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We now know every player available in the National Hockey League expansion draft

26 Juin 2017

The Golden Knights will select 30 players (one from each team), and they must select a minimum of 14 forwards, nine defensemen and three goalies.

They are hunkered down in a boardroom about 20 minutes from the Strip and meticulously working towards giving the NHL's 31st franchise an identity.

The list of players available to Vegas was released over the weekend, with each team protecting seven forwards, three defencemen and one goalie, or eight skaters and a goalie. McPhee, the former longtime Capitals GM, is a busy man right now. What it does is, some of the things we were anxious about with no-move clauses and that sort of thing didn't happen and I think the harvest of assets that we are going to have now will be what we were hoping for. In fact, even if the Golden Knight don't take Mrazek, the Red Wings will continue to try to trade him.

The deadline for the Golden Knights' selections isn't until 7 a.m. Wednesday but McPhee and his team want to be early in case of complications.

The NHL expansion draft and Vegas' initial roster will be unveiled during Wednesday's televised NHL Awards Show.

"We've got lots of things lined up, but until we see everything, we don't have anything", McPhee said. "What we've told everyone today is that today will be the last day we're going to have those discussions". They may be different.

In so many ways, the National Hockey League got this right.

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Sometimes it takes a couple of weekends off where you should be to figure "this is better". It's a great advantage to be able to go and spend a whole day on something".

"This is a complicated process", McPhee said. You can't get too cute and try to complicate it too much, and we're being real direct with players. "That is starting to happen". McPhee has made it known that he's willing to cut deals-if you want a player, Vegas could select them and trade them to you.

The price to make a deal is high. Defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk could be a sleeper selection for the Knights from the Chicago Blackhawks' pool of players.

McPhee's message to teams Sunday was: "You can negotiate your way out of this if you wish". On their protection list, which was submitted to the league Saturday, Washington included forwards Alex Ovechkin, Nick Backstrom, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Andre Burakovsky, Marcus Johansson, Lars Eller, Tom Wilson as well as defensemen John Carlson, Matt Niskanen and Dmitry Orlov and goaltender Braden Holtby. "We will not make a claim with any club before we talk to the club". If he's unable to play, the Knights would pay him his money but his salary would not count against the team's salary cap. The Golden Knights must take players whose average annual salaries add up to at least $43.8 million, or 60 percent of the $73 million salary cap that was in place for this season.

Matt Dumba (Minnesota) - The Wild had five defensemen to protect and shielded Ryan Suter, Jared Spurgeon and Jonas Brodin, leaving veteran Marco Scandella and Dumba exposed.

There is no time to waste at the Golden Knights headquarters. Vegas has indicated via statement they will give all 30 clubs "every opportunity to keep their rosters intact if they'd like".

According to several news outlets, the Golden Knights have been getting offers from several National Hockey League teams asking them to stay away from certain players, and offering draft picks if they do.

"Nothing is final until everything is final", said McPhee.