Expansion draft: Panthers protect Bjugstad, leave Marchessault, Smith, Luongo up for grabs

Penguins leave Fleury, Rust unprotected for upcoming expansion draft

If Raanta isn't selected by Vegas, then the Blueshirts goaltending duo is set. They already own the sixth overall pick, but TSN's Pierre LeBrun spoke to an National Hockey League general manager, who believes there's a chance the Golden Knights have already made side deals to acquire more draft picks. 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. Unless there's a side deal with Vegas general manager George McPhee before then, the Rangers will lose one of them under the rules. Team owners fired the GM Dean Lombardi and head coach Darryl Sutter, and elevated Rob Blake and John Stevens to their respected positions. The groundwork is done. Wednesday, June 21: During NHL Awards show in Las Vegas, the league will announce the Golden Knights' Expansion Draft selections.

Ward (shoulder) is on the list of available players for Wednesday's expansion draft, TSN reports.

When will we know the lists?

The release of the teams' protected lists kicks off a busy two-week stretch for the National Hockey League. No surprises there; those are the 11 players that made the most sense to shield, and the list was confirmed late Saturday by The Washington Post.

Who do the Canes protect?

Doug Armstrong and company protected forwards Vladimir Tarasenko, Jaden Schwartz, Alexander Steen, Paul Stastny, Vladimir Sobotka, Patrik Berglund, and Ryan Reaves, defensemen Alex Pietrangelo, Joel Edmundson, and Jay Bouwmeester, and goaltender Jake Allen.

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The Canes traded for goalie Scott Darling and have signed him to a four-year contract. It's widely believed that Pittsburgh goaltender and three-time Stanley Cup champion Marc-Andre Fleury has already been tabbed to land in Vegas after he waived his no-move clause to be eligible for the expansion draft. Florida's purest scorer was one of just 26 players league-wide to hit 30 goals last season - and he will only earn $750,000 next season. But Lack also is due $2.75 million, so the situation is problematic.

"That's really one of the things we wanted to leverage", Treliving said. He is obviously the best veteran goalie that the Knights can get, at least for the following two seasons.

Nick Shore, center: Possible trade bait in the days leading up to the expansion draft?

Probably a lot of wheeling and dealing once the trade freeze is lifted Thursday, a day before NHL Entry Draft begins in Chicago. McPhee is willing to negotiate with any and all teams willing to give up something to keep a certain player. (For example, if a team doesn't want to lose an unprotected player, it may strike a deal to send a draft pick or a prospect player to the Knights in exchange for their not taking that unprotected player).

Additionally, first and second-year players are exempt from the expansion draft.

Sunday, June 18 Deadline for Central Registry to approve and simultaneously distribute the Protection Lists to all NHL Clubs (including the Expansion Club) and the NHLPA (10 a.m. ET).

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