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McPhee Still Expecting Lots Of Player Movement Before Expansion Draft

The Expansion Draft is a little less than two months away. George McPhee are beyond prepared, but seem a bit on edge about what may happen in those 53 days before they are finally on the expansion clock.

McPhee has been talking about a redistribution of the player pool following the season that will shake up the protection lists of many players. In a recent interview with Leafs Lunch on TSN 1050 McPhee went out of his way multiple times to mention the possibility of seeing his roster change from their mock drafts as teams gear up for the draft.

Early in the season (our mock draft rosters) looked really good. (Now) It’s not bad, which I guess is a real neutral Canadian way to say things. I don’t mind it, I’m happy with what it’s looked liked recently and can only hope it looks like that when we’re done. -George McPhee

With eight teams still competing for the Stanley Cup, and very little movement on the NHL transaction list, McPhee has that “calm before the storm” feel to him, and he definitely appears concerned about what may happen before he ever gets his hands on the protection lists.

You said there’s a good chance of real good goaltenders being available, that’s a good way to express it. It looks that way now, but there could be a big redistribution of players in the weeks before the Expansion Draft. So we’ll have to see what it looks like when all the dust settles. -McPhee

The highest profile moves are likely to come at that goalie position. Everyone is afraid of losing something valuable for nothing, so most teams are going to try and be proactive by moving their assets before the Expansion Draft. It’s the reason McPhee has made it so clear in interviews with AP, the RJ, TSN, and many more that he’s more than willing to entertain any offers.

He wants a skin in the game rather than being left on the sideline. His recent comments about player redistribution feel a bit almost scared rather than what felt like he was accepting the inevitable when he talked about it a few months ago. The comment about the mock draft rosters getting worse and worse appears to have really hit home, and the reality of what his Expansion Draft roster might look like after the last round of shuffling could be a frightening sight, and it’s only getting worse.

It’ll be interesting to see and hear what McPhee looks like a few days before the draft and compare it to what he sounded like today. There’s certainly a level of concern, and more than anything, like an 11th grader preparing for the SAT, I think he’s just ready to get this thing over with.

**Here’s the full interview with Leafs Lunch on TSN 1050.**

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3 Comments

  1. PhiSig 150

    I think we’ll be surprised by how little player movement there’ll be. My thinking is that let’s say Team A doesn’t want to lose a valuable player in the expansion draft for nothing so they go to team B during the weeks leading up to the draft to work out a trade. If I’m team B I know team A is looking to unload a player and has a finite time to make a deal happen. So team B has all the leverage so why not then try to fleece team A. Hey something is better than nothing right? But why wouldn’t team A just go to the Knights and offer draft compensation not to draft said player. Or just let the player get picked up by the Knights. You lose a semi-valuable piece but not exactly a cornerstone of your franchise and by letting that player go to the Knights you’re not helping out another team that you might potentially face in the playoffs. The Knights are, even in overly optimistic projections, years away from being a legit contender so there really is no harm in letting a few decent players land in (Las) Vegas. If you really want to keep the player and already have a deep roster in Cup contention then you value upcoming drafts much less than the Knights will. If there is a flurry (Fleury) of trades Vegas will be in the middle of almost all of them landing future draft picks. This team will be built through the draft it just won’t be the expansion draft.

  2. RJ

    When exactly can teams start making trades and signing players? I mistakenly thought the expansion draft was essentially the ‘start’ of the offseason meaning that other than resigning their own FAs teams couldn’t make moves. What exact dates can they make moves? When can FAs to be start talking to other teams? Is it different for UFAs? Can other teams make deals between the time the expansion lists are published and the actual draft?

    So many questions, sorry. Is there a good resource on this info?

    • Phisig150

      I believe a team is free to make trades once they’ve been eliminated and can sign free agents on July 1st.

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