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Deadline Moves Directly Affecting Expansion Lists

The old fax machine that receives official trade paperwork has officially thrown in the towel. Hopefully, the 90’s Brother fax machines have been donated and the NHL is fully state-of-the-art. Maybe it’s so modern, that a hologram Gary Bettman accepts each deal with team GMs. If that’s the case, poor hologram Bettman must be tired from filing deadline trades. Some moves are headline grabbing like the Capitals going all in on Kevin Shattenkirk, while most of the others are page fillers. Some trades could’ve confused hologram Bettman, even Vlade Divac wouldn’t have traded a highly rated prospect like Jonathan Dahlen for Alex Burrows. Questionable trades or not the league still has to confirm the transactions.

Also, over the past few days the Vegas Golden Knights have effected some minor moves that don’t get headlines. Small deals and extensions that only Vegas GM George McPhee would react to. Here are two expansion impacted moves that might have gone under the radar.

The first move was a rare player for player deal. Montreal shipped underwhelming center David Desharnais to Edmonton for 25 year-old defenseman Brandon Davidson. Desharnais could be the only guy who gets booed more than Bettman at the Bell Centre. The 30 year-old center has disappointed Habs fans since he signed a $14M deal. Davidson was an underused blue liner that was on his way out of Edmonton anyways. Many believed Davidson would draw attention from the Golden Knights which could’ve forced Edmonton’s hand. The move worked well for Montreal, in fact they were willing to retain 20% of Desharnais’ contract to trade for Davidson. Former QMJHL scout and analyst Simon Boisvert praised Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin but didn’t understand Edmonton’s rush.

The Vegas impact forced a team to react irrationally and now a quality player is off the board for McPhee. Davidson would’ve been an ideal selection for the Golden Knights when you consider his age, size, and puck possession ability. Now, Montreal will gladly protect him along with Shea Weber and Jeff Petry. In a weird way the Golden Knights got hurt from their own silent threat. To Boisvert, Edmonton panicked and now a young, 6’2, 200lbs defensive won’t be available to Vegas.

The second move impacted by Vegas was not a trade at all. The Blackhawks extended the contracts of forward Jordin Tootoo and defenseman Michal Rozsival to one year extensions. Both players will make under a million dollars next season. Neither deal will effect the Blackhawks on the ice but will help the club with their expansion strategy.

The signings help Chicago fulfill its expansion draft-exposure requirements. Each NHL team must expose at least two forwards, one defenseman and one goalie who meet the criteria spelled out by the league. –Pierre LeBrun, ESPN

LeBrun suggests the inexpensive extensions now protect a player like Ryan Hartman. Rozsival and Tootoo are obvious names that McPhee will read on the Blackhawks exposure list. At this point in their careers who knows if they draw any Vegas interest but their extensions are extremely attractive. The Blackhawks have always been a forward-thinking organization and they continue to do it again. Chicago is prepping for expansion while also lining things up for yet another late playoff run.

Expect to read small daily transactions like one-year extensions for depth players. Although, yesterday we asked McPhee if he thought one-year extensions were going to be a trend and he gave me an answer I probably deserved.

Yeah. Yeah. -George McPhee

He answered as if I asked him if he cleaned his room. He gave me nothing, and personally I’m okay with that answer. It was a long day and he wanted to get back to their fourth mock draft. Or maybe Kelly McKrimmon showed up with tacos al pastor and they planned to catch up on some network television. Bottom line is don’t worry about other teams, McPhee will see their strategy and raise them a 3rd round pick to take on a Tootoo.

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4 Comments

  1. PhiSig 150

    Any chance the Kings might now leave Quick exposed? I’ve heard rumblings. I would love Quick. That’s a star you market around.

  2. Jason Pothier

    Wow. Haven’t heard that, but even with his heavy contract you’d absolutely have to think about quick. Atleast for trade bait. Very interesting.

    • Wouldn’t make a ton of sense unless they pulled off a deal even better than his, and long term, with Bishop. I’d be really really surprised if Bishop is re-signed and Quick is exposed. (But, if it happens, it’s an east decision for McPhee)

  3. PhiSig 150

    I think I heard it on some afternoon sports show on 920 AM that they might want to protect Bernier and go after a free agent like Bishop.

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