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.
Say the GM’s do indeed get their way. Lists are submitted to the NHL, then forwarded directly to George McPhee. No GM gets to see anyone else’s list, no one in the media, or in the public get to see the nine or 11 players protected by each team. That inherently would be an advantage for McPhee and the Golden Knights.
Think about it, if the GMs say they don’t want the info in the hands of other GMs, they believe it can be used to gain an advantage. They think the lists give out an inside look into the way each team values their players and what their future plans may be.
The only team to get to see all the lists, and have all the intel, is Vegas.
Now I personally don’t believe it’s much of an advantage, because they can basically figure it out anyway. The lists didn’t give Minnesota, Columbus, Atlanta, or Nashville much of a leg up, so why would it be any different for Vegas.
But what I think really doesn’t mean much compared to what the guys running the teams think. If they believe it’s important info, then it is, and it’s up to McPhee to squeeze every last drop of data out of it as possible. He’ll be handed a golden ticket (or at least the other 30 GMs think so), and he’ll have to avoid being Augustus Gloop, Veruca Salt, or Mike Teevee and wasting his chance.
We may not fully understand what the GMs fear, and that’s ok, it’s up to Charlie Bucket McPhee to solve the riddle and turn the Willy Wonka Bettman’s Expansion Draft into his own personal Chocolate Factory.