The past 48 hours across the NHL have been nothing short of chaos. With protection lists for all 30 teams due at 3:00 PM ET yesterday, along with the ensuing transaction freeze, a flurry of movement at the deadline drastically changed how many teams were to approach the expansion draft. Projected Seattle picks such as Jason Dickinson and Adin Hill were dealt, along with bigger names like Ryan Ellis and Jared McCann.
That frenzy didn’t stop yesterday, however. With the protection lists not being made available to the public until this morning, nobody was quite sure what their team was going to do. All those questions were answered this morning, some of those answers having potentially seismic implications.
There were many surprise omissions from teams’ protection lists, but let’s start with the elephant in the room. After being first reported by TSN’s Pierre LeBrun last night, Montreal Canadiens netminder Carey Price waived his no-movement clause and was not protected by the team. It’s an incredible turn of events after the netminder guided the team to their first Stanley Cup Final since 1993 while being inarguably their most valuable player.
Another Canadian team made some waves this morning too. The Toronto Maple Leafs opted for a 4F-4D-1G protection scheme, leaving out the newly acquired McCann from their protected list. It doesn’t appear that there’s a side deal to protect him in place, as Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman notes that McCann’s acquisition purely ensures that one of him or Alexander Kerfoot will remain on the roster in 2021-22. There were some other big surprises out of the East and Canada too, as Nino Niederreiter, Max Domi, Jordan Eberle, Evgenii Dadonov, and James van Riemsdyk were all somewhat unexpectedly left unprotected by their teams.
And then there’s the Vladimir Tarasenko saga in Missouri. The former St. Louis Blues superstar had requested a trade from the team earlier this offseason after a souring relationship, mostly caused by the team’s handling of his recent various shoulder injuries. He’s been left exposed by the team, meaning that they could use him for nothing rather than taking the best available trade offer. It breaks from practice, including the Columbus Blue Jackets’ protection of disgruntled defenseman Seth Jones.
So, we ask you, PHR readers, what shocked you the most about this weekend’s expansion news? Who was the biggest exposure surprise? Vote in our poll below.
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