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Vegas Expansion Draft Killing Trade Talk Around the NHL


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What executives around the league are saying, however, is that the expansion draft adds another wrinkle on top of an already complicated process. Essentially any deal for a player under contract next season is hard to pull off, which leaves only rentals and young players that are exempt from the expansion draft in play.

It cuts out the blockbusters, in other words.

Here’s an example. We’ll use Anaheim, as they’re a team I keep hearing is in “go for it” mode, given their older roster and wide-open division. They didn’t hire Randy Carlyle to oversee a youth movement.

Unless they make several deals, the Ducks are going to lose a good player to Vegas. Even if they protect four defencemen right now, that will leave out a forward like Rickard Rakell or Jakob Silfverberg.

Not to mention one of Sami Vatanen or Josh Manson on D. (We can quibble over the names – these are examples. They have to expose someone of value.)

It probably makes sense for the Ducks to move a defenceman for a forward given they’ve had trouble scoring and they’ve got a wealth of interesting prospects like Shea Theodore and Brandon Montour coming on the back end. (Aside: Those young Anaheim D are coming up in trade rumours, too. Bob Murray has been busy.)

But almost every team that takes back a defenceman for a forward runs into expansion draft complications. The deal can end up looking more lopsided when you factor who is being exposed. It’s no longer Player X for Manson – it might become Player X and Player Y (exposed to Vegas) for Manson, which makes it a tougher call.

In some cases, an impossible call.


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