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Vegas holds trade cards during expansion draft window

20 June 2017

The Florida Panthers made an interesting decision as they decided not to protect Jonathan Marchessault, who scored 30 goals for them previous year, and instead protected Nick Bjugstad.

The Predators were put in a bind in when exposing Neal, a nine-time 20-goal-scorer, because they elected to protect a fourth defenseman.

Vatanen, who will miss the start of the season after having shoulder surgery, and Josh Manson were the odd men out in Anaheim, because the Ducks couldn't protect their all their talented core of defensemen.

Vatanen, a fifth-year player, won't be ready for the start of next season after having surgery to fix a shoulder injury. Other notable Nashville players unprotected were forwards Pontus Aberg and Colton Sissons. As for defensemen, Minnesota exposed both Matt Dumba and Marco Scandella, while Buffalo's Zach Bogosian and Dallas' Dan Hamhuis are also available. Aside from Fleury, other goalies available are Florida's Roberto Luongo, Detroit's Petr Mrazek and Philadelphia's Michal Neuvirth. Calgary traded for Arizona Coyotes' starter Mike Smith on Saturday, and then protected him, leaving Brian Elliott, an unrestricted free agent, plus Tom McCollum available. Any pending free agent signed would count as Vegas expansion-draft selection from that players team.

"It's going to take us awhile to pick the team tomorrow", said McPhee.

The trade for Darling has left the Canes in the position of needing to shed a goalie.

Those deals won't be formally revealed until Wednesday.

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With all the wheeling and dealing McPhee will be doing this week, it might be smart for Vegas Golden Knights fans to wait a few weeks before purchasing a jersey of their favorite new player.

The Islanders for one, reportedly have a deal in place that would send Vegas a first-round pick in order to pass on exposed forwards like Josh Bailey, Shane Prince, Brock Nelson and Ryan Strome.

It will definitely be interesting to see how much teams give up so Vegas lays off certain players. He's got one year left on his deal with a modest $1 million U.S. cap hit.

The Senators were handcuffed by veteran defenseman Dion Phaneuf's decision to not waive his no-movement clause.

Marc Methot (Ottawa) - On top of his addition improving the Leafs top four, another fringe benefit of acquiring Norris Trophy victor Erik Karlsson's defense partner would be to weaken a division rival's blueline (if they have not made a side deal to not select him).

Vegas general manager George McPhee knows him well because McPhee's former team, the Washington Capitals, were in the same conference. Their full roster will be announced on Wednesday night.

Then comes the start of free agency, which opens on July 1.

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The Golden Knights must select one player from each presently existing team.

Chayka was exaggerating, but only slightly. Vegas certainly will be able to be competitive early on if that's the route they choose to go in the National Hockey League expansion draft.

That doesn't mean the other GMs can't talk. Panthers general manager Dale Tallon released a statement that said in part: Out of respect for the process and our players, we will not be commenting on the makeup of our protected list until after the expansion process ends on Wednesday.

"There's a lot of things that could happen, there's one thing that probably will happen", Cole said at the Penguins' locker clean-out Thursday.

Unsurprisingly, goaltender Tuukka Rask is also on the protected list.

"It had all the feelings of a trade deadline, but there was conditions", Flames GM Brad Treliving said by phone.

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Vegas holds trade cards during expansion draft window