Fleury among players exposed for Vegas NHL expansion draft

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The NHL announced on Sunday the available and protected lists for the 30 teams who will provide players to the Golden Knights. It doesn't make sense unless they have a deal in place with Vegas so they don't select a forward, such as Josh Bailey.

Forwards Claude Giroux, Valtteri Filppula, Jake Voracek, Wayne Simmonds, Brayden Schenn, Sean Couturier and Scott Laughton have been protected.

The Flames solidified their goaltending situation by getting the 35-year-old Smith from the Coyotes for a conditional pick and a prospect, taking advantage of their ability to protect a goalie that most other teams in the market didn't have the luxury of doing.

Frank Seravalli of TSN reported weeks ago that it's possible the Vegas Golden Knights end up with both Kruger and van Riemsdyk. Defenseman Andrew MacDonald and goalie Michal Neuvirth are also available.

The Golden Knights are the league's newest franchise. The league's annual awards ceremonies will be held in Las Vegas on Wednesday and then teams will gather in Chicago for the two-day entry draft, which opens on Friday. They have one unrestricted free agent in Scottie Upshall and three restricted free agents in Colton Parayko, Magnus Paajarvi and Nail Yakupov.

The Montreal Canadiens recouped a third-round pick from the Buffalo Sabres for 24-year-old defenseman Nathan Beaulieu, who has a connection to Vegas coach Gerard Gallant and would've been left exposed in the expansion draft.

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On the other hand, any player with a no-movement clause must be protected.

The NHL is now under a trade freeze that lasts until Thursday at 8 a.m., with teams only allowed to make trades with the Golden Knights. The Golden Knight can't select 10 goalies because they're required to use up 26 of their 30 picks in filling 14 forwards, nine defensemen and three goalie spots. However, with his $.4.7 million cap hit for the next two seasons, Lehtera is unlikely to be an attractive option to the Golden Knights-even considering their necessity to reach the salary floor.

I know what I would do, and millions of other armchair GMs have their ideas, but what will the Stars do?

As for Jurco, when the Blackhawks acquired him in February, general manager Stan Bowman said, "We'll be patient with him, but we really think there's a good fit there, looking at his skills and the style of hockey we play".

"At the GM meetings, the Golden Knights' George McPhee let everyone know that once the lists are handed to him, it's an auction for any unprotected player another team might want", Friedman wrote.

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