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Golden Knights Exempt From Seattle’s NHL Expansion Draft

Historically when new teams are added to the NHL, they are exempt from the next Expansion Draft. The same was expected to be the case for the Golden Knights when the NHL inevitably adds Seattle. However, earlier this year Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly left the door open for the owners to change their mind and force Vegas to give a player up to Seattle.

Luckily, today, Gary Bettman put a halt to that potential disaster and confirmed the Golden Knights are indeed exempt when Seattle comes into the league.

This is significant news for multiple reasons for the Golden Knights.

The first, and most obvious, reason is that Vegas will not lose a player in the Expansion Draft. Clearly, that’s a benefit as every other team will be subject to the same rules the Golden Knights had when they entered in 2017.

The next is because Expansion Drafts thin out the talent pool in the NHL. Rather than there being 713 NHL roster spots being available (31 teams of 23), there will suddenly become 736. Thus, it will be easier for players to make an NHL roster, meaning the talent at the bottom of rosters will be lesser than it is now. Every other team will have to replace a player with what used to be an AHL quality player. Vegas will not.

The final reason is that because the Golden Knights are exempt, The Creator will not get his cut of the $650 million expansion fee Seattle will pay to enter the league. This is a blow to the owner of the team, but knowing The Creator, he’d gladly give up $16+ million to ensure his hockey team has a better chance of winning.

No matter how you slice it, this is excellent news for the Golden Knights. Plus, we will all get to sit back and experience all the fun of an Expansion Draft, without fear of the repercussions that come with it.

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5 Comments

  1. Balke

    Are they having the expansion draft in Seattle or Vegas ?

  2. The Team Since 12/4/2018 In The Washington State Is Gonna Be Like The Golden Knights

  3. Tom Barrett

    You cannot fairly compare earlier expansion teams with Vegas because the others did not get the sweetheart deal the NHL gave the Golden Knights. Look at the deal all four WHA teams got, for example. They were only allowed to bring two players into the NHL plus a few unprotected veterans. This continued for decades. Yes, Vegas did a good job of selecting unprotected players but no earlier expansion team had anything like the riches set aside for Vegas. The Golden Knights almost won the Stanley Cup in their first season because of the lopsided advantage they were given and presumably Seattle will also get. The earlier expansion teams deserved to not have to give up a player because they had no hope of even making the playoffs.

    • ulf

      exactly, it’s like apples and oranges. I like the fact that the NHL modified the rules from the WHA expansion days, but it was a bit too sweet for my tastes. You can see it in the entitlement of some players on the Vegas bench, too (cough) Marchessault, Reaves (cough). Love Lehner though, good pickup.

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