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Golden Knights 'willing to negotiate deals' so National Hockey League teams can protect assets

19 June 2017

The Capitals elected to the use seven forward, three defenseman and one goaltender option.

Notable goalies available to the Knights include, Philipp Grubauer of Washington, Roberto Luongo of Florida, Detroit Red Wings Petr Mrazek and Colorado's Calvin Pickard, who backstopped Canada to a silver medal last month at the World Championships. As there's a number of top defensemen exposed such as Anaheim's Sami Vatanen and Ottawa's Marc Methot.

The lists will be made public on Sunday and on Wednesday, McPhee and his staff will officially announce their selections that will compose the bulk of the 2017-18 Vegas Golden Knights.

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For 72 hours, Vegas Golden Knights general manager George McPhee is the most powerful man in hockey. Any player signed in this manor will count as the Expansion Draft pick from that team. Not all teams will offer good players, but there are some quality skaters available. He had better hope a side deal is worked out to allow the Golden Knights to select one of their worse players, otherwise his seat is going to be boiling.

As for Jurco, when the Blackhawks acquired him in February, general manager Stan Bowman said, "We'll be patient with him, but we really think there's a good fit there, looking at his skills and the style of hockey we play". Theres a similar concern from the Western Conference champion Nashville Predators, who will most likely expose a few intriguing forwards to protect defensemen Roman Josi, P.K. Subban, Ryan Ellis and Mattias Ekholm. The Minnesota Wild exposed forward Eric Staal and defensemen Marco Scandella and Matt Dumba. 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.

They are the only team that has the ability to sign an unprotected unrestricted or restricted free agent until 7:59 a.m. Wednesday. But it's unlikely the two would consider joining an expansion team at this point in their respective careers.

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As a result, the Golden Knights are demanding draft picks from those teams in order to be steered to selecting other players.

"We can put a competitive team on the ice and accumulate draft picks", McPhee said, via the Knights Twitter account.

While maybe not as Golden as the Knights of Vegas, the Hurricanes are in fantastic position. He holds the cards for a significant chunk of the league's talent, fielding calls from colleagues willing to trade something to keep McPhee from plucking certain players from their rosters, or to take someone from another team to flip in a deal. Anaheim wants to keep defensemen Sami Vatanen and Josh Manson, Columbus wants to keep goalie Joonas Korpisalo, forward Josh Anderson, and defenseman Jack Johnson, and NY wants to keep forwards Josh Bailey and Casey Cizikas. This means that Panarin does not have to be protected since he can not be selected by Vegas.

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But for now it's all about mock drafts, the looming expansion draft and the NHL Awards Show that absolutely nobody is talking about with the Vegas expansion extravaganza set to overshadow the whole thing. If Wilson can get the remaining $12 million of his contract off the books, it would give him more cap flexibility when free agency kicks off on July 1.