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Golden Knights Exempt From Seattle’s NHL Expansion Draft

Historically when new teams are added to the NHL, they are exempt from the next Expansion Draft. The same was expected to be the case for the Golden Knights when the NHL inevitably adds Seattle. However, earlier this year Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly left the door open for the owners to change their mind and force Vegas to give a player up to Seattle.

Luckily, today, Gary Bettman put a halt to that potential disaster and confirmed the Golden Knights are indeed exempt when Seattle comes into the league.

This is significant news for multiple reasons for the Golden Knights.

The first, and most obvious, reason is that Vegas will not lose a player in the Expansion Draft. Clearly, that’s a benefit as every other team will be subject to the same rules the Golden Knights had when they entered in 2017.

The next is because Expansion Drafts thin out the talent pool in the NHL. Rather than there being 713 NHL roster spots being available (31 teams of 23), there will suddenly become 736. Thus, it will be easier for players to make an NHL roster, meaning the talent at the bottom of rosters will be lesser than it is now. Every other team will have to replace a player with what used to be an AHL quality player. Vegas will not.

The final reason is that because the Golden Knights are exempt, The Creator will not get his cut of the $650 million expansion fee Seattle will pay to enter the league. This is a blow to the owner of the team, but knowing The Creator, he’d gladly give up $16+ million to ensure his hockey team has a better chance of winning.

No matter how you slice it, this is excellent news for the Golden Knights. Plus, we will all get to sit back and experience all the fun of an Expansion Draft, without fear of the repercussions that come with it.

Golden Knights Exempt From Next Expansion Draft… If It Happens Soon

The Creator better keep as close an eye on expansion as he is whatever is on the KnightTron in this picture. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The Vegas Golden Knights are intimately familiar with the rules of the Expansion Draft and their relative favorability compared to those in the past. Thus, if anyone knows the importance of being spared from any future Expansion Drafts it’s George McPhee.

It was reported previously Vegas would be exempt from the next Expansion Draft, however, it now appears there’s a time limit on the exemption.

Actually our expansion agreement with Vegas doesn’t even account for the exemption. We feel having looked at it preliminarily that it is a fair result that they would not have to expose players for the next Expansion Draft, if there is one. I’m sure if it’s Seattle and this application is different than if it’s 10 years from now with some other market. That’s the extent at which we’ve looked at it, it’s not called for in the expansion agreement at all. -Bill Daly, NHL Deputy Commissioner

Reading between the lines the simple way to put it is, if the Seattle bid comes through, Vegas would be exempt, if it does not, they would not be.

The bad news in all of this is that there it is not expressly written that the Golden Knights are indeed exempt. Therefore, even though it appears this will not be the case, the NHL Board of Governor’s could choose to change their path and force Vegas to expose players like every other team.

It’s really not something to worry too much about with the puck set to drop on the Stanley Cup Final in Las Vegas in less than an hour, but it’s certainly something that could come in to play in a big way soon.

Being exempt would be a major benefit for the Golden Knights as not only would they get to keep their entire roster intact, but the league would dissipate even further. Vegas would automatically get stronger relative to the entire league. Also, McPhee would have the ability to be a workaround for some teams in the weeks and days leading up to the next Expansion Draft.

It only makes sense for Vegas to remain exempt, especially if the reports are true that The Creator would not receive a cut of the expansion fee. The league appears to agree, but only for now. Hopefully the next seven games don’t change that.

Expansion Draft Report Card – First Quarter Year 1

We’ve hit the quarter pole of the Golden Knights first season in franchise history. With it comes no better time to begin what’s going to become a staple here at SinBin.vegas, the Expansion Draft Report Card. There will be a total of three report cards each year until it becomes unnecessary. Preseason, post-deadline, post free agency. This serves as the preseason one for year one.

Each selection is graded based on value. Factors taken into consideration rank as follows: Play of player selected, impact on franchise currently, impact moving forward, and other options that were not taken.

So here we go…

Anaheim Ducks
Selection: Clayton Stoner
**TRADE: Golden Knights receive Shea Theodore for Expansion Draft considerations**

One day I’ll earn McPhee an A. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Theodore remains the most talented defenseman on the roster and despite the early “number decision” stint in the AHL, he appears here to stay. He’s taken over the main defenseman spot on the power play and even tallied his first goal in a recent game. This guy should be a Golden Knight for a long time and his future looks incredibly bright. It’ll be an A+ if he turns out to be what we expect, but at this point, he’s still finding his place. The grade also has to take a bit of a knock because of all the other options from the Ducks. Oh, and Stoner is likely not going to play for the Golden Knights at all. Grade: B+

Arizona Coyotes
Selection: Teemu Pulkkinen

The hard-shooting winger couldn’t crack the team out of camp. He’s currently tearing up the AHL with the Wolves, but has yet to get the call back to Vegas. The options were thin from the Coyotes so it’s hard to give a terrible grade here, but it doesn’t seem as if Pulkkinen will ever fit with what Gerard Gallant is looking to do with his team. If he gets recalled at some point things may change, but at the moment, it appears to be a pick that won’t ever pay dividends for the Golden Knights. Grade: D

Boston Bruins
Selection: Colin Miller

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Let’s Talk About MAF, Baby

Today was a big day in the world of Marc-Andre Fleury rumors, as the Penguins officially asked the back-up goalie to waive his No Movement Clause (NMC) to allow Pittsburgh to expose him for the Expansion Draft.

But before we go into the significance of that news, let’s go all the way back to October when the Penguins signed Matt Murray to a contract extension. At that point, it was clear one of two things were going to happen (whether at that moment or later), either the Penguins knew Fleury was going to waive his NMC, or the Penguins were planning on giving up assets to the Golden Knights in exchange for passing on Murray in the Expansion Draft.  We now know, the more likely of the two has happened. Fleury has waived his NMC and the Penguins will protect Murray.

So now on to the next portion, “only for Las Vegas.” Here are the important facts surrounding Marc-Andre Fleury, his contract, and the Expansion Draft.

  • Today, June 12th, was the last day “for Clubs to request that a player ‘waive’ his ‘No Move’ clause for purposes of Expansion Draft.” (From NHL press release)
  • Fleury has two clauses on his contract, a “No Move” clause and a “Limited No Trade” clause. These are part of the contract he signed with the Pittsburgh Penguins in November of 2014.
  • Players with NMCs must be protected in the Expansion Draft, unless the player agrees to waive it.
  • All contracts will be taken over, with clauses, when the Golden Knights select a player in the Expansion Draft.
  • Fluery’s limited NTC includes a list of 18 teams in which he can be traded to. The remaining 11 he must sign off on if a deal is made. We are unaware of which teams are on this list.

So, today, Fluery waived his NMC, for one purpose, the Expansion Draft. Once he is selected by the Golden Knights (or not selected by the Golden Knights) his NMC will be reinstated. His limited NTC does not affect the Expansion Draft, and will stand whether he is on the Golden Knights or the Penguins on/during the Expansion Draft.

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Calgary GM Thinks Vegas Is Getting Flawed Centers And Overpriced Wingers

Flames GM Brad Treliving was on Sportsnet radio yesterday discussing the Expansion Draft. Calgary doesn’t seem too concerned about their situation heading into the NHL’s 12th Expansion Draft. Returning from the Rookie Combine, Treliving noticed the impact of the Expansion Draft right away. It was a very active week among NHL front offices.

The combine for me was a little bit unique. The attendance was to the level it was, and busy. It’s busy, in the sense that everybody is trying to make themselves better. You’ve got this Expansion Draft, and you’ve got some activity that’s gonna take place. So, conversation has picked up for sure. -Brad Treliving, Calgary GM, Sportsnet 960

The Flames GM seems well prepared for the Expansion Draft and even discussed running a few mock drafts of his own. (We are still waiting for his entry into the SinBin Expansion Draft Contest) However, he knows it’s impossible to predict how it will play out. One thing Treliving can confirm is George McPhee’s plan to take back as much value as possible.

I think we’ve done three [mock drafts]. I think their view point, and it’s the correct view point, is it’s not so much an Expansion Draft as it’s an accumulation of assets. Future assets for them. Whether that’s picks, prospects. -Treliving

It’s nothing we don’t already know, but interesting to hear it from an opposing GM. Treliving suggested multiple teams will want to pluck from the pool of players Vegas selects. Teams could add the type of player they’re looking for through the assistance of expansion. Treliving makes it sound like an old-fashioned swap meet.

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Another Russian Could Be Perfect Expansion Draft Target

If you follow the league really closely, or played NHL 16 when the Dallas Stars were the most fun team to use, you’ll remember the name Valeri Nichushkin.

The 10th overall pick in the 2013 Draft by the Stars had a standout rookie season in 2013. But a rash of injuries and disagreements with the Stars coaching staff led him to head back to the KHL this season.

With the KHL’s financial troubles, and the coaching change in Dallas (Lindy Ruff out, Ken Hitchcock in), it appears Nichushkin may be ready to come back to the NHL.

He’s in Russia now and it’s 50-50 on whether we get him back next season. In the end it’ll be up to him if he wants to come back. It’d be huge for our franchise if we can get him back. – Joe McDonnell, Dallas Stars Director of Amateur Scouting

Not knowing Nichushkin’s situation makes the upcoming Expansion Draft quite the headache for GM Jim Nill.

They need to know his plans by June 18 to make an informed decision on who to protect. Otherwise, they’d potentially be cornered into protecting him to retain his rights even if he’s in no-man’s land. It would be an acceptable outcome to lose a player like (Cody) Eakin or (Antoine) Roussel if the Stars get Nichushkin as the replacement. But to protect Nichushkin and lose one of those players, only to discover weeks later that the former is staying in the KHL, would be a blow to a team that’s trying to win now while (Jaime) Benn and (Tyler) Seguin are elite players. –Satchel Price, SBNation.com

If he’s unprotected, whether he plans on coming back in 2017-18 or not, Valeri Nichushkin is the perfect option for the Golden Knights. He’s 22 years old, won’t command a large contract, has the talent of a top line forward, and has proven it at the NHL level… at the age of 19 nonetheless.

In the event Nichushkin is selected by Vegas and chooses to remain in Russian, the Golden Knights retain his rights until the age of 27. If he opts to come back, they can sign him to a one year qualifying offer worth less than $1M, or sign him to a longer term deal worth probably triple that.

Remember that Shapachyov guy? Maybe he can come in handy here. How bout a quick text? Пожалуйста, верните Валери (Please come back Valeri).

That should do it. But hey, even if it doesn’t, there’s not going to be many players better (and younger) than Nichuskin in the Expansion Draft. He’s absolutely worth a shot.

(Oh, and if they do protect him, it might be even better news for the Golden Knights. Hey Cody Eakin, you thinking Summerlin or Henderson?)

Common Players Found Across TSNs New Expansion Draft Mocks

Two of TSN’s top analysts released their expansion mock drafts with many similarities. TSN’s Director of Scouting Craig Button and TSN’s Senior Hockey Reporter Frank Seravalli are two that are clearly in the know. From the players selected is it possible some secrets are already out of the bag?

Let’s start with the obvious. Go ahead and Twitter search “Marc-Andre Fleury + Vegas.” You’ll read multiple tweets about his eventual move to Las Vegas. In fact, there are even rumors floating that MAF’s wife was in Southern Nevada house-shopping. If any of our real estate friends out there can confirm this story we’d all appreciate it.

Both Seravalli and Button have Fleury taken as the Golden Knights first goaltender. Possibly the outcome of this season could impact the Cup-winning backstop’s decision. After his stellar performance in the first few series the hockey world realized Fleury has a lot left. In fact, there’s a running theory that Fleury and Matt Murray could split the Conn Smyth trophy. Talk about leaving Pittsburg on a high note Costanza. At 32-years-old, Flower could be a valuable commodity for any team. However, according to TSN experts, Fleury will waive his NMC and settle into his six-bedroom/ten bath Summerlin house Mrs. Flower picked out.

A second player selected by Button and Seravalli will be excite the local core. For all that are still upset about the absent “Las” you’ll be happy to read the name Jason Zucker on both mock drafts. Personally, seeing the Wild’s forward selected puzzles me. From all accounts, Minnesota doesn’t seem prepared to move on from the 22 goal-scoring winger. Maybe, the Wild are warm-hearted and will reunite Las Vegas with a native son. The question is, what will it cost the Golden Knights.

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