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Vegas Golden Knights hold cards as National Hockey League expansion draft nears

Vegas Golden Knights hold cards as National Hockey League expansion draft nears

That player would count as his former team's selection in the expansion draft. It will last through Tuesday. Their selections will be revealed later to the public later Wednesday night at the 2017 NHL Awards at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Only players with more than two years of pro experience needed to be protected, so the Bruins didn't have to protect young defensemen Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo.

Nashville Predators forward James Neal and Anaheim Ducks defenseman Sami Vatanen also were left unprotected.

But since teams weren't able to protect everyone they would like, Vegas is going to use that against them and try to swing deals to selecting specific players.

"It definitely took the stress level off me", Beaulieu said during a conference call Sunday, a day after being traded.

The Golden Knights are the league's newest franchise.

In addition to Rask, forwards David Backes, Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, Brad Marchand, Riley Nash, Ryan Spooner and David Pastrnak are not available to the Golden Knights, nor are defensemen Zdeno Chara, Torey Krug and Kevan Miller. The Minnesota Wild exposed forward Eric Staal and defensemen Marco Scandella and Matt Dumba.

Vegas has until 10 a.m. Wednesday to choose one player from each of the other 30 teams. Stempniak, Nordstrom and Dahlbeck - who was signed to a one-year contract after the season - fit the requirements. It's going to be an interesting National Hockey League expansion draft in a couple of days when the Knights do in fact make their selections.

"We think we can accomplish two things", McPhee said.

WORTH THE GAMBLE: Fleury could be joined by an established 20-something backup, like Philadelphia's Michal Neuvirth, Detroit's Petr Mrazek, Colorado's Calvin Pickard or New York's Antti Raanta.

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McPhee is free to negotiate contracts with any free agents left unprotected during the next several days - players like Joe Thornton, T.J. Oshie, Alex Radulov, Karl Alzner and Kevin Shattenkirk, just to name a few.

"The balance is whatever feels right for our team", McPhee said Monday.

Within that time frame, the Golden Knights can make any type of transaction they want - from side deals with existing teams interested in protecting assets, to flip deals, in which Vegas would draft a specific player from one team's unprotected list and then flip that player to another team for other considerations.

The Golden Knights' selection - one from each National Hockey League club - will be revealed at the 2017 National Hockey League awards and expansion draft on Wednesday night at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

The Winnipeg Jets solved an expansion issue even as they didn't make a trade as Toby Enstrom agreed to waive his no-movement clause before the deadline Friday, allowing them to protect their other three top defensemen: Dustin Byfuglien, Jacob Trouba and Tyler Myers.

"I've got a huge opportunity to re-grow my game with a guy who played the game similarly to the way I would like to play it", Beaulieu said, noting he also had a brief chat with Housley following the trade.

Lots of people wondered whether or not Dennis Rasmussen would be among the protected. Along with that possibility, it's important to note that this team is still limited to plucking one player from each roster, although there are hypothetical scenarios where they might yield creative combinations via trades.

The moves should add to the draft pick and prospect stockpile for the Golden Knights, who already have the No. 6 overall pick in this year's entry draft. He is 34 years old, but a plus is that he is only signed through next season at a $3.75 Million cap hit.

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