Golden Knights 'willing to negotiate deals' so National Hockey League teams can protect assets

The Golden Knights, who begin play next season as the NHL's 31st team, will pick one player from each of the 30 teams.

Good question. The Canes could have Darling and Ward as their two goalies next season - their version of the Penguins' Matt Murray and Marc Andre-Fleury this year, if you will.

The Predators were put in a bind by exposing Neal, a 10-time 20-goal-scorer, because they elected to protect a fourth defenseman.

Brayden McNabb, defenseman: Likely to be the odd-man out on the protected list.

Vatanen, a fifth-year player, won't be ready for the start of next season after having surgery to fix a shoulder injury.

There are some talented players left exposed for GM George McPhee to pick from. As for defensemen, Buffalo's Zach Bogosian and Dallas' Dan Hamhuis are available. The team has already signed prospects Reid Duke, Tomas Hyka, and Russian star Vadim Shipachyov, who figures to be one of the team's go-to guys in their first year. Aside from Fleury, other goalies exposed are Florida's Roberto Luongo, Detroit's Peter Mrazek and Philadelphia's Michal Neuvirth.

Riley Nash: Maybe not the name you expected to see this time past year, but Nash is an incredibly affordable bottom-six piece and with the ability to play both center and the wing, there's no sense in the Bruins leaving him exposed for the Golden Knights.

McPhee will be fielding many offers in the next few days as teams try to keep available players from being drafted. "That really didn't happen, which we were really happy about", said McPhee. Apparently, the Vegas Golden Knights is looking to complete its roster soon despite the rule that prevents them from getting young superstars such as Jake Guentzeland Connor McDavid.

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The other 30 teams in the league will have the option of protecting either seven forwards, three defensemen, and a goaltender, or eight skaters overall and a goaltender.

Some players left unprotected, such as Ottawa forward Bobby Ryan, carry hefty contracts, which Vegas might shy away from so not to restrict the team's payroll structure under the salary cap.

Zdeno Chara: The lone B's defenseman with a no-movement clause, the Bruins are not letting their captain walk for nothing. But one foot is out the door, and the other foot seems stuck in cement some of the time as teams beat him to pucks that last season he would have swallowed up and got moving in the other direction.

They are the only team that has the ability to sign an unprotected unrestricted or restricted free agent until 7:59 a.m. Wednesday.

Awards ceremony, expansion draft unveiling, T-Mobile Arena, 8 p.m. Based on who the Golden Knights select, the Blues could promote some farm system talent to fill the gap.

So, with all that in mind, here are the players the Bruins are expected to protect when the list is submitted and made public.

Chayka was exaggerating, but only slightly.

This applies mostly if someone like Kevin Shattenkirk somehow lands on an unprotected list due to his impending free agency, but it makes for a potentially big decision for the Golden Knights entering Year One of the franchise.

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