Looming expansion draft turns up trade chatter around NHL

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Are the Stars going to chance it and leave one of them exposed, or has general manager Jim Nill already swung a deal to give Vegas a draft pick to protect an extra player?

All first- and second-year professionals, as well as all unsigned draft choices, will be exempt from selection (and will not be counted toward their club's applicable protection limits). "That's reality. It's not going to cripple us but you don't want to necessarily lose a player".

Those same requirements have caused drama in Pittsburgh, who have two quality goaltenders in Marc-Andre Fleury and Matt Murray. Friday, June 16: Deadline for a player to waive his no movement clause for the purposes of being exposed in the Expansion Draft. Here's what they said about teams in their market.

If Hextall privately believes he can get Weal signed to a contract (likely before free agency opens on July 1), then the younger player has more upside in the Flyers' future. Montreal may have to cut a side deal with McPhee for a draft pick to have Vegas stay away from Radulov. He is an arbitration-eligible restricted free agent, was a (somewhat) healthy scratch in two straight elimination playoff games, and Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson is expected to be in the fold for a full-time National Hockey League spot next season.

The seven protected forwards have been clear for a while: Rick Nash, Derek Stepan, Chris Kreider, Mats Zuccarello, J.T. Miller, Kevin Hayes and Mika Zibanejad. "I think what you wonder or worry about, you don't know the player, you don't know the (salary) cap hit, so it poses different issues for everybody". The problems are on the back end where the club has to find a way to get around the stringent rules because they'll most likely go the 7-3-1 route when they enter their protected list.

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That is what makes the 72-hour draft window so intriguing.

"I was fortunate ... but there was that moment when you wonder who is going to be protected or unprotected", the Calgary Flames assistant general manager said recently. Those side deals won't be announced until Wednesday night, leaving nearly a full four days of pondering and guessing why Player A is exposed or why Player B was protected. Girardi would have made over $15 million for the next 3 years. TSN reported two weeks ago the Hawks were in talks with the Knights to take on Kruger's contract in a trade while taking van Riemsdyk in the expansion draft. In addition, several players that weren't on the list have also been generated some draft buzz. Not after he proved his worth with a 34-goal, 70-point campaign for the Bruins in 2016-17. Acquiring Tyler Graovac from the Minnesota Wild allows them to protect Lars Eller. It could happen next season or the year after, but it won't take place if the roster loses a key component in the expansion draft.

Capitals goalie Philipp Grubauer could be a target of Las Vegas in the upcoming expansion draft. They still have free agents of their own to sign (Schultz, Dumoulin, Conor Sheary) and need to sign or replace Nick Bonino and a couple of defensemen, but the Pens would be sitting pretty.

National Hockey League teams have two options for the expansion draft: protect eight skaters and a goalie, or protect seven forwards, three defensemen and a goalie.

Marian Gaborik, right wing: The Kings would love to lose him and his contract. The Knights are not commenting on any trade rumors or deals until after Wednesday's reveal of the 30-man roster at T-Mobile Arena.

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