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Rangers' expansion draft protected list released with no surprises

19 June 2017

Marc-Andre Fleury headed the list of players who are unprotected for the NHL Expansion Draft when that information became available on Sunday morning.

The Blues have elected to protect Jake Allen, Patrik Berglund, Jay Bouwmeester, Joel Edmundson, Alex Pietrangelo, Ryan Reaves, Jaden Schwartz, Paul Stastny, Vladimir Sobotka, Alexander Steen and Vladimir Tarasenko.

Vegas must pick one player from each team and select 14 forwards, nine defensemen and three goaltenders. The incoming Vegas Golden Knights can begin to take shape now that they know who's available to them.

The Montreal Canadiens recouped a third-round pick from the Buffalo Sabres for 24-year-old defenseman Nathan Beaulieu, who has a connection to Vegas coach Gerard Gallant and would've been left exposed in the expansion draft.

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Mike Smith went from Arizona to Calgary and a couple of defensemen traded places as National Hockey League teams made last-minute moves before the Vegas expansion draft roster freeze.

This was also a no-brainer, as Crawford has a no-movement clause on his contract. The fifth-year player, however, won't be ready for the start of the season after having surgery to fix a shoulder injury.

The Blackhawks could technically not lose a player in the expansion draft if they worked out a deal with the Knights.

It's expected some teams will make deals with Vegas to not select a certain player on their roster. Ward lived up to the expectations of the three-year, $9.75 million contract he signed with the Sharks in July 2015 when he collected seven goals and 13 points during the team's run to the Stanley Cup Final last spring.

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Based on previous mock drafts, McPhee doesn't expect the Golden Knights to have any difficulty getting to the NHL's minimum payroll of 60 percent of the $75 million salary cap.

Sunday, June 18 Deadline for Central Registry to approve and simultaneously distribute the Protection Lists to all NHL Clubs (including the Expansion Club) and the NHLPA (10 a.m. ET).

Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau are both unprotected because they're pending-unrestricted free agents.

Aside from the Knights, the other 30 teams are now under a roster freeze until Thursday.

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