Fleury available for expansion draft

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Three-time Stanley Cup champion goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, Nashville forward James Neal and Anaheim defenseman Sami Vatanen are among the high-profile players available for the Vegas Golden Knights to select in the National Hockey League expansion draft on Wednesday, June 21, 2017.

"This has worked out very well for the Vegas Golden Knights and we expect to put a good, entertaining club on the ice".

After months of speculation, the list of players who will be protected for the upcoming expansion draft to the Vegas Golden Knights was officially released on Sunday. "Then we're going to go to that club and say: 'We have interest in this player, there's another club that has interest in this player".

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. Rules of that nature will make it easier for the team to collect a cache of draft picks before they ever play a single game. Vegas must pick one player from each of the existing 30 teams, but there's only so much room on the roster next season even with some minor league prospects thrown in.

Vegas must select 30 players, one from each contributing team. They will identify the best asset on each team they can select.

Asked how he might resolve the goaltending situation, Francis said, "You can always resolve it if you give up a high draft pick".

"We are excited to welcome the Vegas Golden Knights to the National Hockey League and the Pacific Division".

The Golden Knights already have the No. 6 overall pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, which begins on Friday. The NHL Players Association executive board is meeting in Toronto to determine whether it will approve raising the salary cap from $73 million to $75 million.

On the defensive side, Carl Gunnarsson has been a productive player, and one with a reasonable salary that could fit the mold for Vegas.

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Brodziak, Jaskin, Perron, Bortuzzo, Gunnarsson and Hutton are under contract through next season or beyond, while the remaining players are restricted or unrestricted free agents this offseason.

The Golden Knights have agreed to not take those players. Following the draft, the Golden Knights will be permitted to trade players that were selected.

Of the exposed players, the most likely selection by Vegas would be Lee Stempniak.

Among forwards, most of the household names were protected.

"We're focusing on everything", McPhee said.

"If we don't do anything else between now and Saturday afternoon, in trading Jonathan he would've required protection", Lightning GM Steve Yzerman said Thursday. At 25, he could be a Top Six forward with the Knights, carrying a team friendly cap hit of just $640,000 U.S. before his deal runs out in 2018.

The next few days will be filled with speculation, rumors and a boat-load of garbage.

Torey Krug: A career-best 51-point getter last season, Krug remains the Black and Gold's premier puckmover, and has steadily improved his efforts to become a legitimate top-four defenseman.

The Detroit Red Wings also made a fascinating decision by opting to protect goaltender Jimmy Howard over Petr Mrazek.