One aspect looming over each NHL club this season will be the expansion draft set to take place for the new Las Vegas franchise in June.
All 30 existing clubs must have their protected lists submitted to the league on Saturday, June 17, 2017. Las Vegas will then have 72 hours to pour over those names, and submit its list of 30 names – one player from each team.
One day later, on June 21, we’ll learn the roster of the Las Vegas _______.
But might we see some negotiating and trading before this point, among the NHL’s newest franchise and current teams not wanting to lose certain players in that expansion draft?
That very subject came up for Insider Pierre LeBrun during a Friday afternoon appearance on Winnipeg’s TSN 1290.
“I think it’ll have a little more civility to it than the ones in the past, only because – I think I reported this at the draft in Buffalo, but – it used to be that the expansion team could not start making trades until the expansion draft,” noted LeBrun. “In other words, their account opened officially as a franchise in terms of making moves.
“This time around the NHL is looking at allowing Vegas to start making moves three weeks before, on June 1. I think that will allow Vegas to get approached by teams, and also to approach teams, to make some of those deals that you’re talking about – where a team will say, ‘Don’t take Marc-Andre Fleury, and I’ll give you a third-round pick.’ Etc, etc.
“And the league wants those moves to be transparent, and that’s why I think they’re going to open the window for trades way before the expansion draft – so that all of those moves actually happen before Vegas decides who to select in the expansion draft.
“So that’s probably a smart idea.”
Source: TSN 1290/ Transcript: Nichols