Rabid Habs

NHL Announces Expansion Protections

The NHL has announced each team’s list of protected players that are off limits for the Vegas Golden Knights to claim in the expansion draft. Each of the existing 30 franchises submitted their lists before 5:00 PM EST yesterday, and now Vegas has until June 21 to make their selections.

Teams were given two options for their protection lists:

  1. 7-3-1: Seven forwards, three defensemen and one goalie
  2. 8-1: Eight total skaters and one goalie

The Canadiens chose the 7-3-1 option, and their protection list is as follows:


  1. Max Pacioretty
  2. Brendan Gallagher
  3. Andrew Shaw
  4. Alex Galchenyuk
  5. Phillip Danault
  6. Paul Byron
  7. Jonathan Drouin

Notably, forwards like Artturi Lehkonen, Andreas Martinsen and Michael McCarron are exempt from the expansion draft due to a lack of pro experience.


  1. Shea Weber
  2. Jeff Petry (NMC)
  3. Jordie Benn

The newest Montreal Canadiens’ defenseman Jakub Jerabek does not need to be protected, as his play in the KHL does not qualify as “professional” experience, and he will be exempt from the expansion draft.


  1. Carey Price (NMC)

Price has to be protected due to his no-movement clause, but I think it’s safe to say he would have been protected regardless of his contractual status. Al Montoya is the Habs only goaltender that meets the exposure requirement, so he is available for Vegas to take.

Notable Exposures

Tomas Plekanec: The second-longest serving Canadien is undoubtedly headed towards the end of his time in Montreal. With his production falling off a cliff and a $6 million cap hit for one more year, it’s possible Marc Bergevin made a deal with Vegas general manager George McPhee that will ensure Plekanec’s selection in the expansion draft. Even if Plekanec goes unclaimed by Vegas, his days in Montreal are numbered. Bergevin might look elsewhere to unload his enormous cap hit, and if that’s unsuccessful, he will almost certainly not be brought back next year.

Alexei Emelin: Emelin is in a similar spot. With one year left on a deal that will cost the Canadiens $4.1 million against the salary cap, Montreal will look to find a new team to sign the Russian blue-liner’s paycheck. Often scratch towards the end of the season by new coach Claude Julien, Emelin might not be sticking around. Even if he goes unclaimed, Bergevin has a history of unloading bad contracts over the summer (see Gorges and Prust). If Bergevin can get Plekanec and Emelin off the books, re-signing Radulov might become a little easier.

Charles Hudon: Maybe you didn’t have him on your protected list, but his exposure is still important. The Canadiens just signed Hudon to a two-year extension, and he might be part of the solution to the Canadiens’ problems at centre. With a stellar AHL season behind him, there’s nothing left for the young forward to learn on the farm team. Let’s just hope he makes the jump at the Bell Centre and not the T-Mobile Arena.

Vegas will make its selections and all of its trades public on June 21 during the NHL Awards.

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One Comment

  1. Virgil

    June 18, 2017 at 2:06 pm

    Why on the NHL page is Alex Radulov avaiable for Vegas???