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Tag: Tom Lynn

NHL Releases List Of Veterans Exempt From The Expansion Draft

Historically one of the ways expansion teams have “punted” on draft picks has been by selecting veteran players who will never actually play for the new team. It allows the expansion team to essentially pass on a pick and not have to take on the salary of a player from all 30 NHL teams.

The league has taken the draft and discard strategy in mind this year and is attempting to curb it by making some of the possible options exempt from the draft. Today, the league released the list of veteran players exempt from the draft. Here is the full list according to Craig Custance.

Dave Bolland (Arizona)
Craig Cunningham (Arizona)
Chris Pronger (Arizona)
Cody McCormick (Buffalo)
David Clarkson (Columbus)
Johan Franzen (Detroit)
Joe Vitale (Detroit)
Ryane Clowe (New Jersey)
Mikhail Grabovski (Islanders)
Pascal Dupuis (Penguins)
Nathan Horton (Toronto)
Stephane Robidas (Toronto)

(Clarkson and Horton have NMC’s. They will not be required to waive the NMC’s as they are now automatically exempt from the protection process)

All 12 players on the list are out with extended injuries and likely won’t play in 2017-18. Therfore, McPhee cannot select them just to soak up their salary to reach the 60% limit.

That’s not the only way to skirt the rule stating the Golden Knights must pick a player from every single current NHL team.

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

Vegas could select an unrestricted or restricted free agent and never offer them a deal. That keeps them out of a bad contract, but it won’t count towards the 60%.

This list today proves the league is getting smarter with Expansion Draft shenanigans. In the end it probably won’t hinder McPhee too much, but it does take away one possible avenue.

**Former Assistant GM for the Minnesota Wild and author of the book How To Bake An NHL Franchise From Scratch, Tom Lynn, joined the Podcast and explained exactly how/why drafting an injured player makes sense in the Expansion Draft. ** (2 minute clip below, full podcast here)

McCrimmon Reading Up On Expansion Strategies

When this website began, one of the first things we did was start reading up on our history. As the saying goes, “Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.” We examined the history of hockey in Las Vegas, the backgrounds of every person involved in the bid to bring hockey here, and most importantly the history of expansion franchises in the NHL.

For my money, the best resource for learning about the ins and outs of an NHL Expansion Draft is the book, “How To Bake An NHL Franchise From Scratch” by former Assistant GM of the Minnesota Wild, Tom Lynn. The book has it all, from the genesis of the team, to stories from the Expansion Draft war room, to contract discussions with players, it really describes the entire process Las Vegas is set to go through.

There have literally been more than 2o articles on this website that have come directly from that book, and we had the pleasure of speaking to Tom for more than an hour on a podcast. If you want to be an expert, it’s required reading.

That’s why I was pumped to find out a high ranking official with the Las Vegas organization has read the book and calls it a blueprint.

Assistant GM Kelly McCrimmon is leaving no stone unturned in doing the legwork to help Las Vegas GM George McPhee try to build a winner in Nevada, and that includes reading Lynn’s account of building the Wild. –Craig Custance, ESPN

Read More Podcast #32: Tom Lynn

Former Assistant General Manager of the Minnesota Wild during the 2000 Expansion Draft, current NHL agent/advisor, and author of the book “How To Bake an NHL Franchise From Scratch: The First Era of the Minnesota Wild,” Tom Lynn joins the show. Hosted by Ken Boehlke.

  • Tom gives us a quick background of his career.
  • The difference between the expansion rules the Wild faced vs. those the Vegas franchise will face.
  • How early success can get in the way of the long term plan.
  • Tom talks about how incredible of a hire Kelly McCrimmon was for Las Vegas.
  • The “He stop hockey!” story, and how it relates to the idea of drafting contracts rather than players at times in the Expansion Draft.
  • The massive difference between building a culture in Las Vegas vs. Minnesota.

And much more…

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**Thank you very much once again to Tom Lynn for joining the podcast, buy his book now on, believe me, it’s well worth it.**

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