Vegas Golden Knights general manager George McPhee will be a busy man for the next few days.
The NHL released each team’s protection lists on Sunday, revealing to all the talent the expansion franchise will be able to select, flip, or hold hostage for futures, as it gets set to make its selections on Wednesday.
“We looked at the lists and there were no surprises,” McPhee told reporters on Sunday. “We are now going through the process of trying to put the team together, we are still talking to clubs and we are hoping to do deals with clubs if they want to protect their rosters.”
Saturday’s trade deadline for teams looking to shuffle potentially exposed players around came and went with only a few deals being made; something which came as a pleasant surprise to McPhee.
“We were expecting this mass redistribution of players. That really didn’t happen, which we were really happy about,” said McPhee.
“Some of the things we were worried about with no-move clauses and that sort of thing didn’t happen and I think the harvest of assets that we were going to have now will be what we are hoping for.”
McPhee has a variety of ways he can approach the expansion draft. There is enough talent available to select a competitive team for 2017-18, but with other GMs eager to protect their own assets, stocking the cupboards with draft picks and prospects seems to be the path Vegas will take.
“We’re doing what’s best for this hockey club,” said McPhee. “And we think we can accomplish two things: We can put a good team on the ice, and accumulate draft picks and be in a surplus situation in the next couple of years.”
The Golden Knights have several days to deliberate before submitting their picks on Wednesday at 10 a.m. ET. The picks will be unveiled at the NHL Awards Show later that night at 8 p.m.
“We’re really pleased with what’s available,” said McPhee. “And as I’ve said this worked out very well for the Vegas Golden Knights.”