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5 Things To Know On What Player Moves Vegas Can Make

There are a few guidelines to remember about what player transactions the Golden Knights can make

by Dan Marrazza @GoldenKnights / VegasGoldenKnights.com

After the Golden Knights completed the expansion process and were officially welcomed into the NHL as the league's 31st team on Wednesday, it opened up an important new chapter in the team's history.

As of Wednesday, March 1, 2017, Vegas is officially allowed to begin making player transactions.

In the moments following the announcement that the Golden Knights were now open for business, the NHL released detailed rules and regulations about what sorts of transactions the team is now allowed to begin making.

Those rules and regulations can be found HERE.

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Here, we break the rules down even further with five things that should be remembered about the rules the Golden Knights must follow when making transactions.

 

Tweet from @GoldenKnights: ���The Vegas Golden Knights are officially a National Hockey League franchise.��� --Foley pic.twitter.com/o5YGeiZ3Zw

 

Vegas cannot make deals for players actively on other NHL rosters

Starting Wednesday, the Golden Knights are allowed to make trades.

But this doesn't mean Vegas can just start acquiring a defenseman from the Los Angeles Kings, forwards from the Chicago Blackhawks or any other position player from any other NHL team.

The Golden Knights are allowed to make moves, yes. But not moves that would negate an active NHL player from finishing his 2016-17 season on the ice. The rules stipulate that the Golden Knights are unable to deal for players unless their season is already over.

With the NHL regular season ending in April and the playoffs in June, this means that the Golden Knights will not be acquiring any household players with NHL experience for some time.

Although should a team not qualify for the playoffs, the Golden Knights could begin trying to acquire players from that team as soon as April. Or if a team advances to the Stanley Cup Final, Vegas might not be able to have a crack at any of its players until June.

The basics are that the Golden Knights can begin acquiring players, but not if that player is still active on a team still playing in the 2016-17 season.

 

Tweet from @GoldenKnights: ���Today we reached another significant milestone in our team���s history.��� ��� Foley

 

Amateur Players Have Different Rules

While it might be some time until the Golden Knights can add players from other NHL teams, they can begin acquiring amateur players nearly immediately.

For example, Canadian Hockey League and NCAA hockey regular seasons end in March.

If a player finishes his college season and his rights aren't owned by another NHL team, he is fair game for the Golden Knights, immediately.

Similarly, if there are any players in European professional leagues or Canadian junior hockey whose rights aren't owned by an NHL team, as soon as their team's schedule ends, Vegas is allowed to sign them as well.

Just note that other NHL teams are also allowed to pursue these same players.

The importance of Wednesday is that for the first time, so can the Golden Knights.

 

Tweet from @GoldenKnights: ���It is an incredibly exciting day for our organization and we would not be here without the continued support from our fans.��� --Foley

 

Can These Players Make A Difference?

Although on the surface, the rules on what sorts of amateur players are available imply that the players Vegas can begin immediately signing aren't in position to be high-impact NHL players, remember this: This system is how the New York Rangers acquired Harvard's Jimmy Vesey.

Or how Michigan State's Torey Krug found his way to the Boston Bruins, and how the University of Wisconsin's Justin Schultz made it into the NHL.

Although, to be fair, finding impact players from this pool may be akin to finding a needle in a haystack.

It's just significant because the Golden Knights are now allowed to start taking their shots. And that's a major step for the franchise, especially when history has proven there is quality talent to be had from these sources.

 

Video: Bill Foley on the choosing of team name and logo

 

Players Without A Team

Every offseason, NHL player movement is kind of like Musical Chairs.

And like Musical Chairs, not everyone ends up in a seat when the music stops.

This means that as new players graduate from the minor leagues or arrive in the NHL via some other avenue, several veterans are pushed out of the league.

Many of these players elect to play in either European leagues or the minors, and many take this opportunity to retire. Others, though, end up in No Man's Land as players without a team, waiting for a team to hopefully call them.

These players tend to be established players at the NHL level.

As of today, the Golden Knights are officially allowed to sign any of these No Man's Land players, who are NHL players but just don't currently have a team.

Just note that players who are under contract this season but are pending free agents, the Golden Knights aren't eligible to sign these players until free agency opens on July 1.

 

 Tweet from @GoldenKnights: ���Now that we are official, we look forward to continuing this momentum & building a team that our fans & our community will be proud of.���

 
What Kind Of Trades?

The NHL Trade Deadline, coincidentally, arrived on the same day that the Golden Knights became a franchise.

So in that sense, trading season in the NHL is over until the conclusion of the Stanley Cup Final.

The Golden Knights, however, are eligible to begin making trades immediately. The difference is that unlike other NHL teams, who've been swapping players for other players, players for draft picks or any combination of these avenues, the Golden Knights trades will largely revolve around the Expansion Draft.

For example, say that a team doesn't want to lose a specific player to Vegas in the Expansion Draft, they could offer to trade with the Golden Knights.

Maybe that trade is that if the Golden Knights agree not to select Player X, Vegas can receive a draft choice in the Entry Draft from the other team. The other team's thinking would be that they want to protect more players from their active roster than what the Expansion Draft rules allow, and would rather send Vegas a pick in the entry draft.

If the Golden Knights feel this entry draft choice would have more value than the proposed player, Vegas may elect to make this trade.

 

Tweet from @GoldenKnights: "On behalf of the Board of Governors, I am delighted to officially welcome the Vegas Golden Knights to the NHL." --Gary Bettman

 

Or maybe another team wants to lose a specific player in the Expansion Draft. They would have the option of offering Vegas a trade where if the Golden Knights agree to absolutely take player X, then Vegas would also receive another asset.

Although the Expansion Draft isn't until June, the Golden Knights are immediately allowed to begin making these transactions to prepare for the Expansion Draft.

Bottomline

By finishing the expansion process on Wednesday, the Golden Knights can now acquire whatever players the team is capable of, as long as 1) The player's rights aren't owned by another NHL team. 2) The player isn't actively participating in his 2016-17 season with another NHL franchise.

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