Fleury among players exposed for Vegas NHL expansion draft

Flyers GM Ron Hextall expects to lose 'a good player' in expansion draft

The Vegas Golden Knights are the league's first expansion franchise in almost two decades, and they will begin play in 2017-18 after selecting at least one player from each of the other 30 teams in the NHL. Vegas certainly will be able to be competitive early on if that's the route they choose to go in the National Hockey League expansion draft.

We've got to think of a good nickname for Sunday morning.

Riley Nash: Maybe not the name you expected to see this time previous year, but Nash is an incredibly affordable bottom-six piece and with the ability to play both center and the wing, there's no sense in the Bruins leaving him exposed for the Golden Knights. For what it's worth, Wild forward Jason Zucker is a Las Vegas native so the allure of drafting a hometown player may come into effect.

Vegas will have the opportunity to select 30 players in a combination with at least 14 forwards, nine defensemen and three goaltenders.

Dustin Brown, who has five seasons and nearly $30 million remaining on his contract, and Marian Gaborik, who has four seasons and almost $20 million left on his deal, aren't exactly appealing options for the Golden Knights, despite each player's impressive resume.

While that sounds kind and human, this is just a ploy for the Golden Knights to turn a player into an even bigger haul.

This means if the Blues have an unprotected player they would like to keep, Vegas could work out a deal for other players and/or draft picks to accommodate their wishes. This game McPhee is trying to play turns a promising expansion draft pick into an impressive haul that could make the team more competitive sooner.

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Now, if the team decides to get Fleury, who is a three-time Stanley Cup champion, they can use his knowledge and skill to teach the young goal keepers in their roster.

The 2017 NHL Expansion Draft is rapidly approaching and each team has already named which players they want to protect from the Vegas Golden Knights. As there's a number of top defensemen exposed such as Anaheim's Sami Vatanen and Ottawa's Marc Methot.

"I was fortunate ... but there was that moment when you wonder who is going to be protected or unprotected", the Calgary Flames assistant general manager said recently.

So, look for the Kings to protect only the best of the best Sunday, when the lists are revealed.

If they can draft a player in the expansion draft that could be later flipped for draft picks (perhaps a Dan Hamhuis type from Dallas), more power to the Golden Knights. People have identified people on other clubs that they'd like to have. And then we're going to go that club and say: 'We have interest in this player, there's another club that has interest in this player, how do we want to do this, how can we protect your roster? It doesn't make sense unless they have a deal in place with Vegas so they don't select a forward, such as Josh Bailey. Most importantly, each team could only protect one goalie.

It seemed to me the Panthers knew the commodity they had on their hands. McPhee can also negotiate deals with teams to not pick certain players, although there will certainly be a price tag attached.

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