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McPhee Comments On Teams' Protected Lists, May Be Limited By Positions

Being required to select at least 14 forwards, nine defensemen and three goalies poses an extra challenge for Vegas

by Dan Marrazza @GoldenKnights /

It was almost like Christmas morning for the Golden Knights.

It's one thing to plan for, or expect, something to be waiting for you under the tree when the big day comes. It's another thing entirely to walk downstairs and actually have it there, in the flesh, waiting for you.

For George McPhee and his staff, Sunday was almost like Christmas morning because after months of planning for the Expansion Draft, the Golden Knights finally received other teams' protected lists.

Which with most of the staff now on board since last summer, was the culmination of almost a full year of preparation.

As pundits and fans alike analyzed the protected lists that were also made public, McPhee shared his thoughts about the selection of players his team will have to choose from.

"We're really pleased with what's available and this, as I've said, has worked out very well for the Vegas Golden Knights," McPhee said. "We really like what we're looking at right now and then, again, we thought it was important to get those picks to help us draft our way to a championship."

Video: George McPhee receiving other teams' protected lists


As favorable for the Golden Knights as the lists seem to look, it isn't as if there's a bevy of All-Stars available. After all, if a player was his current team's top guy, it stands to reason that he'd be protected.

RELATED: Full list of players available for Vegas

But especially with contracts and No-Movement Clauses coming into play, it isn't simply a task of other teams protecting all of their best players.

Financial obligations play a factor as well. And as a result, there are several additional players available for Vegas that may have otherwise not been available.

It also must be noted that with the NHL setting its Salary Cap limit at $75 million for the 2017-18 season on Sunday and the Golden Knights only having three players under contract, that Vegas has ample salary cap space to work under where other clubs may be restricted.

If anything has made life a little more complicated on George McPhee's side of the coin, it's been determining how to make picks within the league's position requirements.

RELATED: Hub on all breaking Expansion Draft news

Of the Golden Knights' 30 picks, 14 must be forwards, nine must be defensemen and three have to be goalies. The remaining four picks can come from any position.


Video: Sunday was a busy day for the Golden Knights


So even though contractual situations have helped dictate who other teams leave available, positional restrictions have had to play into McPhee's planning.

"The issue for us isn't going to be 'Can we fill out the roster,'"McPhee said. "It would be 'Do we have too many players?'

"There are lots of good players there, and we have sort of a master list right now, a team up on the board with all the possibilities, which is different than what we did leading into this with individual clubs.

"Now, this is our club that's up on the board. We are going to be taking things out or marking a guy in blue because he's a blue-chip guy, he's going to be here. 

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