Vegas Golden Knights GM wants to make most of ‘best expansion draft ever’

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Marc-Andre Fleury. Bobby Ryan. Dion Phaneuf. Keith Yandle. Those are just a few of the players rumored to possibly be available in the Vegas Golden Knights’ expansion draft. Even if most of those situations don’t pan out, GM George McPhee seems like he’ll enjoy some unusually strong options to construct a new roster.

And McPhee knows that the NHL’s done a remarkably strong job setting the table, as he told the Globe & Mail’s Eric Duhatschek.

“They’ve done their best to make this the best expansion draft ever,” McPhee said. “Our job is not to let them down, and [to] make this¬†work.”

Seeing all the speculation – most recently about Phaneuf and Yandle – makes it both maddening and a lot of fun to ponder all the possibilities.

McPhee acknowledges the staggering away of variables that make it pretty difficult to really rehearse this process.

“The picture changes with every draft we do,” McPhee said. “It’s an evolving process. Players improve. Players decline. Trades are made. We’re not going to know until we get into our window, and then we’re going to get lists, but it could be a completely different universe. We’ll see what’s in there.”

Ultimately, McPhee gets a chemistry set to work with. Does he want to serve as something of a “cleaner” for teams, taking on bad contracts in exchange for assets? Maybe the Golden Knights would serve as a middle man for moves, also for assets? Or perhaps they’ll just try to assemble a group of reasonably big names?

It should be fun, but there’s also a lot of pressure on McPhee to get the job done.