The 2016-2017 regular season is over for the Montreal Canadiens, who have won the Atlantic Division title with a total of 103 points. While they are awaiting the start of their first round series against the New York Rangers, let’s have a look at the next hot topic in the NHL beyond the playoffs: the expansion draft.
Here is a new, up to date players’ list for the Montreal Canadiens, in anticipation of the 2017 expansion draft for the Las Vegas Golden Knights. While there are a couple of different lists going around, it is not certain that they are accurate, based on the rules set by the NHL, which are:
The following rules were approved for the 2017 Expansion Draft:
* Clubs will have two options for players they wish to protect in the Expansion Draft:
a) Seven forwards, three defensemen and one goaltender
b) Eight skaters (forwards/defensemen) and one goaltender
* All players who have currently effective and continuing “No Movement” clauses at the time of the Expansion Draft (and who to decline to waive such clauses) must be protected (and will be counted toward their club’s applicable protection limits).
* All first- and second-year professionals, as well as all unsigned draft choices, will be exempt from selection (and will not be counted toward their club’s applicable protection limits).
Player Exposure Requirements
* All Clubs must meet the following minimum requirements regarding players exposed for selection in the Expansion Draft:
i) One defenseman who is a) under contract in 2017-18 and b) played in 40 or more NHL games the prior season OR played in 70 or more NHL games in the prior two seasons.
ii) Two forwards who are a) under contract in 2017-18 and b) played in 40 or more NHL games the prior season OR played in 70 or more NHL games in the prior two seasons.
iii) One goaltender who is under contract in 2017-18 or will be a restricted free agent at the expiration of his current contract immediately prior to 2017-18. If the club elects to make a restricted free agent goaltender available in order to meet this requirement, that goaltender must have received his qualifying offer prior to the submission of the club’s protected list.
* Players with potential career-ending injuries who have missed more than the previous 60 consecutive games (or who otherwise have been confirmed to have a career-threatening injury) may not be used to satisfy a club’s player exposure requirements, unless approval is received from the NHL. Such players also may be deemed exempt from selection by the League.
Regulations Relating to Expansion Franchise
* The Las Vegas franchise must select one player from each presently existing club for a total of 30 players (not including additional players who may be acquired as the result of violations of the Expansion Draft rules).
* The Las Vegas franchise must select the following number of players at each position: 14 forwards, nine defensemen and three goaltenders.
* The Las Vegas franchise must select a minimum of 20 players who are under contract for the 2017-18 season.
* The Las Vegas franchise must select players with an aggregate Expansion Draft value that is between 60-100% of the prior season’s upper limit for the salary cap.
* The Las Vegas franchise may not buy out any of the players selected in the Expansion Draft earlier than the summer following its first season.
The 30 NHL Clubs must submit their Protection List by 5:00 P.M. ET on Saturday, June 17, 2017. The Las Vegas team must submit their Expansion Draft Selections by 5:00 P.M. ET on June 20 and the announcement of their selections will be released on made on June 21.
2017 NHL Draft Lottery
The Las Vegas franchise will be given the same odds in the 2017 NHL Draft Lottery as the team finishing with the third-fewest points during the 2016-17 regular season.
The Las Vegas franchise’s First Round selection in the 2017 NHL Draft will be determined in accordance with the 2017 NHL Draft Lottery and, as a result, the Las Vegas franchise will be guaranteed no lower than the sixth overall selection.
The Las Vegas franchise then will select third in each subsequent round of the 2017 NHL Draft (subject to trades and other potential player transactions).
According to the rules mentioned above, set by the National Hockey League, here is a list of the players whose rights belong to the Montreal Canadiens as of today. It is important to note that while I have listed the pending Unrestricted Free Agents (UFAs) to the players needing protection, only those who are signed to an extension prior to the expansion draft would need to be protected.
So the Habs will likely choose to protect one goalie, three defensemen and seven forwards. Here are the decisions that management will be faced with after the playoffs are over…
GOALTENDERS: Carey Price will be protected, Al Montoya left exposed.
DEFENSEMEN: Jeff Petry must be protected due to his NMC. In all likelihood, Shea Weber will also be protected which means that the team will only be able to protect one of the following players: Nathan Beaulieu, Jordie Benn or Alexei Emelin. It is pretty fair to assume that Emelin will be left without protection, which will leave an interesting decision between Benn and Beaulieu.
FORWARDS: Max Pacioretty, Brendan Gallagher, Paul Byron, Phillip Danault, Andrew Shaw and Alex Galchenyuk will all be protected, for a total of six players. They can still protect one more. They will then have to decide between Tomas Plekanec ($6 million cap hit for one more season), Charles Hudon, Daniel Carr or Jacob De la Rose.
As for pending UFA’s, while the league probably prevents teams to do so, it would be hard to keep them (and to prove) from having verbal agreements with players that they will be signed after the expansion draft. For example, Andrei Markov and Alexander Radulov could have deals in place with the team, but they would only be signed once the expansion draft is over.
It is also important to note that teams cannot lose more than one player to expansion, which is really not that big of a deal. In my opinion, the biggest decision that Marc Bergevin and his team will have to make will be on defense. But before we spend too much time thinking about this, let’s enjoy what, hopefully, will be a long playoffs’ run by “Nos Canadiens”. Go Habs Go!
Because I had linked the players to their existing contract status on CapFriendly.com and on HabsProspects.com, I am posting the original table so you can click on the player’s name to see their status for yourself. I preferred the picture for display, as I just couldn’t adjust the format on WordPress, likely due to my limited knowledge.