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Vegas Golden Knights 'really happy' with players available to them

19 Juin 2017

Thirty NHL teams have a few more hours to agonize over the list of players they want to protect from the Vegas Golden Knights expansion draft.

Francis didn't say what his plans might be, saying, "We'll just see where we are and what happens" in the expansion draft.

"We have a pretty good idea of what we would do if we had to put the list in right now", he said. "We're focused on our goal of winning the Stanley Cup and are looking forward to this week as we continue to prepare for the 2017 NHL Draft and free agency". "We were able to acquire a player that we do not have to protect and it gives us a little more clarity there".

McPhee told reporters Sunday that "there were no surprises" when the Golden Knights received the lists and that he was "really pleased with what's available".

First and second-year talents are exempt from the draft, which for the Bruins means players like Brandon Carlo and Frank Vatrano do not need to be protected.

The Florida Panthers protected their defensive core from the upcoming National Hockey League expansion draft - but they left some scorers available to the Vegas Golden Knights.

Deadlines to keep in mind were Friday evening's last call for players to waive no-movement clauses, followed by Saturday's 3 p.m. roster freeze for all teams other than Vegas.

And that was before McPhee learned of the high-profile group of players he'll have to choose from - limited to one from each of the 30 teams - in stocking the Golden Knights roster before submitting his list on Wednesday.

There's also nothing barring Vegas from having a deal in place to select a player in order to trade him to another team. They also are saddled with a number of bad contracts, glaring mistakes made by their previous general manager, Dean Lombardi.

Those Blackhawks exposed to the expansion draft include forwards Marcus Kruger, Jordin Tootoo, defensemen Trevor van Riemsdyk and Michal Rozsival and goaltender Jeff Glass. Marchessault is a free agent after this coming season. But teams could only protect one goalie, and there was no way The King - even at age 35 - was going to be exposed.

As a result, the Golden Knights are demanding draft picks from those teams in order to be steered to selecting other players.

This much is certain: With plenty of teams talking, McPhee is definitely listening. People have identified people on other clubs that they'd like to have.

McPhee's message to teams Sunday was: "You can negotiate your way out of this if you wish". He has still not determined (or is not willing to publicly reveal) whether the Sharks will protect eight skaters and one goalie - allowing them to protect four defensemen - or seven forwards, three defensemen and one goalie. "We're exploring it, trying to do everything we can to make the best decision for this franchise". Rules of that nature will make it easier for the team to collect a cache of draft picks before they ever play a single game. But you also have to provide your fans on The Strip with some sort of entertainment in the first year. Despite going nearly the entire 2016-17 season without a goal, the 25-year-old is a strong skater, a big body and a generally effective two-way center.

Vegas Golden Knights 'really happy' with players available to them