All talk, few trades before NHL's expansion roster freeze

Ken Copeland
June 19, 2017

The Golden Knights, who begin play next season as the NHL's 31st team, will pick one player from each of the 30 teams. News of this broke after the Stanley Cup run and ensured the Penguins wouldn't have had to scramble this week to trade Fleury, or worse buy him out as a last ditch effort to get him off the roster and keep Murray protected. As there's a number of top defensemen exposed such as Anaheim's Sami Vatanen and Ottawa's Marc Methot. The team's list of protected players could be made public later on Sunday. "It would be, 'Do we have too many players?' There are a lot of good players there".

Could the Golden Knights have a chance at a Las Vegas-raised player when they draft their expansion team next week?

For the Pittsburgh Penguins, nearly all of the debate, intrigue and drama from the 2017 NHL Expansion draft was already resolved during the regular season.

Losing a quality blueliner like Connor Murphy isn't going to improve the situation in Arizona, especially after the team's goaltenders struggled horribly in between the pipes all last season. "That really didn't happen, which we were really happy about", said McPhee.

Deadline for players to agree to waive no-movement clauses, 5 p.m.

Other notable forwards left unprotected were Los Angeles's Dustin Brown, Montreal's Tomas Plekanec and Pittsburgh's Chris Kunitz. The biggest deal saw Arizona ship veteran goaltender Mike Smith to Calgary for Flames goalie Chad Johnson, unsigned prospect Brandon Hickey and a conditional third-round draft pick. Aside from Fleury, other goalies available are Florida's Roberto Luongo, Detroit's Petr Mrazek and Philadelphia's Michal Neuvirth.

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Some notable names left exposed by the Blues include David Perron, Kyle Brodziak, Jori Lehtera, Dmitrij Jaskin, Magnus Paajarvi, Scottie Upshall (UFA), Nail Yakupov, Robert Bortuzzo, Carl Gunnarsson, Petteri Lindbohm and Carter Hutton. "So if you have five defencemen, say, and you can only protect three - so you trade one defenceman off for a draft pick or young assets and then you're going to lose another defenceman to Las Vegas and then all of a sudden, you're two D down, you know what I mean?"

Among teams anxious to see what the cap is set at are the San Jose Sharks, who have Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau hoping to come back. But it's unlikely the two would consider joining an expansion team at this point in their respective careers.

All trades involving the Golden Knights are not expected to be made official/public until the expansion draft reveal on June 21.

Leading the Golden Knights' draft is general manager George McPhee, who spent 17 seasons in charge of the Washington Capitals, helping that club rise to prominence.

Speaking of trades, it might take some time for rumors to turn into confirmations, at least when it comes to teams paying a ransom for the Golden Knights to take specific players.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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