Vegas Golden Knights solidify final plans for expansion draft

Updated June 12, 2017 - 6:38 pm

Hundreds of thousands of miles have been traveled with a similar amount of money spent. The data obtained since September has been recorded. The big board is set up. The dress rehearsals are finished.

The time has almost arrived for the Golden Knights to go through a once-in-a-franchise experience — the NHL Expansion Draft.

“It’s an exciting time,” general manager George McPhee said Monday. “We’ve put a lot of time and an extraordinary amount of work into this and we’re ready.”

The pro side of the hockey operations staff comes to town Wednesday. Beginning Sunday and concluding the morning of June 21 — when the final list must be submitted to the league — McPhee and his staff will sit in a meeting room at the team’s Summerlin offices and begin the selection process of taking one player from each of the NHL’s 30 other teams. There will likely be caveats with other teams, thanks to trades and side deals that McPhee has either already made or is pondering.

The team said Sunday it will not be making any comment or confirmation regarding a trade or a side deal until after the Expansion Draft announcement at T-Mobile Arena on June 21. McPhee said Monday he was not discussing any potential transactions or individual players.

That hasn’t stopped the rumor mill from churning with the Knights reportedly involved in transactions with several teams, including the Chicago Blackhawks (Marcus Kruger/Trevor van Riemsdyk), the Buffalo Sabres (Matt Moulson) and the Columbus Blue Jackets (David Clarkson).

The Knights must select a minimum of three goaltenders, nine defensemen and 14 forwards as part of the 30-man process. The team must also spend 60 percent of the 2017-18 salary cap, which will likely be at $73 million. Working with that $73 million number, the salary floor for the Knights to reach is $43.8 million.

That won’t be hard to reach. Even if the Knights take on some bad contracts, they’ll still have enough room under the cap to pursue free agents or make trades.

In addition to making the 30 picks, the team will also be pursuing unrestricted free agents during the same time period. McPhee said it was still to be determined if any negotiations with those free agents will be in person or not.

With the process about to begin, McPhee has one true nemesis — time. The 72 hours will go by quickly and he and his staff have to make the most of the hours they’ve got.

“It’s still a very tight window,” he said. “There’s a lot of negotiating taking place. That’s the only concern I have.”

Contact Steve Carp at or 702-387-2913. Follow @stevecarprj on Twitter.

Golden Knights Videos
Official opening of City National Arena, practice facility for the Golden Knights
Government officials joined Golden Knights chairman and CEO Bill Foley, hockey players and fans for the official opening on Monday of the City National Arena, the team's 146,000 square-foot practice facility in Las Vegas.
Gerard Gallant happy with Golden Knights first preseason game
Coach Gerard Gallant saw lots to like in the Golden Knights' 9-4 win on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017, in Vancouver. (Steve Carp/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Veteran defenseman Brad Hunt proud Golden Knights rookies in first game
Brad Hunt making his case to make the Golden Knights. The veteran defenseman was proud of the way Golden Knights rookies played in the team's first NHL preseason game on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017. (Steve Carp/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Tyler Wong talks about his hat trick in Sunday's Golden Knights win
Rookie forward Tyler Wong had four points as the Golden Knights beat Vancouver 9-4 in their NHL preseason opener, Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017. (Steve Carp/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
David Schoen checks in from Golden Knights training camp
Review-Journal reporter David Schoen checks in from Golden Knights training camp Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017 at City National Arena in Las Vegas. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Marc-Andre Fleury on his first day on the ice with the Golden Knights
Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury was impressed with the first day of Golden Knights training camp on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. (Steve Carp/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Paul Thompson on his strong start at Golden Knights training camp
Golden Knights forward Paul Thompson not looking too far ahead after good first day of practice with the team on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. (Steve Carp/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant on team's chemistry
Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant talks about building chemistry in training camp on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017, at City National Arena. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Goaltender Oscar Dansk on opportunity with Golden Knights
Golden Knights goaltender Oscar Dansk speaks Friday, Sept. 15, 2017, at City National Arena after the first practice of training camp. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights defenseman Nate Schmidt ready for training camp
Golden Knights defenseman Nate Schmidt talks about pre-camp testing and the opening of training camp on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017. (Ed Graney/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Clayton Stoner anxious for Golden Knights training camp to begin
Defenseman Clayton Stoner is hoping to bounce back from abdominal surgery and make the Golden Knights roster. (Steve Carp/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Rocky Thompson postgame news conference
Rocky Thompson says Golden Knights rookies showed a lot of good qualities in 6-2 loss to L.A. Kings. (Steve Carp/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Tomas Hyka talks about making history for Golden Knights
Tomas Hyka reflects on scoring the first goal for the Golden Knights franchise. (Steve Carp/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
News Headlines
pos-2 — ads_infeed_1
post-4 — ads_infeed_2
Local Spotlight
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like