Published: Wed, June 21, 2017
Sport | By Noel Norman

Fleury eligible for National Hockey League expansion draft

Fleury eligible for National Hockey League expansion draft

Consequently, most of the mock drafts anticipating how the Golden Knights might look are inherently flawed, because they imagine a scenario in which the best available player ends up in Vegas. Those selections will be announced Wednesday night during the NHL Awards show in Last Vegas.

Every team had the option to protect seven forwards, three defensemen and a goaltender, or a combination of eight total skaters and a goalie.

Vegas won't take Sami Vatanen or Josh Manson from the Anaheim Ducks, they've also agreed to not take Joonas Korpisalo, Josh Anderson and Jack Johnson from the Columbus Blue Jackets and won't take Josh Bailey, Brock Nelson, Ryan Strome or Calvin DeHaan from the Islanders. The Golden Knights and General Manager George McPhee now have a three-day window to build their team from the list of players exposed and also make deals with other National Hockey League teams involving those players.

"We really like what we're looking at right now", McPhee said Sunday, per TSN.

Golden Knights general manager George McPhee has said he's had contact with all teams and was expected to have several trades in place.

In addition to Rask, forwards David Backes, Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, Brad Marchand, Riley Nash, Ryan Spooner and David Pastrnak are not available to the Golden Knights, nor are defensemen Zdeno Chara, Torey Krug and Kevan Miller. As for defensemen, Minnesota exposed both Matt Dumba and Marco Scandella, while Buffalo's Zach Bogosian and Dallas' Dan Hamhuis are also available. At least 20 of those players must already be under contract for next season.

The list of players drafted by Vegas will be made public on Wednesday night during the National Hockey League awards and can be watched live on NBCSN at 8 pm ET.

"They have been very excited", McPhee said Monday.

The Detroit Red Wings also made a fascinating decision by opting to protect goaltender Jimmy Howard over Petr Mrazek. Today, those lists became public.

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Asked about teams calling asking Vegas to pick players for them, McPhee said Sunday that "it's already started to happen".

And that was before McPhee learned of the high-profile group of players hell have to choose from — limited to one from each of the 30 teams — in stocking the Golden Knights roster before submitting his list on Wednesday.

"We can put a competitive team on the ice and accumulate draft picks".

Steve Carp of the Las Vegas Review-Journal expects the Golden Knights to tread delicately in free agency.

"It was just about him growing up and maturing", McPhee said at the scouting combine.

The Flames solidified their goaltending situation by getting the 35-year-old Smith from the Coyotes for a conditional pick and a prospect, taking advantage of their ability to protect a goalie that most other teams in the market didn't have the luxury of doing.

Lots of people wondered whether or not Dennis Rasmussen would be among the protected. "They only need a couple, and there's opportunities for trades from that perspective".

George McPhee can't wait to fill up the white board, the one in the Vegas Golden Knights' expansion draft room. They will begin playing next season and will be the 15th team in the Western Conference and eighth in the Pacific Division. The 2017-18 salary cap is $75 million, an increase of about 2.75 percent over last season.

Even after spending four straight days on the phone, he didn't seem daunted by the task.

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