Vegas GM: midnight deadline to discuss players, deals for expansion draft

Vegas GM: midnight deadline to discuss players, deals for expansion draft

Vegas GM: midnight deadline to discuss players, deals for expansion draft

The NHL announced Sunday the players that each of the league's 30 existing teams has protected in the expansion draft and which players each team has made available to the Las Vegas Golden Knights.

On Monday, that meant establishing a deadline for teams looking to make a deal around which player they'll lose in the expansion draft.

As a result, the Golden Knights are demanding draft picks from those teams in order to be steered to selecting other players. No more, no less.

"This has worked out very well for the Vegas Golden Knights and we expect to put a good, entertaining club on the ice", McPhee said. Prior to this year, the expansion draft was basically an afterthought and more than half of the players each team chose didn't even end up playing for them. The Golden Knights also need to select players that count at least $43.8-million against the cap in 2017-18.

Marc-André Fleury, from the Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins, is heading to Vegas, NHL sources say, as part of intriguing mix of available goaltenders that includes young up-and-comers such as Petr Mrazek (Detroit), Phillipe Grubauer (Washington), Calvin Pickard (Colorado), Malcolm Subban (Boston), Linus Ullmark (Buffalo) and Kristers Gudlevskis (Tampa) and also veterans such Roberto Luongo (Florida), Michal Neuvirth (Philadelphia), and Cam Ward and Eddie Lack (Carolina). Vegas certainly will be able to be competitive early on if that's the route they choose to go in the National Hockey League expansion draft.

“Theres a lot of unprotected goalies out there, ” Chayka said.

Vatanen, who will miss the start of the season after having shoulder surgery, and Josh Manson were the odd men out in Anaheim, because the Ducks couldn't protect their all their talented core of defensemen. Brodziak and Jaskin are players the Blues would certainly love to retain, but could be nice pieces for the Golden Knights to snag to fill immediate roles on the inaugural team.

Canes general manager Ron Francis said Friday that he has had conversations with McPhee, although noting, "Probably not as much as other teams have had".

"We think we can accomplish two things", McPhee said.

Teams went one of two routes when compiling who would be protected - either pulling aside seven forwards, three defensemen and one goaltender or eight skaters and one netminder.

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. On the final year of his deal with a digestible $5 million United States cap hit, an established 20-plus goal scorer like Neal, 29, would fit the bill. According to The Columbus Dispatch, the Blue Jackets have already agreed to deal their first-round pick this year and a prospect to Vegas for McPhee to steer clear of forward Josh Anderson, young goaltender Joonas Korpisalo and defenseman Jack Johnson. McPhee can also negotiate deals with teams to not pick certain players, although there will certainly be a price tag attached.

"We have things lined up", McPhee said.

For the Penguins, Fleury has held the keys to the expansion draft protection process all along.

Indeed, the next few days could get even more interesting around the National Hockey League. Or, if they don't, McPhee won't be picking up.

George McPhee's phones have rung constantly for five days inside the Golden Knights' offices in Summerlin.

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