Friday, 17 November, 2017

Penguins' Fleury left available for Vegas expansion draft

Penguins' Fleury left available for Vegas expansion draft Penguins' Fleury left available for Vegas expansion draft
Lucia Summers | 22 June, 2017, 07:01

Behind closed doors, the Golden Knights are starting to take shape. FILE - In this February 24, 2017, file photo, Dallas Stars' Cody Eakin (20) controls the puck against the Arizona Coyotes during an NHL hockey game in Dallas.

George McPhee and the Golden Knights, meanwhile have to prepare for two drafts.

(AP Photo/Jim Mone, File).

Some of the NHL's biggest names are available - including future Hall of Famers, such as Jaromir Jagr, Jarome Iginla and Joe Thornton - but those players have little appeal to a Vegas team more interested in laying a solid foundation.

There is no time to waste at the Golden Knights headquarters.

The general manager of the Vegas Golden Knights will choose the players who will suit up first for the NHL's 31st team, and they will be revealed during the NHL Awards ceremony on Wednesday in Las Vegas. Any pending free agent signed would count as Vegas' expansion-draft selection from that player's team.

For 72 hours, or until Vegas finalizes its expansion roster after striking its many and varied side deals, McPhee is the ringmaster of the National Hockey League circus, overseeing a massive churning of National Hockey League rosters.

Several general managers, including Arizona's John Chayka on Saturday, noted how the Golden Knights can corner the goalie market and use those assets as trade bait.

The Red Wings elected to expose goalie Petr Mrazek in the expansion draft, protecting an older and more expensive goalie in Jimmy Howard.

AGP, BPF to Vote for Ram Nath Kovind
We know that once even the Chief Justice of India had said - he did admit - that some percentage of the judiciary was corrupt. The black cat commandos will take care of the Kovind's security till he takes over the office of the President of India.

The expansion draft rules made it so that Vegas would wind up with strong enough goaltending to be competitive even in its inaugural season. McPhee described Neuvirth as "almost technically flawless".

"We're just being real direct with people", said McPhee. "He can be really good". Van Riemsdyk fits that bill. "The question is whether they'll flip him to another team".

The Anaheim Ducks are also a strong candidate to pull the trigger on a deal after failing to protect Vatanen and Manson - two coveted defensemen they'd love to retain.

The Senators were handcuffed by veteran defenseman Dion Phaneuf's decision to not waive his no-movement clause. They are reportedly prepared to give up a 2017 first-round pick so the Golden Knights don't take Brock Nelson or Josh Bailey from their available list.

Marc Methot (Ottawa) - On top of his addition improving the Leafs top four, another fringe benefit of acquiring Norris Trophy victor Erik Karlsson's defense partner would be to weaken a division rival's blueline (if they have not made a side deal to not select him). Vegas could look at Boston's Colin Miller (24), Edmonton's Griffin Reinhart (23) and Buffalo's Zach Bogosian (26).

One interesting avenue the team has started exploring is signing a free agent during this exclusive negotiating window. Nobody has talked about an expansion team the way we've discussed the Golden Knights over the past year. That team wouldn't be an embarrassment, but it's not going to win anything right away either. On the final year of his deal with a digestible $5 million United States cap hit, an established 20-plus goal scorer like Neal, 29, would fit the bill.

His appeal: Marchessault was among the NHL's best bargains last season, potting 30 goals and 51 points for Florida on the first year of a two-year deal worth $1.5 million.

Sometime late Wednesday, McPhee and the rest of the Knights' front office will be able to relax, if only briefly.

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