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Tag: Expansion Draft (Page 1 of 4)

No One But McPhee May Be Able To See Protection Lists, Even Other GMs

This strange saga keeps getting stranger. We’ve long expected the NHL Expansion Draft protections lists to be made public the day the Golden Knights 72 hour draft period begins allowing speculation to dominate the world of sports talk. Then recently we found out the NHL may keep the lists private from the media and the pubic in what would be a giant mistake.

Now, it looks like they may even take it one step further. It’s possible no one but the Golden Knights will get to see the full lists.

The managers have expressed a preference for maintaining the confidentiality of that information. We will make a final decision in due time. There is no rush here. -Bill Daly, NHL Deputy Commissioner

The issue here, I think, is that some GMs are hesitant to let everyone else in the league see how they are ranking or otherwise valuing their own players. I would argue that they already do show their cards when they reveal how they compensate the players in terms of salary. But I suppose that, if lower-paid players end up getting protected over higher-paid players in some cases, teams might not want that kind of naked truth being blatantly blasted out there for posterity. –Pierre LeBrun, ESPN

Before you go nuts about how ridiculous this is, let me take a moment to explain why this is the only way as a Golden Knights fan you should be okay with them not making the lists available to the public.

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NHL Will Televise Expansion Draft Unveil

After this pesky 30 team hockey season going on right now comes to a close, the eyes of the hockey universe will all be focused on Las Vegas.

The Expansion Draft takes place from June 18th to the 20th with the unveiling of the rosters on the 21st. The NHL Awards show is expected to be the same day, and finally we’ve got some clarity on how the NHL plans on showing the world the 30 players George McPhee selected in the Expansion Draft.

In a conversation with Puck Daddy at the league general managers meetings about the upcoming NHL Awards, chief content officer Steve Mayer mentioned that the NHL will look to televise both the awards and the announcement of the expansion roster of the Vegas Golden Knights around same timeframe Las Vegas. It’s currently unclear, which television partner the NHL will use for the expansion draft. –Josh Cooper, Puck Daddy

Before you jump down anyone’s throat saying, “they should televise the draft itself!” read this, then come back and finish this article.

It is a step in the right direction that the league has confirmed it will indeed show the reveal of the picks, hopefully on NBC or at least NBCSN.

The Creator has said on multiple occasions that the Expansion Draft reveal will be at T-Mobile Arena, will be open to the public, and he wants to announce a pick once every five minutes. With the event being on TV, they’ll likely have to speed it up a bit, but it should be a memorable event no matter how it actually goes down. The Creator has even gone as far as saying he expects the building to be at max capacity, which would be amazing.

The Golden Knights are expected to unveil their jerseys at the Expansion Draft reveal as well.

As for the NHL Awards Show, we have multiple sources who have told us the preliminary plans are to hold it at The Park Theater right next door to T-Mobile Arena. Previous Awards shows have been at the Hard Rock, Wynn, and Palms, but there’s no denying now that MGM has a theatre the correct size (around 4,000), they’ll want to keep the NHL’s events all in the family.

The news of televising the reveal isn’t surprising in the least, but with the recent revelations of the league considering not making the protection lists public during the Expansion Draft, we’ve learned not to take anything for granted.

So, good job NHL on televising the reveal. For sure change your mind on the protection lists though, and also let’s try and put the reveal on TV somewhere people will actually watch it, and by that I mean not NHL Network.

Stagnant Salary Cap Good News For Golden Knights

The NHL GM Meetings kick off from Boca Raton today with Golden Knights GM George McPhee finally allowed to be a part. The 31 general managers will discuss things like coaches challenges, the offside rule, bye weeks, concussion protocol, among many other rules and regulations.

There’s one that’s particularly interesting to Vegas though, and it has nothing to do with the Expansion Draft. It’s the salary cap and how projections are for it to remain stagnant rather than the normal annual increase.

The NHL apparently anticipates the cap to remain flat next season, with little if any increase projected over this year’s $73 million ceiling. So the major-market franchises that drive NHL revenue and successful clubs that habitually are cap teams get hammered again in attempting to maintain — or improve — their personnel while the small market clubs go along for the ride. –Larry Brooks, New York Post

If this does indeed come true, which we should find out sometime over the next three days, it’s a win for the Golden Knights.

We’ve always known that teams are going to be looking for a way to dump contracts on McPhee, which he has a plan for.

I’m not taking on any bad contracts unless someone wants to pay us to take on a bad contract. I’m really not interested in that, we’ll claim somebody else if we have to. -George McPhee

With the cap not increasing, teams like Chicago, Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh, Detroit, and a host of others who are already up against it will have some tough decisions to make.

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If A Deal Was Done For Eric Fehr, Why And What Would Vegas Get?

The trade deadline came and went with the Golden Knights making some of the biggest news. No, they didn’t actually announce the acquisition of any players, draft picks, or expansion agreements, but they did become a “fully operational member” of the NHL.

Thus, George McPhee was effectively in the game before the clock struck midnight on the deadline. The NHL’s gibberish rules for what the Golden Knights can now do state that even if McPhee did pull off a deal, it could not be made official until every player involved has completed their 2016-17 season, which won’t happen until April at the earliest.

However, that didn’t stop the guys over at Hockey Central from speculating that deals were indeed agreed upon. Former Columbus BJ’s general manager Doug MacLean basically guaranteed the Golden Knights agreed to at least a few deals, and even went as so far as to mention one player by name. Eric Fehr.

Eric Fehr, the former Capital (hint, hint), Jet, Penguin, and now Maple Leaf just so happened to play his junior hockey with the Brandon Wheat Kings (hint, hint, hint, hint!). His contract expires at the end of the Golden Knights first season and is a reasonable $2 million for the right winger. He’s been around the league, is considered a good locker room guy, and talent wise he’s certainly going to be good enough to be on Vegas’ initial 23 man roster. The point is, the Golden Knights staff has a connection to him, he has a friendly contract, is the type of player they are looking for, and is good enough at hockey.

Now, take a look at the Maple Leafs expansion situation. Their most coveted players are all exempt due to age, Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, William Nylander and Nikita Zaitsev. There are nine players currently on the roster with expiring contracts, all but two of which for the sake of this exercise can be thrown out. That leaves them with 16 skaters that meet the requirement eligible to be protected. Bear in mind, they must expose two forwards and one defenseman that are both under contract and have played 40 games this year or 70 in the last two. The Maple Leafs currently only have seven forwards who fit both qualifications, and that’s including Fehr.

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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.

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Translating NHL’s Rules And Regulations On Vegas Transactions

252 days ago the NHL announced Vegas as the league’s 31st franchise. Today, the NHL announced Vegas as officially the league’s 31st franchise. There’s a difference there, and it involved $500 million dollars of The Creator’s money, but we don’t have to worry about it anymore, thank goodness.

What we do have to worry about is what has changed between yesterday and 12:04 this afternoon when the Golden Knights sent out the press release confirming the final payment has cleared and have become a “fully operational member of the National Hockey League.”

With the announcement the league put out a list of rules and regulations about exactly what George McPhee and the Golden Knights are able to do now that they are fully operational. Unfortunately their rules are written in some sort of jibberish laywery talk which is nearly impossible for English speaking humans to understand. (Yes, I did just say lawyers aren’t humans.) Luckily, SinBin.vegas is here to translate. Here we go!

**There’s an acronym glossary at the bottom**

Bona Fide Transactions: Effective today, Vegas may now enter into Trades and Waiver Transactions or sign Players to NHL SPCs in accordance with CBA Section 50.8(d) or a Player Transfer Agreement (a “bona fide transaction”). Any bona fide transactions involving current Players must specify the identity of each and every such Player(s) at the time the transaction is entered into.

Translation – Vegas can make trades and sign players. They just can’t cheat the CBA and have to tell the league when they make trades or sign players.

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Six To Eight Teams Have Already Called Vegas To Talk Trades

We are just over a week away from the NHL Trade Deadline and it appears the Golden Knights and George McPhee are already the talk of the town. As mentioned previously on SinBin.vegas the Expansion Draft is causing teams to hesitate a bit on pulling off deals, but one thing they haven’t waited to do is to reach out to Vegas.

We’ve been taking calls from teams already that are interested in doing something to bolster their team for the playoffs, but they’ve also got us to worry about and they don’t want to go and add some players that they are going to lose right away to us. -Geroge McPhee, GM

That nugget was dropped on a recent interview with Tyler Bischoff and Jim Bola on the Coaches Corner. (Interview starts at 25:30)

They’re interested in talking to us about some sort of deal. What can they give us to lay off of certain people and our answer so far is, we’re not sure yet. It’s got to be something good, it’s gotta be better than the player we are looking at. You want that player now we’ll take something for the future and it’s got to be pretty darn good. -McPhee

The question that now needs to be answered is whether McPhee and his crack staff will know exactly what they’re willing to take before the clock strikes noon on March 1st.

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Golden Knights Causing Conservative Approach At Deadline

As we’ve realized throughout this entire process, expansion is confusing. This week TSN/ESPN’s Pierre Lebrun broke open a future scenario involving the Golden Knights and the Blue Jackets. On TSN Montreal, LeBrun reported Columbus is internally debating on how to protect themselves against expansion. He gives a theoretical sequence of events.

Take the Columbus Blue Jackets. Let’s just pretend they trade for Matt Duchene (again, this is purely to make a point, folks) in exchange for Prospect X, Player X and Draft Pick X. Then, obviously, they would want to protect Duchene as one of their seven forwards for the expansion draft. That means a guy such as William Karlsson or Josh Anderson gets exposed. So that means the cost of the Duchene trade becomes what was traded for him, plus Anderson or Karlsson (who would go to Vegas). For a young team such as the Blue Jackets, that’s what they are thinking about. Which is why a rental player makes more sense for a team like that; a pending unrestricted free agent doesn’t affect protection plans for the expansion draft. –Pierre LeBrun, TSN/ESPN

Just the threat of the Golden Knights have GMs second-guessing moves that could impact their postseason. Some teams cannot afford to take on a contracted player. There’s an excellent piece from friend of the site, James Mirtle, on this same topic, but it’s behind a paywall now, so we can’t grab quotes.

It’s unique, because it’s not an issue of money but limited space to protect players. Like LeBrun said, if teams are giving up three assets for a deadline player, it could end up being four. Teams are working tirelessly at player protection lists and some have no room as it is.

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Punts, Draft And Discards, Throw Aways; Whatever You Call Them, They’re McPhee’s Secret Weapon

Unrestricted free agents are going to play a major role in the Expansion Draft in June. We’ve discussed the exclusive negotiating window, the rule that a selected UFA qualifies as the pick from their previous team, and the possibility of “cheating” going on by gaming the NHL’s calendar.

But there was one minor detail that has a chance to become major when the selections are finally being made in the war room in Summerlin. I’ve previously called them “punt” or “draft and discard” picks, and now we’ve got a new name for them. Throw away picks, a term coined by George McPhee and most recently used in an interview on KDWN’s The Coaches Corner. (GMGM interview starts at 25:45)

What we have to be careful of is drafting an unrestricted free agent without having a contract in place. We are not gong to do that unless we are prepared to lose the player. It’s a throw away pick. Let’s assume it’s a team that doesn’t have much, and we don’t want to take on a big contract, you can just take on an unrestricted free agent and not sign him, do no harm to the organization with a bad contract. -George McPhee, GM

That’s right, Vegas can select an unrestricted free agent, or a restricted free agent who has yet to receive a qualifying offer, and never sign the player. It’s essentially a wasted pick, but there’s a massive benefit that comes with it.

In today’s NHL there are two major commodities, talent and cap space. Teams win consistently when they can maximize both at the same time. The Vegas Golden Knights aren’t going to be overflowing with the talent, but they do have the unique ability to control their cap unlike any of the Original 30.

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Columbus Is In Serious Expansion Trouble With All-Star Cam Atkinson

Last week I was asked if I thought any of the 2017 NHL All-Stars would be left unprotected. At first glance, I thought no way, however, I thought there could be a few All Star snubs available to Vegas. It all worked out as my answer Cam Atkinson, was a late addition to the Metropolitan roster. The first time All-Star took that opportunity and went HAM. He scored twice in the 3-on-3 final and was narrowly edged out by Metro teammate Wayne Simmonds for tournament MVP.

The 27 year-old Blue Jacket is enjoying a career year to go along with the unimaginable Columbus run. Atkinson is finally breaking out in his fourth full season as a BJ. However, he struggled to get ice time early on which resulted in two seasons split in the AHL and NHL. The Connecticut forward was drafted very low, although he played at hockey factories Avon Old Farms and Boston College. In fact, he went on a torrid streak in 2010 leading the NCAA in goals (30) and scoring three hatties in ten games. Six years later he set his NHL career high in goals and points with 27 and 53, and he’s well ahead of that pace this season with 22 and 46, with 33 games to go. Every season, Atkinson has gotten better which is a good attribute to any team willing to invest. Like Vegas.

The Blue Jackets have a bunch of great young players they’ll want to protect. But they also have a lot of older players they’ll be forced to protect. It wouldn’t be surprising if GM Jarmo Kekalainen approached Hartnell, Clarkson or Tyutin with a Vince Vaughn-esque pitch to waive their no-movement clause for an expansion draft. If he can’t entice them into a possible move to Sin City, Columbus risks exposing Johnson and Atkinson – the top point-scorer on last year’s team – or up-and-comers such as Wennberg, Jenner or Murray. — Mike Hume, Washington Post

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