NHL Reveals Protection Lists Before Expansion Draft

The Stanley Cup champion Penguins chose not to protect Bryan Rust, Carl Hagelin or Nick Bonino, but teams can only lose one player, and the expectation remains that Marc-Andre Fleury with be Vegas' next headliner from Quebec, joining Celine Dion and Cirque du Soleil.

Key among those rumors and assumptions was that the Anaheim Ducks and Golden Knights have a deal in place that involves Sami Vatanen. The fifth-year player, however, won't be ready for the start of the season after having surgery to fix a shoulder injury.

What's more likely is, as part of a prearranged deal, Vegas will select a lesser player from Minnesota, but land a high-end prospect such as Joel Eriksson Ek, Jordan Greenway, Alex Tuch or Kirill Kapizov in exchange. As for defensemen, Minnesota exposed both Matt Dumba and Marco Scandella, while Buffalo's Zach Bogosian and Dallas' Dan Hamhuis are also available.

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

That left 25 Blues available for selection, with the most notable being forwards David Perron, Jori Lehtera, Dmitrij Jaskin, Kyle Brodziak and Magnus Paajarvi, along with defensemen Carl Gunnarsson and Robert Bortuzzo as well as goalie Carter Hutton. Today, those lists became public.

The Golden Knights' selection - one from each National Hockey League club - will be revealed at the 2017 National Hockey League awards and expansion draft on Wednesday night at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

George McPhee is spending a fleeting moment as The Godfather of the National Hockey League during the Vegas Golden Knights' expansion window.

Forward Robby Fabbri and defenseman Colton Parayko have only two years of professional experience and thus were exempt from the draft, meaning they did not need to be protected.

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Those deals won't be formally revealed until Wednesday. Getting Mrazek would be very interesting for Vegas as they can make him a flip candidate and get futures for him.

Only players with more than two years of pro experience needed to be protected, so the Bruins didn't have to protect young defensemen Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo.

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.

The expansion draft results will be announced Wednesday night at the NHL Awards show. Sure, he could sign a free agent July 1, or he could take advantage of this rare circumstance.

Behind closed doors, the Golden Knights are starting to take shape.

Chayka was exaggerating, but only slightly.

The list of available players to the Knights suggests that might be the case.

Shortly after protected lists were released Sunday morning, GMs began calling McPhee to try to poach available players from other teams.

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

"Whatever you want to give us has to be better than what we can claim from that club", McPhee said in Las Vegas on Sunday.

The Panthers were rumored to be trying to move Marchessault on Saturday before the Vegas trade freeze went into affect and have been mentioned as a team who may be working a side deal with Vegas general manager George McPhee to perhaps protect a player or two on the exposed list.

McPhee wasnt prepared to discuss individual players when specifically asked about Fleury, but noted there were no surprises based on the numerous mock drafts the Golden Knights conducted over the past few months.

Blues general manager Doug Armstrong did not comment on the protection list Sunday.

"This is a complicated process", McPhee said.

A handful of big names are already available to Vegas as the team's pick announcements near, and a flurry of ripple-effect trades and signings could be coming as well.

"It had all the feelings of a trade deadline, but there was conditions", Flames GM Brad Treliving said by phone.

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