Sports

Vegas holds all the cards with NHL expansion draft list out

Vegas holds all the cards with NHL expansion draft list out

Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, a three-time Stanley Cup champion, was among the high-profile players left unprotected and available for the Vegas Golden Knights to select in the expansion draft.

No trade with Vegas Golden Knights general manager George McPhee is in place to save one of their exposed players, nor is any trade imminent for one of those exposed players, notably goalie Antti Raatna.

Why he will go to Vegas: Schlemko is signed at a resonable $2.1 million salary for the next three years, and is a nice third-pairing defenseman who can contribute at both ends of the ice when he's on his game. McPhee is willing to negotiate with any and all teams willing to give up something to keep a certain player.

Teams were required to expose a minimum of two forwards and one defensemen who were under contract for the 2017-18 season and had played a minimum of 40 games last season or 70 games in the past two seasons. This means that Panarin does not have to be protected since he can not be selected by Vegas. It should allow the Knights to stockpile an ample number of future draft picks.

The expansion Vegas Golden Knights must spend at least to the salary floor in their first season.

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In the last expansion draft, back in 2000, the Kings lost defenseman Sean O'Donnell as the seventh overall pick and tough guy Steve McKenna as the 37th. He has played for 10 teams.

So, with all that in mind, here are the players the Bruins are expected to protect when the list is submitted and made public. If the Golden Knights can then flip Vatanen to another team for a first-round pick and something else, Vegas walks away with at least three to four assets and has plenty of other options to take from other teams blue lines.

Forwards Cam Atkinson, Brandon Dubinsky, Nick Foligno, Scott Hartnell, Boone Jenner, Brandon Saad and Alexander Wennberg are officially off-limits to the Vegas Golden Knights in Wednesday's draft.

"We've got lots of things lined up, but until we see everything, we don't have anything", McPhee said.

He emphasized that each team will be contacted and given the opportunity to have a say in protecting its roster.

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It is a true head-scratcher and to make matters worse, Red Wings general manager Ken Holland reportedly doesn't have any side deals planned to save the team from this mess. How can we protect your roster?

Of the exposed players, the most likely selection by Vegas would be Lee Stempniak.

Boedker, who signed a four-year, $16 million contract with the Sharks in free agency last summer, underperformed in his first season with the team, serving as a healthy scratch on January 5 and in Games 3 and 4 of the squad's Stanley Cup playoff series against the Edmonton Oilers. "We're talking to unrestricted free agents, we're talking to restricted free agents, and we continue to talk to teams".

Indeed, the next few days could get even more interesting around the National Hockey League. As of now, Fleury is still at the top of the Knights list for the position, but it is not for the Penguins. There's also a surplus of young goaltending talent, including Detroit's Petr Mrazek, Washington's Philipp Grubauer, the Rangers' Raanta and Colorado's Calvin Pickard.

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