The deadline to request that a player waive his no-movement clause for the NHL expansion draft passed on Monday, giving teams a better idea of who they will need to protect for the NHL expansion draft.
The results of those conversations have slowly leaked out over the past 24 hours and that’s bound to continue until players are forced to make a decision by 5:00 p.m. ET on Friday, with final protection lists due Saturday.
Here’s what we know so far:
Agreed to waive
The NHL’s worst-kept secret was revealed on Monday, as it was reported Marc-Andre Fleury agreed to waive his no-movement clause way back in February.
Marc-André Fleury accepted the Penguins request in February to waive his no move clause for the expansion draft. Only for Las Vegas.
— Renaud Lavoie (@renlavoietva) June 12, 2017
Although it will be weird seeing Fleury in another jersey after spending the last 13 seasons in Pittsburgh, the 32-year-old is a logical candidate for Vegas, giving the team a quality person and veteran presence who can hold down the crease for a few more years.
Fleury, who struggled in a backup role this season, has two years remaining on his contract with a cap hit of $5.75 million. He also has an 18-team no-trade clause, but that would only come into play if Vegas opts to go in a different direction.
Refused to waive (for now)
Barring a last-minute change of heart, Dion Phaneuf will be back with the Senators next season.
The big-ticket blueliner reportedly opted not to waive his NMC clause, meaning the Senators will likely be forced to expose either veteran defenseman Marc Methot or 23-year-old Cody Ceci.
Dion Phaneuf is not expected to waive his NMC, as was requested by OTT. That means Phaneuf would have to be protected in expansion draft.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) June 13, 2017
The Senators could try and trade Phaneuf before Saturday’s deadline, but with a 10-team no-trade list and a $7-million cap hit for four more seasons, it seems doubtful there would be any takers.
Keith Yandle is a good defenseman on a bad contract, with six years remaining on a deal that carries an annual cap hit of $6.35M.
If the Panthers want to unburden themselves from that commitment, they’ll have to go the trade route as Yandle has decided to exercise his NMC.
Panther D Keith Yandle didn't waive his no-move clause. He's only Panther with the NM so he must be protected #flapanthers
— Harvey Fialkov (@hfialkov) June 13, 2017
That puts the Panthers in a tough spot, as they’ll likely be forced to expose Alex Petrovic, Mark Pysyk or Jason Demers unless they can swing a deal with Vegas or another team before Saturday.
Not asked to waive
Dan Girardi, Marc Staal
Dan Girardi and Marc Staal will be back plodding around the MSG ice next season after neither player was asked to waive his NMC.
Per sources, Rangers did not ask either Marc Staal or Dan Girardi to waive no-trade today.
— Larry Brooks (@NYP_Brooksie) June 12, 2017
The Rangers didn’t really need them to, but their contracts are long and expensive and they’d surely like to get out from at least one of them if not both. It just doesn’t make sense to have two slow-footed defensemen eating up that much cap space as the game becomes increasingly faster. Whether Vegas would have taken either of them is a different question.
With the Rangers presumably going the 7-3-1 route, that will leave Kevin Klein and Nick Holden up for grabs on defense.
Five of Boston’s core players — Zdeno Chara, Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, David Krejci and David Backes — have NMCs, and none of them were asked to waive for Vegas.
Bruins are not planning to ask for no-moves to be waived. https://t.co/xoSPHaXx8J
— Fluto Shinzawa (@GlobeFluto) June 12, 2017
That doesn’t come as much of a surprise, as there’s almost no chance any of them would be exposed anyways.
Assuming the Bruins go with a 7-3-1 format, Chara and Torey Krug will occupy two of the slots on defense, leaving Adam McQuaid or the Millers, Kevan and Colin, available to the Golden Knights.
The Anaheim Ducks are the most intriguing team heading into the expansion draft as they try and figure out a way to keep their D-core intact.
It appears they have found a solution, and it doesn’t include asking Kevin Bieksa to waive his NMC or leaving one of their highly-coveted defensemen unprotected.
It's believed ANA has a pre-arranged deal in place with VGK so it isn't necessary to ask Kevin Bieksa to waive his NMC.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) June 13, 2017
This is a smart move by Vegas, as Anaheim would have never let Sami Vatanen, Josh Manson or Jakob Silfverberg go for nothing. So they take say Andrew Cogliano or Antonie Vermette instead, while plucking an additional asset or two away from the Ducks.
Once the expansion draft is over, it would be a surprise if the Ducks didn’t buyout the final year of Bieksa’s contract.
Chuck Fletcher won't comment if #mnwild's Jason Pominville asked to waive no-move for VGK exposure. Pommer/agent haven't replied to queries
— Michael Russo (@Russostrib) June 12, 2017
For those wondering, #NHLJets won't be commenting on whether they've asked or if Toby Enstrom has agreed to waive NMC for expansion draft
— Ken Wiebe (@WiebeSunSports) June 12, 2017