All talk, few trades before NHL's expansion roster freeze

All talk, few trades before NHL's expansion roster freeze”

The Sharks, like every other National Hockey League team, must submit their list of protected players before Saturday's 2 p.m. deadline.

The process is pretty straight forward, really. Only seven forwards, three defenseman and a goaltender (or eight skaters of any position and a goaltender) can be protected. Theres a similar concern from the Western Conference champion Nashville Predators, who will most likely expose a few intriguing forwards to protect defensemen Roman Josi, P.K. Subban, Ryan Ellis and Mattias Ekholm.

So, with all that in mind, here are the players the Bruins are expected to protect when the list is submitted and made public.

“Sometimes at 3 in the morning I wake up and remind myself of that: ‘You can only lose one player.

Fleury seems like a no-brainer for the Vegas Golden Knights to select as their expansion choice from Pittsburgh.

"Vegas doesn't need 10", said Chayka after making a proactive move to free up the Coyotes' protected list by trading veteran goalie Mike Smith to Calgary. Dude's gonna be a Bruin for the rest of his life.

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Remember, the Devils can only lose one of the players below. Their coach, Gerard Gallant, was sacked by the Panthers just 22 games into the 2016-2017 season after leading the team to a club record 47 wins and 103 points in 2015-2016. He has a modified no-trade clause for the last two years of his current contract in 2019-20 and 2020-21. He did not say if that might be an option with McPhee and the Golden Knights.

Washington did not protect any of its five pending unrestricted free agents - T.J. Oshie, Justin Williams, Daniel Winnik, Karl Alzner and Kevin Shattenkirk, likely because it doesn't make sense for the Capitals to waste a protection on a player who could hit the open market July 1.

For the Stars, the protection list has it's obvious inclusions. It's an obvious pick, too, as he is not going anywhere. The German netminder, who needs a new contract, might just be the next Cam Talbot or Martin Jones, a backup ready to thrive with a starting opportunity.

In the last expansion draft, back in 2000, the Kings lost defenseman Sean O'Donnell as the seventh overall pick and tough guy Steve McKenna as the 37th. Protecting him might not mean much in this scenario, to be honest, as it's still believed that Spooner's days in Boston are coming to a close.

At the same time, Las Vegas must submit contracts for any free agent they've signed during their special signing window. Spooner is merely a better protection option over expensive roleplayers like Matt Beleskey or Jimmy Hayes.

Anze Kopitar, center: Has a no-movement clause, so he's not leaving. The 33-year-old played just 23 games in 2016-17 due to injury and has three-years left on his seven-year, $36.75 million contract. While, it's never wise to live and die by an adage, unless the return is a bonafide number one center or a dynamic 25-30 goal winger, I wouldn't deal any of the top four blue liners.

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