Perron among unprotected Blues for National Hockey League expansion draft

Erica Murray
June 21, 2017

With just a few days before the NHL expansion draft and the actual NHL draft, the NHL rumor mill is starting to heat up.

Every NHL team's list was unveiled on Sunday.

Vegas won't take Sami Vatanen or Josh Manson from the Anaheim Ducks, they've also agreed to not take Joonas Korpisalo, Josh Anderson and Jack Johnson from the Columbus Blue Jackets and won't take Josh Bailey, Brock Nelson, Ryan Strome or Calvin DeHaan from the Islanders.

Vegas Golden Knights general manager George McPhee had difficulty containing his excitement in anticipation of the NHL's expansion draft list being released.

The Golden Knights now have until Wednesday at 10 a.m. ET to select their team from the lists of available players. A roster freeze went into effect June 17, with clubs only allowed to talk trade with the Golden Knights. As for defensemen, Minnesota exposed both Matt Dumba and Marco Scandella, while Buffalo's Zach Bogosian and Dallas' Dan Hamhuis are also available. The one thing that didn't materialize was a large number of trades happening involving players teams didn't want to expose. The fifth-year player, however, won't be ready for the start of the season after having surgery to fix a shoulder injury.

Five former Colorado College hockey standouts and two others with Pikes Peak region ties were made by available by their NHL organizations for the Las Vegas expansion draft, the league announced Sunday morning.

"We have things lined up", McPhee said. Detroit's Petr Mrazek, once considered the top Red Wings goaltender, wasn't protected along with defenseman Xavier Ouellet, a second-round pick in 2011. They have one unrestricted free agent - Scottie Upshall - and three restricted free agents (Parayko, Paajarvi and Nail Yakupov). But he said Monday was the final day for GMs to make pitches and hold negotiations because Vegas was planning to pick its team Tuesday. "We are going to pick our team tomorrow". There are so many potential moves on the table - trades made or not made, free agents signed or passed on - that McPhee won't have an opportunity to really look back and wonder: What if?

The Golden Knights must select one player from each presently existing team.

With such a limited pool of top-flight offensive players - especially at centre - the Knights will likely have trouble scoring early just as their three most recent expansion counterparts did. Boston also elected not to protect 23-year-old goalie Malcolm Subban, a 2012 first-round draft pick. Goalie is a very important position for a new team, and Fleury definitely has the championship pedigree that would be good in the locker room.

WORTH THE GAMBLE: Among established NHL forwards, Vegas has the pick of two 26-year-olds from Florida: right winger Reilly Smith and center Jonathan Marchessault, who set career highs with 30 goals, 21 assists and 51 points last season and is the biggest bargain in the league at $750,000.

Vegas will surely be looking to select players that can be part of their organization down the road (when they are ready to be competitive), but players closer to 30 years old or with short term left on their contracts may be selected based exclusively on their value to other teams.

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.

Other reports by Insurance News

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