Tuesday, 19 June, 2018


Expansion Vegas loads up on D-men, could make more trades

Expansion Vegas loads up on D-men, could make more trades Expansion Vegas loads up on D-men, could make more trades
Noah Ferguson | 23 June, 2017, 17:43

Knights general manager George McPhee went heavy on defenders and short on high-end help in selecting 30 players at the first National Hockey League expansion draft in 17 years. The league also revealed the results of the Golden Knights' expansion draft to an arena filled with fans of the league's 31st franchise. Vegas cashed in last night taking a roster player from every National Hockey League team, while acquiring several picks and players in trades to make sure that they don't touch certain players.

Vegas Golden Knights general manager George McPhee answers questions ahead of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft at the Chicago Marriott Hotel on Thursday, June 22, 2017.

Boston forward Patrice Bergeron has won the Selke Trophy as the NHL's best defensive forward for the fourth time, and San Jose's Brent Burns has won the Norris Trophy as the NHL's top defenseman. Other teams, such the Blue Jackets, Sabres and Ducks, traded draft picks and prospects to the Golden Knights to dissuade them from selecting key players on their unprotected lists.

Perron, 29, figured it was a possibility after posting just one assist in 11 playoff games, but thought he had done enough to establish his place on the roster during the regular season, when he netted 18 goals and 46 points, both ranking in the top five.

Marc-Andre Fleury is officially headed to Las Vegas.

Vegas should have a year like Florida and make a push for the playoffs, but fall short expect around 30 to 35 wins for the Golden Knights.

Not by a long shot.

As it looked on Wednesday night, the Golden Knights roster isn't necessarily unwatchable: James Neal, for instance, surpassed 30 goals as recently as two seasons ago, and Jonathan Marchessault hit 30 this past season.

The way the league went out of it's way to launch Las Vegas it's nearly surprising that they didn't hold the NHL Entry Draft there Friday as well.

"I have nothing but good things to say about Calgary and the organization", he said.

The team has been very active in trading players for draft picks and vice versa.

Marc-Andre Fleury: The past two seasons have added two Stanley Cup championships with Pittsburgh to Fleury's résumé, but the goaltender has also been pushed aside during that time in favor of 23-year-old Matt Murray.

OILERS: Edmonton traded forward Jordan Eberle to the New York Islanders for forward Ryan Strome. "It'll be tough, but I know what's coming... and I'm glad people will remember me as a good person, not just a goalie, and I think that's important for me, too", Fleury said. "I'm not looking for this".

Vegas didn't go hog wild with goalies, opting to leaving Detroit's Petr Mrazek, Philadelphia's Michal Neuvirth, the New York Rangers' Antti Raanta and Washington's Philipp Grubauer alone. The only other time the franchise had the first pick was in 1979, when the then-Colorado Rockies selected Rob Ramage.

The Golden Knights were for real. Neal is a proven 40 goal scorer, when he is with the right guy, and now Vegas needs to find that guy as soon as they can, If they want to be competitive immediately. He began his career with the Florida Panthers, and played three seasons in the Sunshine State before signing with his hometown Canucks as a free-agent in 2012. Vegas' expansion draft choices certainly appear to form a team that could make noise in the Pacific Division.

McPhee took advantage of wide-ranging reluctance among clubs to lose valued contributors, adding promising defenceman Shea Theodore from Anaheim and first and second round picks from Columbus. 6, 13 and 15), McPhee has never concealed his primary strategy.

It's also the smartest and best way of doing business, and the Knights will have a hefty amount of salary cap space as part of the process.

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