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2017 NHL Expansion Draft – Featuring the Las Vegas Golden Knights

So it begins…Rivalry in the Desert

7-3-1 is the obvious choice unless you have a burning desire to protect a 4th Dman? As we discussed during the last podcast, the young Arizona Yotes are mostly protected by years or games played rules of the NHL… shall we get really specific now?

I’ve marked the current crop to defend our position. Think about this as you read through… if we leave a couple of protected spots open at forward… might we take advantage of some teams *Ducks/Penguins* to name just 2 with protection issues and have something worth protecting in those spots?

FORWARDS

Alex Burmistrov PROTECT (kid has wheels and hands, was a 1st round 8th overall pick in 2010 but the Jets couldn’t figure out what to do with him he needs a shot at fitting in with kids that can fly like he can and who can handle his creativity … we got plenty of those…finally). With the right handling, think of Burmi as a young Ray Whitney.. ummm only bigger LOL

Lawson Crouse INELIGIBLE

Shane Doan (Coyotes et usque in aeternum semper) Do I need to go here? 40 yr old captain, UFA wait until after the brouhaha to sign him…etc

Max Domi INELIGIBLE

Anthony Duclair PROTECT (despite his sophomore debacle, the Duke has more talent than most.) If we can help him find his way aka not being good only when paired with Domi, This kid could be the 2nd line sniper that could open up huge possibilities for the Coyotes to be more than just a 1st line threat every game. Teams would then have to split their lines to counter us rather than having the ability to contain us with a concentration of their best.

Christian Dvorak INELIGIBLE

Peter HollandUNPROTECTED AKA TRADE BAIT

Josh Jooris UNPROTECTED AKA TRADE BAIT

Clayton Keller INELIGIBLE

Jordan Martinook PROTECT (what’s not to like about what Jordi brings to the table?) If I’m Vegas… I want this kid 1st, Reider 2nd and after that, it is a crapshoot that is 50% nothing gained. Jordi surprised everyone from training camp to today. Hard working, fast, creative and unafraid to go head to head with anyone. Add the ability to snipe those opportunistic 2nd chances and did I mention the shorty chances?

Jamie Mcginn UNPROTECTED AKA TRADE BAIT I like Jamie and he does have some potential. I’d protect him if I didn’t think we might be able to pull off a snatch and grab of a higher potential player.

Brendan Perlini INELIGIBLE

Teemu Pulkkinen UNPROTECTED well, we haven’t seen enough of him to get excited either way right?

Brad Richardson PROTECT before his broken leg there was some great chemistry brewin with Brad. Tough no nonsense RW on pace to beat his first year’s 20 goals. We don’t have a lot of goal scorers, we need to protect them since we already have him and he has proven himself here.

Toby Reider PROTECT (if you had a rocket would you leave it unprotected and hide your .22?) Speed kills, creativity kills, Toby has a unique combination of killer instinct and speed. It isn’t enough to be fast in this new NHL, intensity, and focus can be the difference in every game. With special teams making such a huge impact in a league with so much parity Toby raises the bar for our PK. Hell, half the time I wish we were on the PK instead of the PP because Jordi and Toby could break the hell out and score seemingly at will. (Pah, more than I can say for our PP, that weak sister makes my eyes bleed.)

Radim Vrbata N/A for either… just wait until after the draft to sign him… give him a low-end contract then load it with bonus opportunities and let him earn his money. (35 yr old… Only does well in PHX UFA… you get the drift.)

DEFENSE

***See Anaheim’s problem… too many defensemen to protect and too many auto-protects to go 8-1 sooo. Vatanen/Fowler/Lindholm might be available? Then we might be able to justify going 8-1 our own damn selves if we snagged something like Lindholm.

Jakob Chychrun INELIGIBLE

Kevin Connaughton UNPROTECTED AKA TRADE BAIT… the kid isn’t bad, he just isn’t a stand out (other than being able to play forward in a pinch)

Anthony DeAngelo INELIGIBLE

Oliver Ekman-Larsson PROTECT (future captain, difference maker, GWG guru… do I really have to explain why you protect this guy? You don’t watch our games do you?)

Alex Goligoski PROTECT (well, cuz we have to due to NHL rules about trade clauses and to stay off the cap floor and even with his slow ass start he did rack up 30 assists)

Connor Murphy PROTECT Conman has come along so nicely, developing a sweet lil mean streak and learning to crease sweep, block shots and join the rush up ice. Just what we need as we transition away from the traditional stay at home defense.

Luke Schenn UNPROTECTED don’t want to leave him unprotected but when push comes to shove, a -9, 8pt stay at home defenseman can’t compete with the other 3 we chose to protect right? 200lbs of hitman in our crease ain’t nuthin to sneeze at. Schenni had 286 hits and 134 blocked shots. Not bad for the first year and learning our system. Unfortunately, that isn’t enough to protect him at this juncture. (Besides… if Vegas takes him… it’s only 1 year LOL he can always do what the other cool kids do and come back to us.)

GOALIES

***See Pittsburgh’s problem… Murray or Fleury? Fleury must be protected or traded out. Murray who has 2 Stanley Cup playoff season’s that he pretty much backstopped, would be exposed if Fleury stays. I’d keep Murray, young, poised, team trusted and already a winner. Fleury is also a Cup winner but is not the workhorse he has been in the past and at 10 years older than the upstart Murray, he may be better off competing for a #1 spot somewhere that can a) afford him… b) desperately needs his caliber of netminder to get a jump start on their rebuild… he’s been that guy and reap the benefits before. I’d rather protect Fleury than Smitty… just sayin ** Fleury waived his NMC!**

Louis Domingue PROTECT We need to be looking to the future. We need a goalkeeper who can grow with the rest of the young core. We need to let Louie grow/learn/shine without riding him like a government mule whenever OL GroinBoy goes down. If he can share duties with a decent but probably almost past their prime minder (think Miller, Ward, Niemi, Pavelec, Mason or even Berniere) Let him learn from someone like Miller or Ward who is sunsetting or compete for his life with someone who will fight for the #1 spot Mason et al *these guys are young enough to compete and be placeholders as well*. Nothing like some real competition to spice up a goalie tandem. If you win, you are in… the starter spot belongs to the victor and you are only as good as your last performance.. Unless it’s a back-to-back. Well, then there may be room for negotiation.

Mike Smith would be an automatic protect due to a pre-existing limited no trade condition. He gave us a list… talk to those folks. OL BigHead is looking to go somewhere that he can win NOW! That isn’t the Arizona Coyotes at the moment. I have not appreciated his recent comments… I have never liked him as a #1 goalie for our team. Sorry, not a hater really, no really LOL I just have never been a fan of his style. Yes, I know a puck moving goalie can be a great asset but not if the guy is constitutionally incapable of letting his defense do their jobs. His decisions on when to play the puck instead of letting the incoming D do it, his lack of communication when moving to play the puck, his propensity for ignoring the trapezoid and of course the falling down behind the net-entangling-his-D thang is why I cringe every time he moves out of the blue. Now past that… Mike Smith’s trade value will never be higher than it is right now. Let him go. Get something back that makes sense… either an older mentor goalie like Miller or Ward can replace him and not have to be protected (sign them after the Vegas thang) or pick up somebody like Fleury that is worth protecting and take a chance that Vegas won’t pull Louie out from under us.

The LV Golden Knights will receive the official protected lists at 10 a.m. Sunday and must submit their list of picks – one from each team – to the NHL by 10 a.m. Wednesday.

Let the expansion games begin!

~Z4dfense

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