The NHL expansion draft in 5 questions | You did see?

What is the expansion draft?

The Seattle Kraken officially joined the NHL on April 30, when the new organization closed payment for its expansion rights. In return, the league offers the Kraken the opportunity to select players already active in the circuit in order to build from the first season a team worthy of the name.

The Kraken will have to choose one player from each team, with the exception of the Vegas Golden Knights, who are exempt from the process.

The three men are talking.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, Vegas Golden Knights owner Bill Foley and 2017 Golden Knights general manager George McPhee.

Photo: Getty Images / Ethan Miller

The Knights, who entered the Bettman Tour in 2017, had the chance to make an expansion draft as well. The team thus composed had surprised many observers, since it had reached the Stanley Cup final in its first season, but lost to the Washington Capitals.

Prior to 2017, the NHL made several other expansion draft drafts with different rules, including 1991 (San José Sharks), 1992 (Tampa Bay Lightning and Ottawa Senators), 1993 (Anaheim Ducks and Panthers of Florida), 1998 (Nashville Predators), 1999 (Atlanta Thrashers) and 2000 (Columbus Blue Jackets and Minnesota Wild).

How does the expansion draft work?

The rules for the Kraken will be the same as for the Golden Knights. Here are the highlights :

  • Seattle will have to select a minimum of 20 players under contract for the 2021-2022 season;
  • The combined salary of the players must represent between 60% and 100% of the salary cap in force, which is set at $ 81.5 million;
  • The Kraken cannot buy back the players’ contract next season and will not be able to do so until summer 2022 at the earliest;
  • Players placed on the long-term injured list or who have missed the last 60 NHL games due to injury cannot be selected by the Kraken or exposed by the team holding their rights.

To make its selection, the Kraken will have to dip into the players left free by 30 teams. Each team can protect 9 or 11 players in order to make them unavailable to Ron Francis, general manager and prime contractor of the expansion team.

These 30 teams have the choice between two options as to which players to protect:

  • 7 attackers, 3 defenders and 1 goalkeeper,
  • 8 players, regardless of their position, and 1 goalkeeper.

Any player whose contract contains a no-trade or no-movement clause must be on his team’s protection list, unless the player in question agrees to lift this clause.

This is what goalkeeper Marc-André Fleury did in 2017, chosen by the Vegas Golden Knights from the Pittsburgh Penguins.

A player shakes hands with an officer.

Marc-André Fleury and Golden Knights owner Bill Foley

Photo: Getty Images / Ethan Miller

What are the exceptions?

It should be noted that all players with two years or less of experience in the professional ranks as well as all players selected in the draft, but without a contract, are exempt from the expansion draft and do not need to be protected. .

For the Canadian, this means that young players such as Nick Suzuki, Cole Caufield, Alexander Romanov or Cayden Primeau do not have to be protected, but Jesperi Kotkaniemi will have to be. The latter has already played three seasons in the NHL.

In 2017, CH lost defender Alexei Emelin in the expansion draft.

He watches the game looming in front of him.

Alexei Emelin

Photo: Getty Images / Minas Panagiotakis

Are exchanges possible?

Some teams who wish to force the Kraken’s hand, however, may come to an agreement with Ron Francis to force him to select certain players over others.

In 2017, the Golden Knights used the trade to dramatically improve their team. One of those was with the Panthers. The Florida team had agreed to let Quebecer Jonathan Marchessault free and send striker Reilly Smith to Nevada for a fourth-round pick and the Las Vegas team’s promise to take Marchessault.

He celebrates a goal.

Jonathan marchessault

Photo: NHLi via Getty Images / David Becker

At the time, the Panthers had preferred to protect four defenders rather than Smith and Marchessault. From their first season in Vegas, the pair quickly established themselves as mainstays, scoring 22 goals and 38 assists and 27 goals and 48 assists, respectively.

This summer, the Kraken could be tempted to make pacts with the 30 teams to take advantage of the constraints of the salary cap and target players with undervalued potential, as were Marchessault and Smith.

The salary cap, which will not increase next season, should allow the Kraken to do some good business.

He could take inspiration from one of George McPhee’s best shots of 2017. The GM had agreed to claim defenseman Clayton Stoner from the Anaheim Ducks, then with a salary of $ 3.25 million, in exchange. young defenseman Shea Theodore, then 22.

Since then, Theodore has established himself as one of the best full backs in the NHL and just finished a season in which he had 42 points in 53 games.

Who runs the Seattle Kraken?

In Seattle, the team in charge of the expansion draft will be made up of general manager Ron Francis, head coach Dave Hakstol and owner Tod Leiweke.

The leading trio is made up of gray eminence from hockey. Ron Francis previously served as general manager with the Carolina Hurricanes and Dave Hakstol as head coach with the Philadelphia Flyers. On the other hand, the Seattle team has several women in its organization chart.

Among them is Alexandra Mandrycky, director of hockey strategy and research, one of the few women to hold a position of power in the NHL.

They talk.

Alexandra Mandrycky and Ron Francis

Photo: NHL Seattle / Courtesy: NHL Seattle

Cammi Granato, former captain of the US Olympic team, acts as a professional scout. She is the first woman to hold this position in the NHL.

Added to Mandrycky and Granato: Kendall Tyson, vice president of strategy and analysis; Stephany Keeley, vice president of finance; April West, Vice President of Human Resources, and Katie Townsend, Vice President of Communications. They were all hired in July 2019.

In addition to the 20 players selected in the expansion draft, the Kraken will also be able to get their hands on one of the most beautiful prospects in the amateur draft on July 23.

He holds the second overall pick. Among the prospects most likely to be drafted by Seattle are Owen Power, Matthew Berniers, Luke Hughes, Dylan Guenther, William Eklund and Simon Edvinsson.

For now, the calendar for the 2021-2022 season has still not been released. One thing is certain, the first time Seattle fans will be able to see their new hockey team skate will be on September 26, the date of the very first preseason game for the 32nd NHL team.

A banner announcing the Radio-Canada Sports podcast: Tellement hockey

Laisser un commentaire