NHL Expansion Draft: Minnesota Wild available and protected list

The Blackhawks had to protect Kane, Toews, Hossa, Anisimov, Keith, Hjalmarsson, Seabrook and Crawford because they have no-movement clauses.

Vegas has not been shy about wanting to go big in its first offseason, whether through trades, the open market or expansion draft-fueled deals. McPhee said Sunday that a team must offer the Golden Knights an asset "better" than the player he can claim in the draft.

The NHL is now under a trade freeze that lasts until Thursday at 8 a.m., with teams only allowed to make trades with the Golden Knights. As for defensemen, Buffalo's Zach Bogosian and Dallas' Dan Hamhuis are available.

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.

There's a three-time Stanley Cup champion goalie in Pittsburgh's Marc-Andre Fleury available and several 20-plus-goal-scorers in Nashville's James Neal and Minnesota's Eric Staal.

There's also a wealth of proven goaltenders available given that teams were required to expose at least one.

Regarding Abdelkader, who's 30 years old and signed through 2023 with a cap hit of $4.25 million, it's likely the Wings valued his grit and leadership.

Sunday, June 18 Deadline for Central Registry to approve and simultaneously distribute the Protection Lists to all NHL Clubs (including the Expansion Club) and the NHLPA (10 a.m. ET). They have one unrestricted free agent in Scottie Upshall and three restricted free agents in Colton Parayko, Magnus Paajarvi and Nail Yakupov.

The expansion draft will take place on Wednesday at 7 p.m. CT on NBC Sports Network along with the NHL Awards Show.

Francis didn't say what his plans might be, saying, "We'll just see where we are and what happens" in the expansion draft. And a union between "Flower Power" and Gallant's upstart defense makes too much sense, from giving Fleury a renewed shot at being No. 1 to giving a new hockey market an immediately recognizable name, not to mention a capable starter.

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