The delightful thing about the NHL is that the rules are an ever-moving target. It isn’t necessarily that the rules change, but they appear to arrive on a need to know basis. Example: the 2017 expansion draft. If Vegas gets their money in on time, the new franchise will be able to make trades beginning at the trade deadline. What does that mean? For Edmonton, possible expansion certainty.
Frank Seravalli of TSN wrote an article this week about the expansion draft and a wrinkle that should be of interest to Oilers fans.
- Seravalli: Golden Knights GM George McPhee will be permitted to execute trades and transactions ahead of the March 1 trade deadline, so long as owner Bill Foley satisfies the requirements to officially make Las Vegas as home of the NHL’s 31st franchise in the days prior.
Frank was on the Thursday Lowdown and expanded on it. The Golden Knights will be able to trade considerations for draft picks, junior players or players on 50-man lists who are as yet unsigned for the coming season.
Edmonton assets who could be (could be, not suggesting names) include Bogdan Yakimov, Ziyat Paigin, Filip Berglund and Miroslva Svoboda in Europe; Caleb Jones, Ethan Bear and Tyler Benson in the CHL, and various college men. Vegas will be able to sign their own college and CHL free agents as well.
It is important to remember there could be small and subtle rules inside this area we are not currently aware of, but this might be a useful tool for Edmonton. For instance, if Peter Chiarelli has decided to sign Kris Russell, he might be able to go ahead and make that move IF the Golden Knights agree to select Griffin Reinhart at the expansion draft. Edmonton could seal the deal with a sweetener—say, a depth pick in 2018—and proceed in signing Russell.
Now, you and I can argue the wisdom of such a move, but that is the general idea. It gives the general manager certainty and a major advantage over other teams in preparing for the summer. Chiarelli could also help himself with the cap, perhaps having LV agree to select Benoit Pouliot at the expansion draft in exchange for the rights to William Lagesson (as an example).
Note: I am using the names above as examples, this is not an effort to guess PCs thinking. In fact, I believe the Oilers are probably a little worried about losing Reinhart, a player they clearly value.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
It is a pretty cool little piece of news, and gives us something to discuss. So, let’s chat about it. What makes sense to you? Stay the course, or get that certainty that will allow the general manager to wheel at the deadline?