Vegas holds trade cards during expansion draft window

The official draft rules state the Golden Knights must select at least 14 forwards, nine defensemen and three goaltenders, have to reach at least 60 percent of last year’s $73 million salary cap ($43.8 million) and need to take at least 20 players under contract for next season. They must take one player – and one only – from each National Hockey League team.

Not only that, Vegas looks set to have a surprisingly decent team post Expansion Draft. Based on who the Golden Knights select, the Blues could promote some farm system talent to fill the gap.

There were a number of teams who left exposed quality players and when a variety of trades didn’t take place prior to the trade freeze on Saturday, the assumption was that future deals would be announced during the NHL Awards and the introduction of the NHL’s newest roster.

Every NHL team has submitted their list of protected players that the Golden Knights will not be able to select from.

“We’re focusing on everything”, McPhee said.

If teams don’t want their young, talented players heading to Las Vegas this Wednesday, they’ll have to pay for it. With that in mind, the Golden Knights might be justified in serving as a “middle man” in getting valuable players and then flipping them for assets. The presumption is the Golden Knights already have completed deals with the Columbus Blue Jackets and Anaheim Ducks to stay away from specific players. “That leaves at least a handful of teams with work left to do, scrambling to keep coveted players such as Marc Methot in Ottawa, the Rangers’ Antti Raanta and Michael Grabner, Matt Dumba and Marco Scandella in Minnesota, James Neal in Nashville and Jonathan Marchessault in Florida from joining Vegas”. The Blues chose the latter option, shielding forwards Patrik Berglund, Ryan Reaves, Jaden Schwartz, Vladimir Sobotka, Paul Stastny, Alexander Steen and Vladimir Tarasenko, defensemen Jay Bouwmeester, Joel Edmundson and Alex Pietrangelo and goalie Jake Allen from the draft.

They are the only team that has the ability to sign an unprotected unrestricted or restricted free agent until 7:59 a.m. Wednesday.

Canes general manager Ron Francis said Friday that he has had conversations with McPhee, although noting, “Probably not as much as other teams have had”. He has played up and down the Penguins’ lineup _ and will likely find himself in a bottom-six role next season _ but could easily be a top-six winger for an expansion team. He has one year left on his contract, with a cap hit of $2.1 million. But taking into account Perron’s disappearance during the playoffs this past season and his $3.75 million salary for 2017-2018, he could be an interesting player for Vegas to consider. The Regina native has a bomb of a shot, throws a nasty open-ice hit and looks to be ready for more opportunity after soaking up 20 minutes per-game for the Wild previous year.

The Penguins also might have bought out Fleury’s contract, but that would have left them with a salary cap penalty of nearly $3 million per year for the next four seasons.