Published: Mon, June 19, 2017
Global Media | By Meredith Barber

Golden Knights GM George McPhee ready to deal

The Panthers were rumored to be trying to move Marchessault on Saturday before the Vegas trade freeze went into affect and have been mentioned as a team who may be working a side deal with Vegas general manager George McPhee to perhaps protect a player or two on the exposed list. That forced the team to also expose top-pairing blueliner Marc Methot.

McPhee wasn't prepared to discuss individual players when specifically asked about Fleury, but noted there were no surprises based on the numerous mock drafts the Golden Knights conducted over the past few months. Fleury agreed before the March 1 trade deadline, saying it gave the team more flexibility down the stretch.

McPhee may not be Don Corleone, but he is the actual godfather of Matt Moulson's wife, and the Buffalo Sabres are unable to protect Moulson from the Golden Knights grasp if they choose to go that direction.

"At some point, we'll be able to exhale and I'll say, 'Holy smokes, we really accomplished something neat, '" McPhee said. "We expect to put a good, competitive, entertaining club on the ice". He has already declared giving the no-movement clause in his contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins, which clearly makes him up for grabs. Anaheim wants to keep defensemen Sami Vatanen and Josh Manson, Columbus wants to keep goalie Joonas Korpisalo, forward Josh Anderson, and defenseman Jack Johnson, and NY wants to keep forwards Josh Bailey and Casey Cizikas. The Golden Knights must select the following number of players at each position: 14 forwards, nine defensemen and three goaltenders and must select a minimum of 20 players who are under contract for the 2017-18 season. Aside from Fleury, other goalies available are Florida's Roberto Luongo, Detroit's Petr Mrazek and Philadelphia's Michal Neuvirth. Today, those lists became public.

Additionally, first and second-year players are exempt from the expansion draft. Pending unrestricted free agents Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau were left unprotected, which was expected.

Sami Vatanen is a target for many teams this season, heading into the expansion draft.

Meanwhile the Columbus Dispatch reported the Blue Jackets are believed to be trading this year's first-round draft pick (No. 24 overall) and a prospect (not Pierre-Luc Dubois or Sonny Milano) to Vegas for assurances that the Golden Knights will pluck either left wing Matt Calvert, centre William Karlsson or defenceman Ryan Murray, thereby allowing Columbus to retain some of their more coveted exposed players.

"There's a lot of things that could happen, there's one thing that probably will happen", Cole said at the Penguins' locker clean-out Thursday. Oshie was tied with Alex Ovechkin for the team lead with a career-best 33 goals last season, reaching double digits for the eighth time in nine National Hockey League seasons. That is, Vegas can make deals with their current clubs, or they can draft the player Wednesday and trade them to other clubs for a big return. They also protected five defensemen, the most out of any team. And teams aren't prohibited from making trades that would keep certain unprotected players from being selected.

Thornton had a cap hit of $6.8 million and Marleau $6.7 million in the last of three-year deals. I got a call from the guys after (the protected lists were released) and they were like, "I wonder if I'm going to get picked" and they did get picked ... and those guys went and really enjoyed their other teams.

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