Golden Knights Ask Fans for Input on Which Blackhawks Player to Pick

Canes general manager Ron Francis said Friday that he has had conversations with McPhee, although noting, "Probably not as much as other teams have had". A list of forwards that includes James Neal, Bobby Ryan, Eric Staal, Brock Nelson, Jonathan Marchessault, Cody Eakin, Troy Brouwer, Michael Grabner, Mike Cammalleri, Jori Lehtera and others.

"We really like what we're looking at right now", McPhee told reporters in Las Vegas on Sunday.

The Golden Knights are expected to be seeking prospects and high draft picks if a club wants to shield certain players.

No matter what strategy the Golden Knights use in the expansion draft, they're going to find the guys they want.

The Golden Knights are owned by Black Knight Sports & Entertainment, a consortium led by Bill Foley, the team will be a member of the Pacific Division of the Western Conference starting in the 2017-18 season. The Islanders may be giving the Golden Knights yet another first round pick (15th overall if it's this year's) to protect their forwards after putting five defensemen on the protection list.

"At some point, we'll be able to exhale and I'll say, 'Holy smokes, we really accomplished something neat, '" McPhee said.

"We are excited to welcome the Vegas Golden Knights to the National Hockey League and the Pacific Division". He has already declared giving the no-movement clause in his contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins, which clearly makes him up for grabs. They've also agreed to not take Johnson, who was the most prominent veteran player left unprotected by Columbus.

In Buffalo, he will be given the opportunity to play a top-four role on a team retooling its defense under Housley, who was hired on Thursday. So there are definitely some great goalies available.

One thing that came out of the protected lists roster reveal is that the Golden Knights stand to walk away with a very strong blue line.

McPhee has a variety of ways he can approach the expansion draft.

The San Jose Sharks failed to protect forward Joe Thornton, the Washington Capitals left forward TJ Oshie free, the Florida Panthers made forward Jaromir Jagr available and the Montreal Canadiens didn't protect Russian star Alexander Radulov.

The Golden Knights must select one player from each of the other 30 teams, and they have until 10 a.m. Wednesday to submit their selections. So, as a hypothetical, a team that might be interested in Washington's Grubauer could incentivize Vegas to select him in the expansion draft and then subsequently trade him.

Unsigned draft picks and first- and second-year veterans were already exempt from the process, and clubs had the option to protect seven forwards, three defensemen and one goalie or eight skaters and a goalie. Like many others, general manager Chuck Fletcher might have a deal in place for Vegas to not take those defensemen. The annual awards ceremonies will be held in Las Vegas on Wednesday.

After that there will be a frenzy of pre-draft trades and the usual flurry of activity just ahead of the July 1 opening of free agency, and numerous names we've heard floated over the last couple of weeks in trade rumors will likely be moved. Neal scored a total of 23 goals this season. The NHL Players Association executive board is meeting in Toronto to determine whether it will approve raising the salary cap from $73 million to $75 million.

The Penguins also might have bought out Fleury's contract, but that would have left them with a salary cap penalty of nearly $3 million per year for the next four seasons. The 28-year-old Raanta (2.26 GAA, .922 save mark over 30 games) proved he could handle the No. 1 job and his salary is just $1 million.

  • Julie Sanders