The NHL froze its rosters at 12 p.m. today and two hours later teams submitted their protection lists to the NHL Central Registry for review.
For the upcoming expansion draft the Vegas Golden Knights will take one player from each team, and with teams only able to protect up to 11 players they are left vulnerable.
Because of that, Golden Knights’ general manager George McPhee is willing to work with teams, but it is going to cost them.
“Vegas has indicated that they will give all 30 clubs every opportunity to keep their rosters intact if they’d like,” the team said in a statement this afternoon. “McPhee and his staff are willing to negotiate deals so the other clubs do not lose a player they would otherwise like to keep.”
It’s already begun to happen.
Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch reported this morning the Columbus Blue Jackets have agreed to trade their first-round draft pick (24th overall) and a prospect to Vegas for assurances they wouldn’t select either left wing Matt Calvert, center William Karlsson or defensemen Ryan Murray.
The Blue Jackets aren’t the only team being forced to expose players they don’t want to lose. The Anaheim Ducks, Minnesota Wild and Chicago Blackhawks are also in a predicament when it comes to the expansion draft.
TSN hockey insider Pierre LeBrun reported Saturday morning that an NHL general manager believed the Golden Knights already had multiple deals done to acquire first round picks in the upcoming entry draft.
If teams don’t want their young, talented players heading to Las Vegas this Wednesday, they’ll have to pay for it.