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The Detroit Pick; Why, Who, What’s Next?

It’s the one that jumped off the page the most of the 30 Expansion Draft selections. The Detroit Red Wings surprised the hockey world when they opted to protect Jimmy Howard over Petr Mrazek. They also had players like Luke Glendening, Darren Helm, and prospect Xavier Ouellet that appeared to make sense.

But all along, at least since Sunday morning when we saw the lists, the pick that made sense, whether Vegas was to keep the player or not was Mrazek. The 25-year old goalie who is an RFA at the end of this season appeared to be the perfect Expansion Draft pick, or flip. But then, the pick came, and McPhee says…

From the Detroit Red Wings, the Vegas Golden Knights select Tomas Nosek, Forward.

Undrafted, on an entry level contract that falls off at the end of the season, and has only played 17 games in his NHL career. So the question is, throw away pick, or superstar in the making?

Nosek, 24, has only 17 games of NHL experience but impressed the Red Wings during an 11-game stint this season. He had just one point (a goal), but he used his big body (6-3, 210) to drive to the net and go the hard areas of the ice. He also is strong defensively and a good penalty killer. -Ansar Khan,

But before you even start to consider what Nosek may or may not become, we have to figure out what was wrong with Mrazek. He was clearly outplayed all season by Howard, and there was a growing thought that he has an “attitude problem.” Obviously, McPhee did not want him, and the dwindling goalie market (which ended up being completely non-existent) made it so that he couldn’t be used as a trade chip.

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Post Expansion Draft Quick Thoughts


Jason is currently working on rounding up all of then audio and video he was able to gather from the basement of T-Mobile Arena, and I am about to get on a plane to Chicago to cover the NHL Entry Draft. But before I do, here are my quick observations for now. We will have a bundle of stuff tomorrow.

  • Before you go making any judgments on how many picks they got or who they picked or didn’t pick or whatever, wait until the all the trades go through.
  • There should be at least one more first round pick in the works, possibly two or three.
  • They were able to pick up the following picks. 2017 – 1st (#13), 1st (#15) 2nd, 5th, and 6th. 2018 – 4th 2019 – 2nd, 2nd, 3rd 2020 – 3rd. That’s in addition to the seven they already have in each draft. Only pick moved was 4th round in 2017, that will likely be recouped in spades when it’s all said and done.
  • To clarify the Winnipeg situation. Columbus gave the Golden Knights a 1st and 2nd to take David Clarkson and lay off a whole host of guys. Vegas then traded that first rounder (#24) to Winnipeg to move up to #13 and they got an extra 3rd.
  • David Clarkson is injured. He was expansion exempt, but the was included in an expansion deal. It’s a straight salary cap dump on Vegas. Excellent move to take him on.
  • Detroit is confusing. Tomas Nosek was the player selected, no side deals were made. We need to learn a lot more about him.
  • The Islanders got smoked in this draft. Lost three players and a first and second.
  • Anaheim only wound up losing Theodore and Stoner. Theodore is a great player and is certainly in the “core” player for the Golden Knights.
  • Chicago only gave up TVR to this point. More to come obviously.
  • Marc-Andre Fleury got a massive ovation, and it was awesome.
  • The Lightning may end up being one of the best returns from the draft. Jason Garrison is possibly on his way out and they were able to get a 2nd, a 4th, and Nikita Gusev.
  • There’s got to be more to come with Florida. McPhee is almost certainly not in the business of moving a pick for a player, at least right now. He moved a 4th, and got Reilly Smith. Expect Smith and/or Marschessault to be gone tomorrow.

That’s it for tonight. But tomorrow bright and early we will have a bunch more.

“The Pledge”

Prior to the Expansion Draft the term of the day was “player redistribution.” George McPhee and the Golden Knights front office used the term over and over expressing concerns that there might be a ton of player movement prior to the Expansion Draft. Well, it appears McPhee took matters into his own hands and put the kibosh on that.

The Pledge!

Essentially, McPhee told every GM he made a deal with, they’re not allowed to make another deal prior to the the rosters freezing on Saturday night. Reports have indicated that the Golden Knights may have close to 15 trades completed at the Expansion Draft, and it’s likely about half of them were done before the freeze.

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Vegas Golden Knights Jerseys Unveiled

It’s a moment Golden Knights fans have been waiting for since the moment they were told the team name. Finally, at an Adidas event at Intrigue at the Wynn, the Golden Knights revealed their jerseys for the 2017-18 season.

Here are our observations followed by a bunch of photos and a few videos.


  • The jersey looks a lot better in person than it does on the pictures.
  • The design inside of the crest and the “rivets” are unique and certainly add to the logo on the jersey. Hopefully they keep them off the logo though.
  • The alternate logo on the shoulders looks spectacular.
  • The red color pops off the jersey much more when you see it with the pants and socks. On just the sweater portion, the red really gets lost.
  • The inside of the collar with the Vegas word mark is nice.
  • The collar is also two colors. It is black along the back and grey as it comes to the NHL logo in the front.
  • The NHL logo is very shiny, maybe too shiny.
  • The team gloves on the mannequin were white with gold accents. The Creator told me he doesn’t love the white gloves, that he wanted them to be  all gold. An Adidas representative who works very closely with the jerseys said the gold patten cannot be replicated on gloves because it will fall apart. It’ll be interesting to see what happens when October rolls around.
  • As for the helmet, it is black. There was a ton of chatter about it being gold, but it was seemingly vetoed by Adidas and/or the league. The Creator seemed a little disappointed when I asked him about it, but did say he likes the look of the black. Another issue is that it’s hard to replicate gold across multiple helmet manufacturers. There are up to around four different helmets players use and matching the gold to the jersey would have been “nearly impossible” as the rep told me.
  • Remember the idea of the jerseys being a “suit of armor” and having a”chainmail” pattern. That was there in one of the original concepts, but it went away rather quickly. According to Adidas, there hasn’t been chainmail in the design for quite some time.


Read More Podcast #70B: Pete Blackburn

We are joined by hockey podcaster and FoxSports scribe, Pete Blackburn. Talking plenty more Expansion Draft. Hosted by Ken Boehlke and Jason Pothier.

  • Boston’s situation.
  • Most interesting Expansion option.
  • Getting core players vs. assets.
  • How many picks might the Golden Knights actually end up with.

And much more…

We are on iTunes as well as Stitcher. Subscribe now!

itunes                 stitcher-icon-100x100 Podcast #70A: Greg Wyshynski

The guru of Puck Daddy, Puck Soup, and Marek vs. Wyshynski, and our all time favorite Wyshynski, Greg Wyshynski, joins the show. Hosted by Ken Boehlke and Jason Pothier.

  • Puck Daddy was very nice to SinBin, we say thanks.
  • Most interesting Expansion Draft team.
  • Goalie market
  • Sigma Derby

And much more…

We are on iTunes as well as Stitcher. Subscribe now!

itunes                 stitcher-icon-100x100 Podcast #69B: Arash Markazi

Superstar ESPN reporter, and Vegas regular, Arash Markazi joins the show to talk Expansion, partying with champions, and plenty more. Hosted by Ken Boehlke and Jason Pothier.

  • Arash – ESPN’s Las Vegas correspondent.
  • The allure of Vegas for a guy from L.A.
  • Ken becomes the first purchase at The Armory.
  • Expectations of the Expansion Draft/NHL Awards
  • Bill Foley as the Mark Cuban style owner.

And much more…

We are on iTunes as well as Stitcher. Subscribe now!

itunes                 stitcher-icon-100x100 Podcast #69A: In Depth On Expansion Draft

Literally the most hockey focused podcast in site history. This is a solid hour of nothing but Expansion Draft, protection lists, deals, and hockey. Hosted by Ken Boehlke and Jason Pothier.

  • The most interesting team to keep an eye on.
  • George talking about passing on a trade to keep a player.
  • The young players McPhee picks that will become the cornerstones of the franchise.
  • Gerard’s non-involvement with the Expansion Draft.
  • Overall expectations of Wednesday night.

And much more…

We are on iTunes as well as Stitcher. Subscribe now!

itunes                 stitcher-icon-100x100


Vegas Golden Knights NHL Expansion Draft Live Blog

Click through to follow our live blog of the Expansion Draft and the eight events leading up to it.

NHL Releases Protection Lists; Expansion Draft Officially Underway

The time is here, the Golden Knights are on the clock. George McPhee and his staff have been delivered the Expansion Draft protection and exposure lists, and now have 72 hours to select their 30 players. During this same 72 hour period, Vegas has an exclusive window to negotiate with unrestricted free agents not protected. If they sign a player during this window, it will count as the Golden Knights selection from that player’s former team.

The NHL has emailed the protection lists to the Golden Knights, the NHLPA, and the media. We have posted them below.

We are currently taking a look at the lists and we will post our observations below.


  • Neither Manson nor Vatanaen are protected for the Anaheim Ducks. Almost certainly a deal in place to lay off one or the other, or both. Ducks do NOT have a 1st round pick in 2017 Draft.
  • Minnesota has protected Jason Zucker, so Vegas fans can let that dream die.
  • However, the Wild did leave Matt Dumba, Erik Haula, Eric Staal, Marco Scandella, and Gustav Olofsson exposed. Vegas will get either an excellent player, or flip for a solid asset.
  • Nashville protected Calle Jarnkrok, leaving James Neal exposed. Other options include Aberg, Sissons, or even Mike Fisher.
  • No surprises out of Chicago. Kruger and van Riesmdyk are available. Young defensemen Ville Pokka is also exposed. The deal that most have been reporting is likely to come through.
  • Matt Moulson is available. Remember, McPhee is the Godfather to Moulson’s wife. Buffalo also left Franson, Bogosian, Kulikov, and Ullmark exposed.
  • Marc Andre-Fleury is exposed, as expected. But still, no guarantee he’s going to be playing in Vegas. He’ll likely be selected, but Vegas must take three goalies, so at least two other teams will be losing a goalie. He could possibly be flipped to one of those teams.
  • Washington remains one of the most interesting teams to watch what Vegas does with. Nate Schmidt is the big name left exposed, but Phillipp Grubauer, Brooks Orpik, and Karl Alzner are also available and Kevin Shattenkirk is a UFA. McPhee’s vast knowledge of that roster could lead to a surprise there though. (Pheonix Copely?)
  • Keep your eye on Xavier Ouellet who is exposed from Detroit. Most have the Golden Knights picking Riley Sheahan, but the Ouellet could be the steal of the Expansion Draft.
  • The top three players picked by experts to be selected from Colorado have all been protected. Carl Soderberg is the new consensus pick. Mikhail Grigorenko and Patrick Wiercioch are close behind.
  • Dallas did protect Valeri Nichushkin. They must expect him back from Russia.
  • Tampa Bay found a way to protect both Killorn and Namestnikov. Highest remaining available players are J.T. Brown, Cedric Paquette, and Slater Koekkoek.
  • ARI, FLA, LA, NSH, NJD, NYI, and PIT used the 8/1 protection format. Only NYI protected 5 defensemen.

Here are the lists…

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