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Here are the 66 veteran NHLers that have to be protected at expansion draft

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The NHL has released a memo to all 30 teams outlining which 66 veteran NHLers are currently exempt from the expansion process — meaning they have to be protected — because of their no-movement clauses.

And Sportsnet has the memo.

Per Chris Johnston, the list was finalized late Tuesday evening after the league reviewed “the parameters of each individual contract” with the NHL Players’ Association.

The league was unable to institute a “blanket rule” to all NMCs, because those clauses are entirely negotiable and can be worded in whatever way the club or player — or, agent — sees fit.

You can read about some of the more surprising developments (Rick Nash has to be protected, Bobby Ryan doesn’t) here.

As for the list of players, here you go. Chicago leads the way with eight veterans requiring protection while Calgary, San Jose, St. Louis and Washington don’t have any.

Anaheim: Kevin Bieksa, Ryan Getzlaf, Ryan Kesler, Corey Perry

Arizona: Alex Goligoski

Boston: David Backes, Patrice Bergeron, Zdeno Chara, David Krejci

Buffalo: Kyle Okposo

Carolina: Jordan Staal

Columbus: Sergei Bobrovsky, David Clarkson, Brandon Dubinsky, Nick Foligno, Scott Hartnell

Chicago: Artem Anisimov, Corey Crawford, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Marian Hossa, Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Jonathan Toews

Colorado: Francois Beauchemin, Erik Johnson

Dallas: Jamie Benn, Jason Spezza

Detroit: Frans Nielsen

Edmonton: Milan Lucic, Andrej Sekera, Cam Talbot

Florida: Keith Yandle

Los Angeles: Anze Kopitar

Minnesota: Mikko Koivu, Zach Parise, Jason Pominville, Ryan Suter

Montreal: Jeff Petry, Carey Price

Nashville: Pekka Rinne

New Jersey: Ryane Clowe

N.Y. Islanders: Johnny Boychuk, Andrew Ladd, John Tavares

N.Y. Rangers: Dan Girardi, Henrik Lundqvist, Rick Nash, Marc Staal

Ottawa: Dion Phaneuf

Philadelphia: Claude Giroux

Pittsburgh: Sidney Crosby, Marc-Andre Fleury, Phil Kessel, Kris Letang, Evgeni Malkin

Tampa Bay: Ryan Callahan, Valtteri Filppula, Victor Hedman, Steven Stamkos

Toronto: Nathan Horton

Vancouver: Loui Eriksson, Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin

Winnipeg: Dustin Byfuglien, Toby Enstrom

As established earlier this year, teams have two options for players they wish to protect in the Expansion Draft:

a) Seven forwards, three defensemen and one goaltender

b) Eight skaters (forwards/defensemen) and one goaltender

Also, all first- and second-year professionals, as well as all unsigned draft choices, will be exempt from selection (and will not be counted toward their club’s applicable protection limits).

Sheary’s agent — who’s also Dumoulin’s agent — hoping to avoid arbitration

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Conor Sheary‘s agent is hopeful that an arbitration hearing won’t be needed with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

And that same agent has reason to be optimistic, since he’s also the agent for Brian Dumoulin, who settled at the last minute today.

“Each (case) is so different,” Andrew Gross told the Post-Gazette this morning. “Ultimately, though, team and player would like to avoid going in that room. It’s not a pleasant experience.”

Sheary’s hearing isn’t scheduled until Aug. 4. The 25-year-old forward is coming off a 53-point regular season. In his young NHL career, he’s already won two Stanley Cups.

That said, the Penguins can’t afford to break the bank on an extension. After all, a big reason for their success has been having players like Sheary on affordable deals — a necessity with Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Phil Kessel, and Kris Letang taking up so much cap space.

Sheary wasn’t all that productive in the 2017 playoffs either, scoring just two goals with five assists in 22 games, while finishing a team-worst minus-5 for the postseason.

“We’re prepared to go to arbitration,” Pens GM Jim Rutherford said last week.

Of course, Rutherford was also speaking about Dumoulin, and the two sides were able to reach an agreement on him.

You can probably expect a similar outcome with Sheary.

Just don’t bet the house on it.

Preds avoid arbitration with Austin Watson

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Another narrowly avoided arbitration to pass along.

The Nashville Predators have signed forward Austin Watson to a three-year, $3.3 million contract that will pay him $1 million next season, $1.1 million in 2018-19 and $1.2 million in 2019-20.

Watson’s hearing was scheduled for today.

From the press release:

Watson, 25 (1/13/92), set career highs in goals (5), assists (7), points (12), penalty minutes (99) and games played (77) during the 2016-17 season as he established himself as an integral member of the Nashville roster. The 6-foot-4, 204-pound winger then added four goals and nine points in 22 postseason contests as the Predators advanced to the 2017 Stanley Cup Final. Watson also appeared in 57 games for the Predators during the 2015-16 season, recording three goals and 10 points.

The Pittsburgh Penguins also avoided an arbitration hearing today by signing defenseman Brian Dumoulin to a six-year contract.

Spooner seeking $3.85 million in arbitration

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Ryan Spooner‘s arbitration hearing with the Boston Bruins is scheduled for Wednesday. And if it goes ahead, it could be a rather contentious one.

According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, Spooner is seeking $3.85 million on a one-year deal, while the B’s are thinking almost half that at $2 million.

Spooner, a 25-year-old forward, will certainly be able to sell his offensive statistics. He had 49 points in 2015-16, then 39 points last season.

“Ryan’s a talented player,” said GM Don Sweeney, per CSNNE.com. “He’s had a lot of success. Our power play is better when he plays as well as he’s capable of playing, and he can really be a good complement to our group.”

But the knock on Spooner has always been his defensive play. The past two seasons, he’s a combined minus-17. Back in May, it was reported that the B’s were entertaining trade offers for him.

Spooner’s last contract paid him $1.9 million over two years.

Dumoulin agrees to six-year contract with Penguins

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Brian Dumoulin won’t need his arbitration hearing today.

The Pittsburgh Penguins announced this morning that the 25-year-old defenseman has agreed to terms on a six-year contract with a $4.1 million cap hit.

From the press release:

Dumoulin, 25, has been a key component to the Penguins’ back-to-back Stanley Cup championships, as he played in all 49 playoff games in that span, and recorded 14 points (3G-11A). In the 2017 playoffs, Dumoulin had an average ice time of 21:59 minutes, the most of any Penguins skater, and his plus-9 paced all team defenders. He assisted on Carl Hagelin‘s empty-net goal that sealed the 2-0 victory in the decisive Game 6 of the Cup Final against Nashville. 

Dumoulin is coming off of a contract that paid him just $800,000 in each of the past two seasons.

With Dumoulin signed, Pittsburgh now has five defenseman under contract for at least the next three seasons, the other four being Kris Letang, Justin Schultz, Olli Maatta, and Matt Hunwick.

The Pens still have one more arbitration case in forward Conor Sheary. His hearing is scheduled for Aug. 4.

Related: Without Letang, the ‘simple bunch’ gets it done for Penguins