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Which Players On Your Team Would You Be Willing To Give Up In An NHL Expansion Draft?

gary-bettman-expansion

Expansion teams have been one of the larger stories in the NHL so far this year. There still hasn’t been a final vote on whether to move forward with two new teams in Vegas and Quebec City, or to just got with one of them or to go with none of them at all. I think that with Gary Bettman signing a 6-year extension to remain the league’s commissioner through 2022, however, it almost ensures that the expansion process will happen sooner than later. And with the expansion, of course, would come an expansion draft. Now the last time this happened (when Columbus and Minnesota came into the league in 2000), teams were able to protect 9 forwards, 5 defensemen and 1 goalie from getting plucked from their team. However, they had to leave at least one defenseman and two forwards who had played at least 40 games the previous season–or 70 games between the previous two seasons–unprotected from the draft to make sure that Columbus and Minnesota weren’t just stuck picking from a bunch of beer leaguers. But the next expansion draft might end up being a little more crazy according to Pierre LeBrun…

Transcription via TSS - “The other thing is that one of the real contentious discussions so far as the executive committee level is the actual parameters of an expansion draft, and how that would look like, because Gary Bettman wants an expansion draft to be better than ever before. He wants the new team or teams to reflect the parity of the NHL. He doesn’t want them to be near the bottom of the standings for five years, like has traditionally been the case with most expansion teams in the last 20 years.

“So because of that, what the executive committee has been shown as the original ideas from the league for an expansion draft has them being exposed and losing some pretty good players.” … “One GM said to me he saw the proposed rules and he goes, ‘You could lose one of your best young players under what’s being proposed right now.’

“I mean, that’s not really that appealing for some teams. So that’s part of the debate as well, is the yin and yang of, ‘Do we want new teams,’ and ‘How much are we going to enjoy losing a really good player or two in the expansion draft?’ “

So naturally as a Flyers fan, I start thinking about the players on that roster that I wouldn’t mind losing to the Expansion Draft. Now yes, I’m very much aware that with the Flyers being where they’re at right now in the rebuilding process, it’s easier for me to be willing to let go of some guys as opposed to a team that is contending right now. But in regards to players that I think the Flyers would 100% need to lock up, it’s Giroux Voracek Simmonds, Couturier, Ghost and the rest of the D prospects. Other than that, I think anybody else is fair game. Which leaves a guy like Brayden Schenn unprotected, it leaves a kid like Scott Laughton unprotected, and it leaves a player who has seemed to finally find his game again like Michael Del Zotto unprotected. Not that Michal Neuvirth will be a Flyer still by the time the draft actually happens, but I feel like if the draft were today, a new team would really enjoy picking him up. Would it suck to lose any of those guys? Absolutely. But what’s the point in putting a team in Vegas if they’re just going to suck nuts for the first 5 years and make everybody miserable?

Let’s just go through a few players who would possibly be on the move if the Expansion Draft were today for all the teams in the Barstool network. Feel free to tell me how much you hate me for these picks on Twitter @BarstoolJordie

Bruins: Jimmy Hayes, Brett Connolly, Torey Krug

Blackhawks: Andrew Shaw, Teuvo Teravainen, Trevor van Riemsdyk

Capitals: Marcus Johansen, Andre Burakovsky, Nate Schmidt?

Devils: Joseph Blandisi, Keith Kinkaid, Tyler Kennedy (Devils have built a great Money Ball team with hardly any actual names on the roster)

Islanders: Kyle Okposo (assuming they can’t settle on a contract extension), Calvin de Haan, Casey Cizikas

Rangers: Chris Kreider, J.T. Miller, Brady Skej

All I really did there was just go through rosters mostly looking at age and contracts, but that seems like a pretty decent pool of players for a new expansion team to pick from. Again, it’ll definitely suck losing one of your better young players when the expansion draft finally rolls around, but it’ll be better than having to watch a Vegas team do nothing but get their dick kicked in for the first few years.