Never before has the NHL world cared more about No Movement Clauses. The most obvious candidate to waive his NMC, Marc-Andre Fleury signed his paperwork after his third ring-fitting. Others like Dion Phaneuf were asked, and though it’s expected he declines, we may have to wait to see the lists to get the final answer.
With the buyout period looming and roster lockdown a few days away, NHL clubs are scrambling to get prepared for the Expansion Draft. However, some teams appear willing to stand pat and take their Vegas lumps.
In Florida, the first reports were that Panthers front office had asked defenseman Keith Yandle to waive his NMC. The 30-year-old signed a seven-year deal last offseason and apparently Florida was willing to chance him in expansion. Updated reports now confirm Yandle was never asked and will not be exposed. Out guess, Yandle was asked, politely declined, and then the team covered his back by saying they never asked.
Either way, Yandle’s exposure would’ve created an interesting dilemma. Had the Golden Knights selected the All-Star defenseman they could’ve scored big in a flip. Established teams are desperate for blueliners and a rock like Yandle would draw plenty of interest. Or, with the long term deal, would the Golden Knights have thought to keep him and make him part of their “Cup in 6” plans.
Other notable players with NMC’s that were not asked to waive; Marc Staal, Dan Girardi, Andrew Ladd, Johnny Boychuk, Zdeno Chara, David Backes.
A lot of things are out of my control right now. I don’t know what other teams are discussing with regard to expansion and Vegas. I know what I’d like to do, but we’ll see how it plays out. -Steve Yzerman, Tampa GM
In Tampa, despite speculation, the Lightning did not ask Ryan Callahan to waive his NMC. Reports are GM Steve Yzerman reached out to the Golden Knights and is interested in protecting more players in exchange for picks. The Lightning are also rumored to be shopping stud Jonathon Drouin possibly for a defenseman in Anaheim or Minnesota. Opposing GM’s are calling McPhee but they’re texting one another as well. But even if teams make offers to the Wild it doesn’t mean they’ll agree to a deal prior to the roster lockdown.
You’d just rather lose a player than make a bad trade. We’ve talked to other teams. If we want to move players, we can certainly move players, but at the same time, we’re hoping maybe we can get something done with Vegas. We’d obviously have to pay a price of some kind, but the reality is we’re going to lose a player. We have to figure out what’s best for us, not only next year, but moving forward. –Brent Flahr, Minnesota Wild Senior VP of Hockey Operations
The Golden Knights realistically shouldn’t be too effected by other teams trades, especially when you consider Flahr’s point.
There are teams that really want to protect some people and protect their rosters, and they’re willing to pay a pretty fair price to get us to lay off certain people and go in a different direction. -George McPhee
McPhee will one way or another be a part of the trade activity before the Expansion Draft. The Vegas GM is aware of his opportunity to assist other deals as long as he gets his reward, or he’ll simply seek his treasure on an exposed roster list. Jonas Brodin, Travis Hamonic, Sami Vatanen, Tyson Barrie and Antti Raanta could all be on the move this week; all potential players the Golden Knights would be in the market for. I doubt many deals will be done in the next few days, but if they do rest assured, McPhee knew about it first.
Just as important, what is the announcement at The D today? Are they turning the 3rd Street stage into a Fremont Street Hockey arena?