On Saturday night, the Golden Knights issued a statement that "before the Golden Knights claim a player off a team's unprotected list, McPhee and his staff are willing to negotiate deals so the other clubs do not lose a player they would otherwise like to keep". The Las Vegas Golden Knights will announce their selections during the NHL Awards ceremony, which is 8 p.m. Wednesday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Beyond building likely the most competitive expansion team in National Hockey League history, McPhee has the golden opportunity to play some desperate teams against each other and build up a collection of draft picks and other assets.
That leaves at least a handful of teams with work left to do, scrambling to keep coveted players such as Marc Methot in Ottawa, the Rangers' Antti Raanta and Michael Grabner, Matt Dumba and Marco Scandella in Minnesota, James Neal in Nashville and Jonathan Marchessault in Florida from joining Vegas.
With these requirements in mind, The Sports Daily took a whack at predicting the Golden Knights' selections, which will be announced Wednesday during the National Hockey League awards show.
Other notable forwards left unprotected were Los Angeles's Dustin Brown, Montreal's Tomas Plekanec and Pittsburgh's Chris Kunitz.
We really like what were looking at right now, McPhee said. With so many Cup teams built down the middle, Dallas' Cody Eakin (who McPhee also drafted), Minnesota's Erik Haula and St. Louis' Jori Lehtera could help both present and future.
On Sunday morning Blues fans found out who won't be moving on, after the league revealed the "protected" list of each club - players who can't be selected by Vegas.
The now released unprotected list has sent several experts into a frenzy trying to figure out just who exactly the Golden Knights will take.
He emphasized that each team will be contacted and given the opportunity to have a say in protecting its roster.
There are very good players available, but rather than select them for a middling club, Vegas is going to ransom them in exchange for young players or for draft picks, in the hopes of building a legitimately good roster a few years down the line.
"Vegas doesn't need 10", said Chayka after making a proactive move to free up the Coyotes' protected list by trading veteran goalie Mike Smith to Calgary. He intends to inform teams who Vegas is selecting in the event they want to strike a deal to have the Golden Knights choose another player. If true, this is going to be an expensive, but necessary play for the Ducks. "We were expecting this mass redistribution of players that really didn't happen, which we were really happy about".
The Islanders were the only team that protected five defensemen: Johnny Boychuk, Nick Leddy, Travis Hamonic Ryan Pulock and Adam Pelech, leaving forwards Josh Bailey, Brock Nelson and Ryan Strome and defensemen Calvin de Haan and Thomas Hickey available.
On the defensive side, Carl Gunnarsson has been a productive player, and one with a reasonable salary that could fit the mold for Vegas. They have one unrestricted free agent - Scottie Upshall - and three restricted free agents (Parayko, Paajarvi and Nail Yakupov).