We're talking about practice?!
Well, when it comes to the Golden Knights and the Expansion Draft, practice is all the team has been able to talk about the past several months.
Especially George McPhee and his staff. Which despite their busy schedules, has been convening at the team's Summerlin headquarters once a month since last summer, briefly abandoning their various outposts to conduct mock Expansion Drafts.
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You know, "practice."
The months of practice, of course, are winding down, especially with the Expansion Draft scheduled for June 21 at T-Mobile Arena.
Although the team already has two players - Vadim Shipachyov and Reid Duke - under contract, June 21 is the night that the team will acquire the rest of its roster.
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Despite the fact that the team still has a month to prepare for this important event, general manager George McPhee says the team is currently conducting its final mock draft and will be transitioning into full Expansion Draft mode next week.
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This won't only be anticipating who the team may select with its picks. It'll also be fielding phone calls from other clubs who'd have trade propositions for the Golden Knights.
"We expect that we will, once we're finished with that (last mock draft), we'll start negotiating in earnest with clubs," McPhee said. "Several have weighed in already."
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What deals the Golden Knights will make, at this point, is anybody's guess.
We do know for sure, though, that McPhee will have several choices.
For example, a team may desire to protect more players than the rules allow them to. In this case, these clubs may trade the Golden Knights a package of other players or draft picks to "not" select a certain one of their players in the Expansion Draft.
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Or say another team - Team X - would like to acquire a player from another team -Team Y - that's not the Golden Knights. Vegas could orchestrate moves with its Expansion Draft leverage to send Team X its desired player from Team Y in exchange for better assets coming to the Golden Knights in a three-way deal.
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Another less likely, but still permissible transaction would be the Golden Knights trading any players the team has under contract before the Expansion Draft for another team's asset. Or Vegas moving one of its picks in the Entry Draft for another team's player.
The Golden Knights could even move one of their assets to another team in exchange for that team promising to leave a certain player exposed for Vegas to take in the Expansion Draft.
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Realistically, the options for what trades the Golden Knights can make are only limited by McPhee's imagination.
"We just want to get past next week, and we'll begin the process of determining what clubs want to do and what we want to do with each team," McPhee said. "We'll expect that we'll do some deals before the Expansion Draft."
In other words, it'll no longer be talking about the practice that Vegas' hockey operations staff has taken at building its hockey team.
Next week, even still a month before the Expansion Draft takes place, it'll be time to begin the real thing.