NHL Expansion Speculation – November 24, 2016
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.
Los Angeles (1)
New Jersey (1)
N.Y. Islanders (3)
N.Y. Rangers (4)
Tampa Bay (4)
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.