Penguins' Fleury left available for Vegas expansion draft

The Florida Panthers made an interesting decision as they decided not to protect Jonathan Marchessault, who scored 30 goals for them a year ago, and instead protected Nick Bjugstad.

Neal is a nine-time 20-goal scorer.

Top Anaheim defensemen Josh Manson and Sami Vatanen were exposed, as was forward Jon Marchessault, a 26-year-old 30-goal scorer in Florida this past season.

With this group, you have a personality to sell the game in a new market and Stanley Cup victor in Fleury as well as backups in Raanta and Mrazek who appear ready to take the next step.

Other notable forwards left unprotected were Los Angeles's Dustin Brown, Montreal's Tomas Plekanec and Pittsburgh's Chris Kunitz. Some teams went four forwards, four defenseman, and one goaltender.

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

A flurry of activity league wide is expected after Wednesday's expansion draft, leading up to the conclusion of the NHL draft on Saturday.

After a half-hour delay, the National Hockey League finally released the protected lists Sunday for the upcoming expansion draft for the Vegas Golden Knights. It's possible Vegas general manager George McPhee might consider Ward, a veteran and former Stanley Cup victor with the Canes, or could take Lack.

Those deals won't be formally revealed until Wednesday.

George McPhee has said as much to his fellow general managers, informing them that Monday was the final day for discussions regarding trades and free agents. He's got one year left on his deal with a modest $1 million United States cap hit.

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Marc Methot (Ottawa) - On top of his addition improving the Leafs top four, another fringe benefit of acquiring Norris Trophy victor Erik Karlsson's defense partner would be to weaken a division rival's blueline (if they have not made a side deal to not select him).

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.

The former Capitals GM also previously signed Washington defenseman Nate Schmidt out of college and Sharks right winger Joel Ward in free agency and traded for Flames right winger Troy Brouwer.

From the resulting lists of unprotected players, the Golden Knights are permitted to claim one player from each team. Opportunistic GMs can feed the Golden Knights' future to get a player who otherwise wouldn't be on the trade market.

Chayka was exaggerating, but only slightly.

There were few surprises on the Blues' list, which was based on the team option of shielding seven forwards, three defensemen and one goaltender. If recent reports are accurate about the proposed deal with Columbus where the Blue Jackets would send their first-round pick (No. 24) as compensation for the Knights not selecting certain players and taking on the injured David Clarkson's salary ($5.25 million), McPhee could be sitting flush in Chicago for the entry draft this weekend.

That doesn't mean the other GMs can't talk. "We are going to pick our team tomorrow".

"It's going to take us a while to pick the team (Tuesday), because one change in this matrix affects everything - with your cap now, with your cap going forward, with the cap that you have done for this expansion draft, with the cap that you need for the regular season", McPhee said.

TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun reported Sunday that the Florida Panthers, Ottawa Senators, Nashville Predators and Minnesota Wild were all trying to make deals with Vegas but had not yet reached a deal.

  • Tabitha Byrd