Expansion Speculation on the Bruins, Sabres & Stars – March 21, 2017

by | Mar 21, 2017 | Rumors | 17 comments

Could the Boston Bruins leave defenseman Adam McQuaid exposed in the June expansion draft?

 A look at the players who could be protected or exposed in the June expansion draft by the Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres and Dallas Stars.

BOSTON HERALD: Stephen Harris speculates the Boston Bruins could opt to protect seven forwards (“Patrice Bergeron (no-movement clause), David Krejci (NM), David Backes (NM), Brad Marchand, David Pastrnak, Ryan Spooner and Matt Beleskey”), three defenseman ( “Zdeno Chara (NM), Torey Krug and Colin Miller”) and a goaltender (Tuukka Rask) in the June expansion draft.

Harris suggests the Bruins could still expose Beleskey. Colin Miller’s improvement, meanwhile, could leave Adam McQuaid or Kevan Miller exposed. Either guy could prove attractive to the Vegas Golden Knights. Harris also mused over the possibility of the Bruins asking Chara to waive his no-movement clause, but believes it “questionable at best” that he’ll agree to do so. The Bruins could also be unwilling to risk losing Chara. 

THE BUFFALO NEWS: John Vogl recently did up his list of players the Buffalo Sabres could protect in the expansion draft. His protected forwards include Kyle Okposo, Ryan O’Reilly, Evander Kane, Marcus Foligno, Johan Larsson, Ennis and William Carrier. That leaves Zemgus Girgensons, Matt Moulson, Nicholas Deslauriers and Justin Kea available in the draft.

On defense, he’d protect Rasmus Ristolainen, Jake McCabe and Zach Bogosian, leaving Josh Gorges, Justin Falk and Brady Austin. In goal, Vogl anticipated the Sabres will protect Robin Lehner and expose Linus Ullmark. He also speculated the Golden Knights could choose Girgensons or Ullmark. 

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Mike Heika recently looked at the players the Dallas Stars could protect in the expansion draft. Forwards Jamie Benn and Jason Spezza have no-movement clauses, while Tyler Seguin and Radek Faksa are “locks’ to be protected. He anticipated the Stars will protect Valeri Nichushkin, who’s currently playing in Russia. He guessed they’ll also protect Brett Ritchie and Antoine Roussel and speculated they could trade Cody Eakin or leave him unprotected.

On defense, John Klingberg and Esa Lindell will be protected, as could either Stephen Johns or Jamie Oleksiak. Dan Hamhuis would be left unprotected. Given his age (34) and with only a year left on his contract, the Golden Knights could pass on him. As for goaltenders Kari Lehtonen and Antti Niemi, Heika doubts the Golden Knights have interest in either guy. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As more clubs drop out of playoff contention in the coming weeks, expect the speculation over which players they will expose in the expansion draft to increase in the coming weeks. If the Bruins leave McQuaid unprotected, I expect the Golden Knights will be very interested in him. Same goes for Girgensons if the Sabres make him available in the draft. Johns and Oleksiak are big, young blueliners and either one could be tempting targets for the Golden Knights. 


  1. This is were I put the Bruins in a good position to add a forward via trade. Because who cares if Belesky is protected at this point. Not familiar with a lot of teams depth charts out there but a player like Adam Lowry of the Jets might be left exposed unless the Jets can get Enstrom to withhold his NMC, at 6’5″ with decent speed and good a the pk with some potential for offense he be a nice fit on Boston Left side.

    • I get what your saying Caper regarding Belesky, and there is a hole there that could be better filled.
      I don’t think LV would take Belesky if he was exposed anyway. If it were me, it is one of McQuaid (most likely), Morrow or Subban (unlikely but they need 3 goalies and he might be worth taking a flier on)
      I think the B’s are planning on Cehlarik and Debrusk competing for LW spots next year as well. Young fast and cheap.

  2. Not sure if it was a good game last night but full mark to the leafs for taking advantage of their opportunities and sweeping the Bruins this year that’s an important 8pts.

    • It was a fun game to watch.
      The Leafs are going to be a very good team for a long time with those kids zipping around creating havoc.
      It almost killed me to type that.
      Instant regret, but truth is truth.

      • Yep Shoreorrpark, speed + skill + good coaching = win in today’s NHL. And goaltending.
        I thought it would take a little longer with the Leafs and wish it did.

    • What part of this article mentions anything to do with the Leafs?

      • Tuukka was a leafs prospect. The conversation evolved. Keep up buddy

      • Because Dallas Boston and buffalo really ratcheted up the conversation

      • Oooh I dunno I’ve been lying awake some nights wondering what goalie Dallas will protect in expansion this is pretty riveting stuff.

  3. I think some of the most interesting situations will come from playoff teams, as they haven’t prepared themselves for the expansion draft as much as they have for a deep run.

    Teams like Anaheim, Minnesota, Nashville, and the Islanders will either have to do some maneuvering or will end up exposing some good players.

  4. Protect Larson over Girgensons? No way.

    • Yeah that makes no sense, especially with Larsson coming off injury.

  5. Buffalo will expose Ennis and Moulson. Ennis is too injury prone not to protect a younger cheaper Girgensens over. Moulson despite the 29 pts, 14 goals and 15 assists has been terrible in 5 on 5 play. Moulsons goals have mostly come on the power play and his 5 on 5 is costing too many turn overs due to his soft play. The likeness of Bailey, Carrier, Rodrigues, Nylander and Baptiste all make Moulson a target for a buyout or demotion to AHL if hes not selected by the Knights in the expansion draft. Theres too many other better goalies than Ullmark to be selected by the Knights than for him to be picked. Im not even sure hes draft elligible since he played in the minors all year. It will be Ennis, Moulson, Deslauriers or Gorges selected by the Knights in the expansion draft. Nilsson and Kulikov will walk as UFAs and Franson will be offered a short term deal to return. Gionta will come back a year at a time at a cheaper contract. Guhle will be playing on the blueline in 2017-18. If Bylsma doesnt get this team in the playoffs next year I would consider him gone. They will add another defenseman during the draft via trade, drafting or UFA. I wouldnt expect it to be Shattenkirk yet Murray likes Fowler alot so I expect him to shore up the weakness in 2016-17 on the blueline. This is where you may see a Girgensens deal take place.

  6. Protect Girgensons over Ennis.

  7. Why protect Lehner over Ullmark? If you are a team that wants a goaltender to spot the opponent four or more goals a game, Lehner is worth keeping. If you want a goaltender that plays better than Lehner and is the future, Ullmark should be protected.

    • agreed ice dragon Lehner is a flopper and has needed extra protection from the d men because he blocks the puck and gives up tons of rebounds. Lehner has improved over the 2016-17 season but he definitely wasnt worth the 1st round pick Murray generously gave back to his old crew in Ottawa which landed Colin White. They couldve had Konecky with that pick if they didnt want White who Murray was drooling over before the draft. Truly a waste trading that pick and losing out on a bonafide NHL future star upfront for a backup goaltender. I wouldve been happy with the Ullmark- Chad Johnson duo this year and eith Konecky or Colin White who wouldve added more than Lehner does to this team. Lehner vs Ullmark…..my pick is to keep Ullmark as well. The whole trade for Lehner has been a bust since it happened.

      • The first round pick only had value with Daivd Legwand, now retired, going to Buffalo with Lehner. If the Sabres added another piece to the trade, I think they could have received a better return.