And so it begins.
The Ottawa Senators have reportedly asked defenseman Dion Phaneuf to waive his no-movement clause, which could then expose him in the Vegas expansion draft later this month.
That is according to TSN and hockey insider Pierre LeBrun on Monday, which is deadline day for teams to request that a player waive their no-movement clause ahead of the expansion draft.
Players with no-movement clauses are automatically protected — unless they choose to waive that.
Senators general manager Pierre Dorion didn’t rule out the possibility of this happening when he met with reporters following the Eastern Conference Final.
“If we ever end up losing a defenseman, we know we have guys that can come in and replace him,” said Dorion at the time. “I’m not sure. There’s a lot of discussions to be had. If ever we were to go that direction, I think I should let Dion know first.”
Phaneuf, 32, enters the fourth year of his seven-year, $49 million contract. Per TSN, the veteran blue liner has yet to make a decision. He had nine goals and 30 points in 81 regular season games.
Teams have until 5 p.m. ET on Saturday to submit their protection lists.