Finally! It’s been a long road to this point, but at long last we have protection lists in hand for the Expansion Draft... kinda.... As usual, the NHL is taking 10am to mean.... maybe 2:47pm? Who knows. But, we do have a report on the Red Wings list! Check it out for yourself here, courtesy of Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press:
Red Wings protect Abdelkader, Athanasiou, Mantha, Nielsen, Nyquist, Tatar, Zetterberg, DeKeyser, Green, Jensen, Howard.— Helene St. James (@HeleneStJames) June 18, 2017
We don’t expect the rest of the lists to vary much from the snippets that were leaked yesterday, which is exciting for both Peter and me because it means we nailed a few of these things, or missed rosters by 1 player. Honestly, that’s better than we could have hoped for given the rapidly changing landscape of the past few days and general sense of “give Vegas as little as possible to work with” that we’ve been hearing about for several weeks.
Obviously, for us, the big take-away is the Detroit Red Wings protection list. The big surprise in the list is the only protection we missed - Jimmy Howard over Petr Mrazek. This is obviously Holland’s statement that the Wings management still believes the team is in “win now” mode (or that there’s behind-the-scenes stuff with Mrazek), and could potentially shake up our earlier prediction that Riley Sheahan would be the player selected by Vegas.
With Holland stating that the Wings won’t spend any assets to direct Vegas one way or the other or towards or away from certain players, Wings fans can mostly play the waiting game. One thing we can watch out for, though, is a trade working with Vegas as the intermediary (Team A trades to Vegas, Vegas trades to Detroit) - Holland never mentioned the Wings being out of this kind of dealing, so it’s possible (however unlikely) that there could be a new face on our roster by the 21st to supplant whoever we lose.
Of course, other teams will still be wheeling-and-dealing until the moment the Vegas roster is announced - this will, of course, be a very long moment as the roster will be announced progressively during the NHL Awards Show. Since selections will be made by team from lowest to highest standing during the regular season, you won’t have to stay up too late to hear who’s taken from the Wings.
Or, you could just listen to our podcast on Tuesday. We’ll go in-depth on the Wings’ protections and exposures and what they mean at that time, and also touch on what’s going on with other teams, their protection lists, who we expect Vegas to take, deals that have been made or could be in the works, and how excited Peter and I are that this entire project is almost over (hint: we are VERY excited). We’ll have the usual mailbag up on Monday, so be sure to submit your Expansion Draft related questions there. Until then you can kick back, sharpen your pitchforks, and prepare for news about your favorite unprotected player - we will keep this space updated as lists come available HOPEFULLY in the near future.
We have the lists! Courtesy of Russian Machine Never Breaks, check it out and let us know your thoughts!