Published: Mon, June 19, 2017
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Looming expansion draft turns up trade chatter around NHL

"I'm really pleased with what's available", McPhee said Sunday.

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". "You look at the rules and the names, and we're going to expose good players".

Nashville GM David Poile said he has spoken with McPhee and that the Predators "will do the best we can to protect as many assets as we can".

The Knights now have until Wednesday at 10 a.m. ET to submit their expansion draft selections and any standard player contracts that were signed.

The Carolina Hurricanes have released their list of protected players in the upcoming Expansion Draft for the Vegas Golden Knights.

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.

In other words, not only will teams need to pay a price to Vegas to keep their own player, but they will have to meet or exceed the value offered to Vegas from another club at the same time.

The Golden Knights can't just claim a bunch of low-priced players and tank for profits and high draft picks in their inaugural season; they are required to reach the National Hockey League salary floor, which according to Elliotte Friedman, will be set at $55.4 million for 2017-2018. It's possible Vegas general manager George McPhee might consider Ward, a veteran and former Stanley Cup victor with the Canes, or could take Lack. The Anaheim Ducks, Minnesota Wild and Chicago Blackhawks are also in a predicament when it comes to the expansion draft. The Golden Knights could look to trade some of the selected players for extra draft picks or other assets, although a player can't be returned to the team from which he was selected until January 1, 2018. "We've narrowed it down, and probably most teams have".

Vegas GM George McPhee can also now begin contacting free agents such as Oshie, Shattenkirk, Alzner and others who were left unprotected by their teams. (For example, if a team doesn't want to lose an unprotected player, it may strike a deal to send a draft pick or a prospect player to the Knights in exchange for their not taking that unprotected player). You can negotiate your way out of this if you wish'.

Teams were also eager to see the list of players available because Vegas now becomes a trade avenue for them.

With that being said it seems Dale Tallon won't make this an easy decision for Vegas either.

The new cap ceiling will be about a 2.% increase from the $73-million figure used in 2016-17.

"We were preparing as if the cap would remain flat, so the additional wiggle room might allow teams to retain a guy or get a guy they might normally not have been able to afford", a western conference executive told Postmedia on Sunday.

Zdeno Chara: The lone B's defenseman with a no-movement clause, the Bruins are not letting their captain walk for nothing. It doesn't make sense unless they have a deal in place with Vegas so they don't select a forward, such as Josh Bailey.

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