Sports

Florida Panthers protect defense, leave scoring open for Vegas in expansion draft

Florida Panthers protect defense, leave scoring open for Vegas in expansion draft”

Three-time Stanley Cup champion goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, Nashville forward James Neal and Anaheim defenseman Sami Vatanen were among the high-profile players made available on Sunday for the Vegas Golden Knights to select in the National Hockey League expansion draft.

Asked how he might resolve the goaltending situation, Francis said, "You can always resolve it if you give up a high draft pick". He's owed just $2.075 million next season and is controllable through 2018.

The expansion draft process begins Saturday when teams submit their draft protection lists, with the names released to the public the following day. However, GM Garth Snow is in the market for a top-six forward, says Dreger.

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Vatanen, who will miss the start of the season after having shoulder surgery, and Josh Manson were the odd men out in Anaheim, because the Ducks couldn't protect their all their talented core of defensemen.

Brad Marchand: The 5-foot-9 Marchand is one of just eight National Hockey League players to have scored at least 100 goals over the last three National Hockey League seasons, and Marchand has played the third-fewest games among those eight skaters (only Patrick Kane and Sidney Crosby have done it in fewer games).

The Knights now have until Wednesday at 10 a.m. ET to submit their expansion draft selections and any standard player contracts that were signed.

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San Jose has two notable veteran free agents in Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau.

We'll find out exactly who made side deals with Golden Knights GM George McPhee prior to next week's expansion draft. Ottawa GM Pierre Dorion hoped Dion Phaneuf would waive his no-movement clause and risk exposure because his age (32) and contract - four more years with a $7-million (U.S.) annual cap hit - likely wouldn't appeal to Vegas.

Although trade and waiver activity will be frozen at 3 p.m. on Saturday, the Knights will still be free to execute trades and perhaps come to agreements with rival clubs on who might be selected. Youngsters Connor McDavid and Darnell Nurse don't meet the minimum pro experience criteria, so they're automatically protected and don't need to be exposed. McPhee had Brouwer in Washington and signed him to a sizeable contract, well aware of his leadership and intangibles. But, it's unlikely the Knights will take him given his recent injury history not to mention his play over the last two seasons. Though he's clearly overpaid, he's one of the team's assistant captains and could be in line to inherit the "C" when Zetterberg retires. Nielsen is the only Red Wing in that category, and he likely would've been protected anyway. They are expected to pursue a deal to move him for something leading into it. Just like they will deal with it if McPhee takes Grabner or Lindberg or Fast. Would the Canucks have the guts to pull off a shocker like this?

Lonzo Ball showed poor conditioning in Lakers workout
Fultz is expected to be selected by the Boston Celtics with the No. 1 pick in the 2017 National Basketball Association draft. As time goes on, Jackson seems like the more natural pick at two, while Ball would make more sense for the Sixers at No. 3.

The Golden Knights lost a lot of money on potential sweater sales as theirs were not approved for launch a year ago when the franchise was awarded.



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