NHL Expansion Speculation – November 24, 2016

by | Nov 24, 2016 | Rumors | 52 comments

Could Ottawa Senators winger Bobby Ryan be exposed in next June's NHL expansion draft?

Could Ottawa Senators winger Bobby Ryan be exposed in next June’s NHL expansion draft?

A look at the players potentially available to the Vegas Golden Knights (and those who might not be) in next June’s expansion draft. 

SPORTSNET: Chris Johnston published a list of 66 players currently considered exempt from next June’s NHL expansion draft because of their no-movement clauses. 

Anaheim (4)
Kevin Bieksa
Ryan Getzlaf
Ryan Kesler
Corey Perry

Arizona (1)
Alex Goligoski

Boston (4)
David Backes
Patrice Bergeron
Zdeno Chara
David Krejci

Buffalo (1)
Kyle Okposo

Carolina (1)
Jordan Staal

Columbus (5)
Sergei Bobrovsky
David Clarkson
Brandon Dubinsky
Nick Foligno
Scott Hartnell

Chicago (8)
Artem Anisimov
Corey Crawford
Niklas Hjalmarsson
Marian Hossa
Patrick Kane
Duncan Keith
Brent Seabrook
Jonathan Toews

Colorado (2)
Francois Beauchemin
Erik Johnson

Dallas (2)
Jamie Benn
Jason Spezza

Detroit (1)
Frans Nielsen

Edmonton (3)
Milan Lucic
Andrej Sekera
Cam Talbot

Florida (1)
Keith Yandle

Los Angeles (1)
Anze Kopitar

Minnesota (4)
Mikko Koivu
Zach Parise
Jason Pominville
Ryan Suter

Montreal (2)
Jeff Petry
Carey Price

Nashville (1)
Pekka Rinne

New Jersey (1)
Ryane Clowe

N.Y. Islanders (3)
Johnny Boychuk
Andrew Ladd
John Tavares

N.Y. Rangers (4)
Dan Girardi
Henrik Lundqvist
Rick Nash
Marc Staal

Ottawa (1)
Dion Phaneuf

Philadelphia (1)
Claude Giroux

Pittsburgh (5)
Sidney Crosby
Marc-Andre Fleury
Phil Kessel
Kris Letang
Evgeni Malkin

Tampa Bay (4)
Ryan Callahan
Valtteri Filppula
Victor Hedman
Steven Stamkos

Toronto (1)
Nathan Horton

Vancouver (3)
Loui Eriksson
Daniel Sedin
Henrik Sedin

Winnipeg (2)
Dustin Byfuglien
Toby Enstrom

Johnston also reports “Anaheim Ducks centre Antoine Vermette and Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask each hold no-move clauses that run until June 15, 2017 – just two days before each team must submit a list of protected players.”  Arizona Coyotes goalie Mike Smith’s no-move expired last June. 

It’s also possible Ottawa Senators right wing Bobby Ryan could be exposed in the draft. Johnston cites a source saying the language regarding his no-movement clause stipulates no-movement to the minors and gives him a limited no-trade clause.

Johnston also cautions the list could change as new contracts are signed, players are exempted because of injury (” i.e. New Jersey’s Ryane Clowe, Toronto’s Nathan Horton and Columbus’ David Clarkson”) and some might agree to waive their movement clause to go to Las Vegas. 

TSN: Frank Seravalli lists Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk, Minnesota Wild defenseman Jonas Brodin, Edmonton Oilers defenseman Brandon Davidson, Columbus Blue Jackets right wing Cam Atkinson, Wild left wing Jason Zucker, Washington Capitals defenseman Dmitri Orlov, Winnipeg Jets forward Mathieu Perreault, Ottawa Senators defensemen Marc Methot, Anaheim Ducks left wing Jakob Silfverberg and Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury as the top-10 players projected to be available. 

Other notables include San Jose Sharks winger Mikkel Boedker, Blackhawks center Marcus Kruger, LA Kings winger Marian Gaborik, Colorado Avalanche forward Mikhail Grigorenko, Buffalo Sabres forward Johan Larsson, New York Rangers winger Michael Grabner, Philadelphia Flyers winger Matt Read, Dallas Stars defenseman Dan Hamhuis, Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson, Sharks defenseman Paul Martin, Florida Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo and Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov. 

USA TODAY:  In his analysis of what the Golden Knights’ roster could look like next season, Kevin Allen speculates “the potential expansion draft goalie pool could include Marc-Andre Fleury, Semyon Varlamov, Thomas Greiss, Jimmy Howard, and perhaps Roberto Luongo”.

Other potentially available players include Jakob Silfverberg, Ryan Dzingel, Dmitri Orlov, Jonas Brodin, Tomas Plekanic, Mikkel Boedker, Trevor van Riemsdyk, Mikhail Grigorenko, Mathieu Perreault,  Marian Gaborik and Ryan Sproul.

Allen also notes Vegas will have a 48-hour head-start window before the expansion draft to negotiate with and potentially sign unrestricted free agents. Next summer’s notable UFAs include Ben Bishop, Kevin Shattenkirk, T.J. Oshie and Karl Alzner.

SI.COM’s Alex Prewitt reports the following via Twitter: “One small expansion draft rule clarified by the NHL to Vegas yesterday: Can’t arrange salary retention for picks with their prior teams.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A lot here to digest. For those who are interested, you can find the rules for the expansion draft at this link. The 30 NHL clubs must submit their protection lists by 5 pm ET on June 17. The Golden Knights will submit their selections on June 20, with the official announcement of their selections on June 21.

It’s interesting to note some of the notable inclusions and exclusions in Johnston’s list. Goes to show the full details of a player’s no-movement clause doesn’t reach sites such as CapFriendly.com. I’m not knocking them, as they do the best they can to compile NHL player contract info, but they can only get so much. 

It’ll be interesting to see if the Senators provide any clarification on Ryan’s status. I was under the impression he was in the same boat as Fleury, whose no-movement also reportedly covers only demotion to the minors. Perhaps Fleury’s no-movement is more ironclad than previously assumed.

As for the expiration of Rask’s no-movement clause, I don’t think there’s any question the Bruins will protect him. 

As for the oter players who could become available, some are certainties based on their high salaries and/or performance. Doesn’t mean, however, they’ll be selected by the Knights. I’m not convinced a player like Atkinson will be left unprotected, and it remains to be seen if Fleury will agree to waive his movement clause.

Still very early to start guessing which players will be available in the draft, but feel free to indulge in the comments section. I’ll waiting until next spring, when we’ll start getting a much clearer picture. 


  1. Horton is not going to be exempt/protected, he’s going to be asked to waive his NTC/NMC and he’s going to be exposed. Lou has the system gamed inside and out.

    • Agreed, Horton will waive no problem. The guy won’t play another game and really doesn’t care who is pay comes from as long as he gets it. Quite frankly, the leafs are in the best position for the draft of almost any team in the league. All of their real talent is exempt and it allows them to literally protect any vet on their roster who isn’t a 4th liner.

      • Actually from what Al Button said on TSN last week the Leafs need to get 1 more forward to have the minimal amount of forwards exposed. copied from the NHL expansion draft rules. “Two forwards who are a) under contract in 2017-18 and b) played in 40 or more NHL games the prior season OR played in 70 or more NHL games in the prior two seasons”

        Also Horton and Lupul will not count towards the exposed list. “* Players with potential career-ending injuries who have missed more than the previous 60 consecutive games (or who otherwise have been confirmed to have a career-threatening injury) may not be used to satisfy a club’s player exposure requirements, unless approval is received from the NHL. Such players also may be deemed exempt from selection by the League.”

        The Leafs are not in a bad situation, but far from an ideal situation.

      • Actually from what Al Button said on TSN last week the Leafs need to get 1 more forward to have the minimal amount of forwards exposed. copied from the NHL expansion draft rules. “Two forwards who are a) under contract in 2017-18 and b) played in 40 or more NHL games the prior season OR played in 70 or more NHL games in the prior two seasons”

        Also Horton and Lupul will not count towards the exposed list. “* Players with potential career-ending injuries who have missed more than the previous 60 consecutive games (or who otherwise have been confirmed to have a career-threatening injury) may not be used to satisfy a club’s player exposure requirements, unless approval is received from the NHL. Such players also may be deemed exempt from selection by the League.”

        The Leafs are not in a bad situation, but far from an ideal situation.

      • Easy enough to remedy at the deadline when one of the rentals is dealt to take contracts back, but agreed.

      • Kevjam that’s the way I understood it too with injuries deemed career ending

    • Either way it doesn’t really matter now does it the young guys are not eligible the backup is UFA and out of the vets I Cant think of 8 skaters total I’d be worried about losing. Horton waiving doesn’t effect much of anything.

      • God forbid if they couldn’t protect a standout like Martin Marinicin or Matt Martin lol

      • Lol.

    • So what? You think Vegas will actually take the contract?

    • Horton is exempt from having to be protected. Lyle said as much & if you go read the basic release which I have posted numerous times it’s clear. Did you read the entire article above?

      From NHL.com’s expansion news release June 22 2016.

      “Players with potential career-ending injuries who have missed more than the previous 60 consecutive games (or who otherwise have been confirmed to have a career-threatening injury) may not be used to satisfy a club’s player exposure requirements, unless approval is received from the NHL. Such players also may be deemed exempt from selection by the League.”

      • That was for Dan39 right off the hop at the top.

    • Actually if you read the rules. You can not expose a LTIR player so if “Lou” can work magic it won’t be for that. I’m sure a deal for taking on salary can be done it won’t be at the expansion draft.

  2. I would file this information under the who cares category. This team should not even be entering the league and others could be leaving it! We discuss the need for virtually every team to upgrade their rosters in key areas such as defense and now another team is being added? Wow! This is just my opinion.

    • I would disagree completely. I think the league as far as competition goes is the strongest that it’s been in years. Just look at how close the top teams and the bad teams have been over the past 5 years. Of course there are always your top 5 and bottom 5 but the other 20 are all within a few points.

      I think this leaves the league prime to expand. Yes each team has a weakness in certain areas, that’s what a team is about, it creates the feeling that anybody could win at any time. Makes for a truly exciting brand of hockey.

      Just look at the amount of veteran hockey players who were on PTO’s this year, some of which are unsigned currently who could and should all be playing in the league. The fact of the matter is there are simply not enough jobs for the talent that is there.

      Hence another team. I would expect a 32nd team to follow in the next 3 years once Seattle gets it together. I would then expect to see a team relocate to Quebec (Hurricanes).

      • Agree BigBoss when it comes to the competitiveness of the league. Young players are better sooner. Hockey is growing around the world as a whole. More countries can produce more of the top end talent capable of playing in the NHL. Especially the USA. Austin Mathews is from Arizona.
        Is LV the best place? That is another argument that only time will tell. And this is a long game by the NHL to expand it’s market. Again, Austin Mathews is from from Arizona. You will see more of that and you will see a greater interest because of that as there will be a greater attachment to the game when the kids start playing it, and their kids….
        It will never grow there if you don’t go there.
        Do I thing the NHL would draw better in Quebec City right now? For sure, but that is not all that this is about.

      • You definitely make great arguments for the other side. I agree with the relocation piece and would hope Karmonos would agree to sell to Quebec. Relocation at this point makes more sense to me than expansion. And despite my personal opinion I do see merit in a balanced league of 32 with Seattle in it if expansion is going to continue. But again I think the league is big enough as it is, and would agree that competition is at an all time high.

    • I couldn’t disagree more. Quebec will be added to the NHL in 2 maybe 3 years following Vegas, bringing the league to 32 teams. The NHL will want to collect that expansion revenue before the next CBA negotiations & lock out.

      After the next lock out, 2020-21 or 2023-24; if the players agree to extend deal for Olympic participation. Neither side is opting out early. Neither may be happy with the current CBA but peace is better than Armageddon for as long as possible. Just part of the business model unfortunately.

      The NHL will continue it’s expansion plans following the relocation of Carolina to Seattle & or Portland. The NHL just has to make sure expansion revenue is again exempt from the next CBA & the NHL will eventually be a 36 team league. 15 to 20 years away. Oddly enough those 4 teams added will primarily be in the South west & Pacific, Texas, California, Oregon or Washigton depending upon who takes Carolina; Seattle or Portland, & I see the NHL returning to Atlanta eventually yet again. It’s the 10th largest metropolis in the US.

      There are more than enough players coming to stock 31 teams soon to be 32. The growth of hockey in the US is staggering It just in it’s infancy. You just need to alter your perception of what a 5/5 Dman or 3rd or 4th line forward is.

      This growth & expansion is also creating opportunities for George’s favorite players, the smurfs, who have skill a place in the game. They were almost becoming extinct in the old clutch & grab NHL. It today’s faster game they are starting to flourish & more & more keep arriving slowly each season.

      Expansion is great for hockey. It helps grow the game in non traditional markets & the game has never been in a better spot. In those 15 to 20 years leading up to a 36 team league the US like most sports will start to dominate the game. Their stud natural athletes are just signing up in droves to play hockey at 5 years old as I write this all over america.

      • As much as I love Atlanta I cannot see the NHL going back. You know the saying ” fool me once…” What is it for a 3rd time ?
        If you look at going from 32 to 36 teams ( remember the original 6 wow, long ago…) You need to keep the east west balance as much as possible. Say Quebec is your 32 team. Next 4 Seattle, San Diego ? or Houston ? in the west and Hartford and ?? in the east. Cleveland ? Cincinnati ? Carolina will need to find a spot too no matter what they say.
        You are right about the growth. Exciting to see and talk about.

      • Carolina isn’t going anywhere. They will be winning prior to it being an issue and that rink rocks when they win. One of the fastest growing populations in USA

      • Chrisms While it might be a thriving area hockey is not the fans taste.

      • Hockey sure was when the roared to the finals. A winning team will fill the arena no sweat.

  3. I’m also not a fan of the league expanding to Vegas. Most of their arguments supporting the league’s stance are manipulated or completely false. I think it is a bad mistake and the league is being driven by ulterior motives. Several critics are able to poke CN Tower sized holes through their arguments in placing a team there. Much more viable options are present in better hockey markets (Seattle and Quebec City).

    • Problem with Quebec City is the Canadian dollar. I think it’s tough enough for small market teams to survive up here right now and while I would love to see a team in QC, I don’t know if it is feasible at the moment.

      • I think the bigger problem is the unbalance of teams in the Easter Conference and Wester Conference. As it stands right now the Easter Conference has 2 more teams than the West. If Seattle could have gotten their situation straitened out in time then I think QC would have gotten a team as well.
        Winnipeg, which is about the same size of market as QC, is having no problem with the current situation of the Canadian dollar. The NHL is just using the Canadian dollar as an excuse.

    • Seattle has no facility & won’t for at least 6 years & that’s if they had a building approved for construction. Their still years from even securing all the city, state & federal approvals & they are still more interested in basketball than hockey. Quebec will be in the NHL as an expansion team no later than 2019-20.

      If not for the uncertainty over the Canadian dollar their bid would have been accepted in this round of expansion. Just think we get to go through this whole process again in 2 years. Awesome I love it. It beats talking about trades that never happen.

  4. If Ryan’s contract does indeed have that “out” for the Sens, he’d better pick up his game between now and then. Having said that, why would Vegas draft him if he’s still sputtering along?

    • Only reason they would consider drafting him is to get to the cap floor.

      • Exactly. That and the fact he’s a U.S. boy with somewhat of a “name.”

  5. So I am the Vegas GK GM…can I take the highest priced goalies dee-men and forwards with the idea I can trade trade them elsewhere?
    I’ll bet they can’t be traded back to their original teams?

    • No any player drafted by Vegas can’t even with a 3 team trade go back to the team he was drafted from. After a year he can play for that team

  6. I’m shocked that there isn’t much going on in the rumor mill out of Columbus with Brandon Saad. It seems like he has fallen out of favor a bit with Torts in his tenure this year. Makes me wonder if they view him as an asset they could move.

    • It’s the lack of Cap space & the BlueJackets are trying to work with him to improve & compensate for his less than steller tack side pressure (he was spoiled playing in front of those tremendous Blackhawk defenders who squelched so many attacks where Saad was behind the play) and besides…with the league being what it is Saad has the most value in the post season as a trade chip.

    • Sitting him on his butt and playing 4th line isn’t going to have teams chomping at the bit to get him. Certainly not at $6 mil per to 2021-22.

    • How so? He’s playing a top 6 role; his TOI/GP is solid & right there with his peers, He’s averaging 17:05, Dubinsky 17:27, Wennberg 17:29, atkinson 17:43 & Foligno 18:03 & seeing solid 2nd unit PP minutes & has flip flopped with Gagner on the 1st unit.

      As odd as it for me to watch Tor play I have also watched Col play often already this season. This is a fun team to watch currently. I think Torts might be doing acid or something as he’s not the Torts we remember.

      Falling out of favor would be Hartnell & Jenner who barely play but do see 2nd unit PP time.

      • I was responding to someone’s comment that Saad has “fallen out of favor a bit with Torts” when I said sitting on his butt and playing 4th line – which is normally what happens to players who have “fallen out of favor.” I don’t KNOW that he has – anymore than anyone else – just an observation that, if he HAS/DOES “fall out of favor” trying to make him an option to someone else isn’t served by taking that route.

  7. I am the Golden Knights GM- Do i take the best goalies defensemen forwards based on long term early league play or do I make deals PRIOR to the expansion, finding some of them new homes with other NHL teams, for mid -round picks and guys unavilable by the rules? You have to gauge the Golden Knights entrance as one where they DO want to win some games and be competitive, but the biggest emphasis is to blend mid-level contracts around decent marquee players and a starting team that has enough excitement to hook new fans (to attend along with all those visiting fans). That means building a AHL farm with developing players is also a part of stocking the cupboard. Their initial draft picks and any they acquire from the established clubs (for not selecting certain players or electing and TRADING drafted players to other established clubs) are going to be youngsters that you are for the most part going to have to wait for.
    When those drafted graduate junior, Europe, etc. you don’t want the dropped into a minor pro system that isn’t stocked with developing leadership & abilities. You don’t want to drop everyone of your picks not selected in the first round to graduate junior and have to shoulder the weight of carrying your minor pro leadership from day one. You want to gradually make them your PK & PP guys, want to blend them in around guys that KNOW what the coaching staff expects, that they can model after.

  8. I wonder if the NHL sees the Canadian markets as “relocatable” and not “expandable”. Just a theory I think about. No Canadian markets left after Quebec City though.

    • London and Hamilton, southern Ontario sort of thing

    • Quebec City has a metro population of just over 800,000. The closest other areas without an NHL team are Hamilton (721.053) and Halifax (just under 400,000 – so no expansion there). Hamilton is so close to the GTA and Buffalo that I doubt we’ll ever see a team there. London is considered part of the GTA and I think we’d see a second team right IN Toronto before London ever enters the picture.

      How Quebec compares to the existing Canadian franchises is interesting. Not counting the Big 3 (Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver), Ottawa has a metro pop of 1,236,327; Calgary is next with 1,214,839; then Edmonton at 1,159,869 and finally Winnipeg at 793,400.

      • Markham could easily support a team and came close to building a new arena. It’s the most logical choice, but the NHL figures that market is in the bag already and is only interested in growing to new markets, hence the ridiculous Las Vegas team that nobody asked for. It’s offensive, but that’s what you get from Bettman

      • Not sure it is offensive Dan, as plenty of posts above make logical arguments for it. But I do agree that another team in Southern Ontario could easily be supported. Hamilton, Markham, Mississauga.
        Mississauga has plenty of Corporate HQ’s so you would think those $ would be there and there is a waiting list for Leafs tix.
        You would think that if the NHL (owners) thought they could make money then they would. It is what they try to do everyday with their teams and other businesses.
        Is there truth to the rumor that the TML have a contractual agreement dating to way back when, that states they own the rights to hockey in that region?
        Who knows, Bettman has denied it I think.
        Or do they just think all Southern Ontario fans already cheer for the leafs and won’t switch?
        No idea, but it does seem to stand out as THE obvious area to expand or relocate.
        Plenty of rabid hockey fans and corporate $$ in that region.

      • And as far as ownership goes, Bell and Rogers share a 75% controlling share of Maple Leaf Sports.
        Perhaps they would each like their own team.
        Regardless, deep pocketed ownership would not be an issue.

    • Except the usual talk about Hamilton, Toronto and Saskatoon.

      • Saskatoon is even smaller than Halifax. Bell, combined Saskatoon and Regina only total 470,556 (260,000 Sask and 210,556 Regina), barely more than Halifax metro. And Regina/Saskatoon are 2 1/2 hours (260- km) apart!

  9. Thought i heard rumblings of another team in toronto. And that Quebec just isnt a large enough market. I do see the point on QC being a relocation if a American city with low interest is failing. But the nhl seems pretty saitisfied with them lesser markets. I mean the coyotes are gettn a new arena so i dont really see a relocation happening. And seattle seems like a sure thing in a few years. I personally dont see how a candian city can fail i mean its their sport.

    • What would ultimately sink Quebec City is a combination of their population and a tendency to bring language politics into EVERY endeavor. I don’t see too many quality UFAs uprooting unilingual English families to put them into that kind of situation. And when it comes to the draft you might find more Eric Lindros’s surfacing. Way too much baggage with other American cities like Milwaukee, Seattle, and a second team in Toronto much better options. Montreal, where the language issue (and distance) is not so much of a factor could probably support 2 teams (bring back the Maroons???) 🙂

    • Except it’s not their sport anymore. It’s like baseball in us. It’s the “national pastime ” But Latin America and Asia have globalize baseball. Hockey is globalized. Look at the top ten of the most recent NHL draft to see how Canada has become just one part of the overall game

  10. “Ben Hutton has signed a two-year, $5.6 million deal with the Vancouver Canucks.”

    As Bill Veeck observed many years ago in regards to escalating baseball salaries “It isn’t the high price of stars that is expensive; it’s the high price of mediocrity.”

    • And Veeck signed Eddie Gadel ( sp ? Off the top of my head not sure on last name too lazy to look ) Veeck was a character but right on in that statement.
      You brought up the size of Saskatoon, I could never understand the fit besides the possible loyalty. As for QC it be funny to see them bring back the name Aces. Take that Vegas !!

      • Look no further than the Saskatchewan Roughriders. If a team were put in Saskatoon and marketed as the entire provinces team, I can assure you as A Regina resident, fans would support the team.

        The Riders sell more merchandise than every single professional sports team in Canada, not named the Leafs or Canadiens. That’s more than the Jays, Raptors, Jets, Oilers, Flames etc etc.

        Now in saying that, no I don’t think the NHL will even give it a second thought right now, but honestly I think they should be.

  11. off topic
    james van riemsdyk for jacob trouba?
    doguie hamilton for jacob trouba?
    goods for each teams?
    hard for other teams to beat value?