The big development from Wednesday’s GMs meetings in Boca Raton?
After NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told reporters an expansion decision is expected prior to the draft in June, focus shifted to what an expansion draft would look like — the NHL’s first since Columbus and Minnesota partook in one 16 years ago.
While the specific rules have yet to be finalized, Daly shed some light on some important elements, specifically:
— Current NHL clubs can only lose a maximum of one player if the NHL expands by one team. If the NHL expands by two teams, current clubs can lose a maximum of two players. (Per TSN)
— No decision yet on how players with no-movement clauses will be handled. The expectation is they won’t be made available for selection. (Per Sportsnet)
— Prospects, first- and second-year professionals will be exempt from the draft. Those first- and second-year players can be in the NHL or AHL. (Per ESPN)
— Various models of protecting players were discussed, with multiple positional breakdowns. One included seven forwards, three defensemen and a goalie. (Per TSN)
— All of those potential scenarios had a maximum of one goalie being protected. (Per ESPN)
Per TVA, NHL GMs will know prior to this year’s draft if expansion will occur for the ’17-18 season. If it’s not settled by then, no new team will play before the ’18-19 campaign.
More on this, from ESPN:
If the league hopes to expand for the 2017-18 season, [NHL commissioner Gary] Bettman wants to give general managers one full transactional year to prepare their rosters. Thus, an expansion announcement for that season would have to come before free agency opens this year on July 1.
“They should have a full year,” Bettman said. “We’re only getting close if we’re going for 2017-18; [it] doesn’t mean we have to do it by July; we could do it July 15, but it might be for 2018-19.”
It’s expected the NHL will expand by one team, the Bill Foley-led Las Vegas group. The other group current engaged in the expansion process, Quebecor’s Quebec City bid, sound as though it’s unlikely to go through at the same time.
Recently, former Canadian prime minister Brian Mulroney — currently serving as Quebecor’s chairman — conceded that Quebec City may have to wait for an expansion club, citing the struggling Canadian dollar.