Whoever ends up coming to Las Vegas in the expansion draft or via free agency, the owner of the NHL’s newest team wants them to stay a while.
“I’m twice this age, but I don’t want a bunch of 35- or 36-year-olds that play a couple years, and then they’re done,” Bill Foley told the Las Vegas Sun. “We’ll have some veterans on the team to help the younger guys, but we need to be a younger-oriented team.”
General managers across the league are already scrambling to protect their rosters for June 20, 2017, when Las Vegas will pick its first 30 players.
“Everything will be affected by that,” Columbus Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen said. “In every decision, we’ll have to take into consideration what the rules are and how that might affect our outlook for the expansion draft and ahead of that.”
But no matter how hard GMs work to protect their assets, Foley is confident that whatever’s left exposed will comprise a decent roster.
At least, it’ll be better than the rosters that the Predators (1998), Thrashers (1999), Blue Jackets (2000) and Wild (2000) were able to cobble together.
“Expanding four teams in three years tapped the market,” Foley told the Sun. “It’s to our advantage that it’s only us, and we’re the first expansion team since the salary cap came into play.”
Related: The expansion draft rules