Expect some big trades before tomorrow’s freeze kicks in

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Tomorrow at 3 p.m. ET, the 30 teams that aren’t the Vegas Golden Knights will not be allowed to trade with each other until the expansion draft has been completed.

It should make for an interesting Saturday, assuming not all the big trades are made today.

Before the freeze kicks in, teams that can’t protect a certain player will do their best to find him a new home, while teams with extra protection spots will try to fill them.

It’s a bit like a game of musical chairs. While there won’t be seats for every good player to sit, the 30 teams will at least make sure all the chairs are filled.

Let’s use Sami Vatanen as an example. Sorry, Golden Knights fans, but it’s unlikely Vegas will get the chance to pick the 26-year-old defenseman, even if the Ducks can’t protect him.

The more likely scenario is that Vatanen gets dealt to a team that does have a spot to protect him. (In a previous post, we listed New Jersey, Toronto, and Tampa Bay as possibilities.)

Stay tuned. This should be fun.

Related: Wild GM ‘listening’ to trade offers for Dumba, Brodin before expansion draft