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NHL notebook: Vegas begins roster-building process

19 June 2017

That forced the team to also expose top-pairing blueliner Marc Methot.

"The issue for us isn't going to be, 'Can we fill out the roster?"' McPhee told reporters after the list was released.

On that play most of the Oilers were living in the Red Light Zone, that space in the defensive end where you're not covering the man with the puck and not covering anyone else. There was the hiring of general manger George McPhee and coach Gerard Gallant, the building of a new arena on the Las Vegas Strip, the announcement of an AHL affiliate, and of course, the reveal of the team name: Vegas Golden Knights.

Vladislav Namestnikov, Nate Schmidt, Sami Vatanen, and Jason Zucker are also included in the list of draft players that could be picked by the Vegas Golden Knights. Waiving his no-trade clause has made it seem all but certain he'll be heading to Vegas in the draft. Again, there are better options around the league for the Golden Knights, including two defensemen on the Sharks' roster that are more appealing. "We really believe we know what the other teams are going to do before they know what they're doing". "People have identified people on other clubs that they'd like to have and we have to establish the value for that and whatever you want to give us has to be better than what we can claim from that club". They've also agreed to not take Johnson, who was the most prominent veteran player left unprotected by Columbus. The Penguins instead protected Matt Murray a week after the second-year goalie led them to win their second consecutive championship. Neal is a nine-time 20-goal scorer. Along with Fleury, other goalies exposed are Florida's Roberto Luongo, Detroit's Petr Mrazek and Philadelphia's Michal Neuvirth.

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Rust's contract is also very team-friendly, with one year left at a $640,000 cap hit before he becomes a restricted free agent in 2018. That's a quality forward available for the Golden Knights if they would like to go down that route.

As of Saturday afternoon, the National Hockey League froze all transactions among the 30 existing National Hockey League teams both internally and with each other so that the Vegas Golden Knights could begin the Expansion Draft process.

"We can put a competitive team on the ice and accumulate draft picks", McPhee said.

The Golden Knights can't just claim a bunch of low-priced players and tank for profits and high draft picks in their inaugural season; they are required to reach the National Hockey League salary floor, which according to Elliotte Friedman, will be set at $55.4 million for 2017-2018.

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Several teams looking to make moves, such as Minnesota, the New York Islanders and Anaheim, were unable to do so and now must deal with McPhee to try to guard against the Knights grabbing their most valued exposed players.

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.

Some players left unprotected, such as Ottawa forward Bobby Ryan, carry hefty contracts, which Vegas might shy away from so not to restrict the team's payroll structure under the salary cap.

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