In advance of June’s expansion draft, several teams have approached the league to see if they would be able to voluntarily expose exempt (first and second year) players in an effort to allow them to protect more expansion-eligible skaters. However, as TSN’s Frank Seravalli reports, the league has told them that this will not be an option; exempt players are exempt.
Of course, that isn’t to say that exempt players can’t be made available to the Golden Knights via the trade market in terms of side agreements where GM George McPhee receives an exempt player as part of a trade agreement where he agrees to avoid picking a particular player left exposed.
Speaking with Stephen Whyno of the Associated Press, McPhee expects a robust trade market leading up to the expansion draft as teams try to shuffle their rosters around before setting their protection lists:
“There’s going to be a massive player redistribution before the expansion draft in the weeks leading up to it. We understand teams are going to try to not give us anything, and that’s the way expansion goes. There are a few teams that have expansion stress and we might be able to get a good player from them, and there’ll be some teams that don’t have anything and rather than take a bad contract we’ll take a throwaway pick.”
This week, we’ve been taking a closer look at the expansion draft, including the list of mandatory-protected players, potential goaltending options to choose from, and the impact of this draft on the Canadian teams.
More from Las Vegas:
- Also from Seravalli, McPhee is in the process of vetting a list of potential head coaching candidates although the team is in no rush to hire one. In all likelihood, many of the potential options wouldn’t be available to hire at this time anyways. He did note that his preference would be to not hire a first time NHL head coach but that he is open to any possibilities.
- Seravalli also adds that the next item on the agenda for McPhee is to secure their AHL affiliation for next season. While they could conceivably start up their own minor league franchise, another option would be to share an affiliation for a year or two since they may not have enough players to fill their own team right away. No team currently shares an AHL affiliate but there is a long history of NHL teams sharing a minor league team. McPhee hopes to have that decision made by mid-December.