— ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun set hockey Twitter ablaze last week. Reporting from the GMs meetings in Boca Raton, he relayed that the NHL was leaning toward not making the protected lists public before June’s expansion draft, news that was met with anger and outrage from both fans and media alike.
Well, there’s been a development on that front.
In speaking with both NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly and NHLPA spokesman Jonathan Weatherdon, LeBrun learned that no decision has been made regarding protected and available lists. Daly said the league hasn’t made a final decision, and that one would be made in “due time,” adding that there’s “no rush.”
Weatherdon only said the league and players’ union would continue to discuss the matter.
But LeBrun did discover one new thing — the possibility that fans, media and 30 NHL clubs could be kept in the dark.
Perhaps even more intriguing to me is the possibility — which another GM alerted me to on Monday — that the protected lists might also not be shared among teams before the draft, meaning they would be shut out just like the rest of us.
The issue here, I think, is that some GMs are hesitant to let everyone else in the league see how they are ranking or otherwise valuing their own players.
I would argue that they already do show their cards when they reveal how they compensate the players in terms of salary. But I suppose that, if lower-paid players end up getting protected over higher-paid players in some cases, teams might not want that kind of naked truth being blatantly blasted out there for posterity.
Perhaps the information could affect future trade negotiations, if a team now knows how a competitor truly feels about a certain player its trying to move?
One GM told ESPN.com on Monday that if all the protected lists aren’t shared among teams, “I think that’s an advantage for Vegas. They’d be the only team with all the info.”
So yeah, stay tuned.
— Harrison Browne, the first openly transgender professional hockey player, has announced his retirement from the NWHL. From the league:
Browne, who is pursuing a career in sports business, will serve on the NWHL’s Board of Advisors for season 3, lending his insight and experience on matters of inclusion.
“Harrison is leaving quite a legacy from his two years in our league,” said NWHL Commissioner Dani Rylan. “He is a pioneer for transgender rights and has been a great hockey player at every level of the game. He is going to be missed, but it’s gratifying to know that Brownie is remaining a part of the NWHL family.”
Browne and the Buffalo Beauts will play an Isobel Cup semifinal against the New York Riveters on Friday, with the winner advancing to the Cup Final.
The New York Times wrote about Browne’s pending retirement today.
— Over at TSN, Travis Yost takes a look at Erik Karlsson‘s accomplishments, achievements and point production through his age 26 season. The synopsis? Ottawa’s prized defenseman is on pace for a Hall-of-Fame career.