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With protection lists now set, the Golden Knights get to choose one player from each NHL team.
Vegas Golden Knights General Manager George McPhee had difficulty containing his excitement in anticipation of the NHL’s expansion draft list being released.
“The most fun I’ ve ever had in hockey, ” McPhee said in a video posted of him driving to the team’s headquarters Sunday.
And that was before McPhee learned of the high-profile players he’ ll have to choose from – limited to one from each of the 30 teams – in stocking the Golden Knights roster before submitting his list on Wednesday.
There’s a three-time Stanley Cup champion goalie in Pittsburgh’s Marc-Andre Fleury available and several 20-plus goal scorers, including Nashville’s James Neal and Minnesota’s Eric Staal. As there are some top defensemen, such as Anaheim’s Sami Vatanen and Ottawa’s 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. “It would be, ‘Do we have too many players?’ There are a lot of good players there.”
Vegas is holding all the cards while the rest of the NHL comes to a full stop in awaiting McPhee to determine his selections over a three-day stretch during which the Golden Knights are the only team allowed to make trades and sign pending free agents.
Brian Dumoulin of Biddeford was one of four defensemen protected by the Stanley Cup champion Penguins, who elected to protect four forwards and four defenseman rather than seven forwards and three defensemen.
THE SALARY CAP has been set at $75 million for the 2017-18 season – a slight increase over last season.
The league and NHL Players’ Association announced the cap and the salary floor of $55.4 million in a joint statement. The figures are set by the league’s hockey-related revenue.
It’s an increase of $2 million from the $73 million cap last season.
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