top-pairing blueliner Marc Methot. The team's list of protected players could be made public later on Sunday.
Vegas is holding all the cards while the rest of the National Hockey League comes to a full stop in awaiting McPhee to determine his selections over a three-day stretch during which the Golden Knights are the only team allowed to make trades and sign pending free agents.
Reilly Smith is someone who has played for Gerard Gallant as well and could be a possibility if the Golden Knights are trying to make the cap floor.
In trading away Drouin, the Lightning opened up one more space on their protection list, which might mean 24-year-old centre Vladislav Namestnikov remaining in Tampa.
That benefits the Golden Knights because it maintained a deeper pool of talent available. If the Expansion Club signs a Restricted Free Agent from the Available List of a Current Club during said period, the Current Club will not be entitled to any compensation from the Expansion Club.
The Winnipeg Jets solved an expansion issue even as they didn't make a trade as Toby Enstrom agreed to waive his no-movement clause before the deadline Friday, allowing them to protect their other three top defensemen: Dustin Byfuglien, Jacob Trouba and Tyler Myers. The Penguins instead protected Matt Murray a week after the second-year goalie led them to win their second consecutive championship.
The Predators were put in a bind in being forced to expose Neal, a 10-time 20-goal-scorer, because they elected to protect a fourth defenseman.
Buffalo: Slim pickings for the Golden Knights off of the Sabres' roster, but Zach Bogosian's exposure is a sure sign that his time is nearly up in Buffalo.
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. However, with Marc-Andre Fleury likely headed to Vegas and other valuable unprotected goalies such as Detroit's Petr Mrazek, Raanta may be safe in NY. Their picks will be officially announced at 6 p.m. Wednesday as part of the league's awards show and expansion draft on NBC Sports Network.
Philadelphia: Michael Del Zotto could be one of the free agent signings waiting to happen. Martin is also a guy McPhee surely knows well as he spent his entire career in the Eastern Conference before joining the Sharks two seasons ago.
The NHL will hold an expansion draft for the new Vegas Golden Knights next week, and the rules about who current teams can and can't protect have some franchises scrambling. We'll get at least partial answers today. That wheeling and dealing started Sunday and the Stars could try and convince Vegas to select a player and then trade them to the Stars.
Doug Armstrong and company protected forwards Vladimir Tarasenko, Jaden Schwartz, Alexander Steen, Paul Stastny, Vladimir Sobotka, Patrik Berglund, and Ryan Reaves, defensemen Alex Pietrangelo, Joel Edmundson, and Jay Bouwmeester, and goaltender Jake Allen. 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. His salary cap hit is $5.25 million.