The formation of the Seattle Kraken quietly took a tiny step forward on Monday.
That’s because Monday marked the first day NHL teams may request that a player waive his “no-move clause” for purposes of the Expansion Draft. That window will remain open for five months, closing on July 13.
Teams must submit their protection lists on July 17, giving Seattle until July 21 to submit their 30 selections, one from every team except the Vegas Golden Knights.
(The Golden Knights are exempt from the Expansion Draft and, as such, do not receive a cut of the $650 million expansion fee paid by Seattle.)
Even though they have five months to plan, it’s time for teams to get Kraken on the “no-move clause” front.
Because if you look back on 2017’s Expansion Draft, those clauses tell a big part of the story as to why the Golden Knights made it to the Stanley Cup Final in their inaugural season. Those clauses forced teams into uncomfortable situations, exposing players they were not prepared to lose.
Players with “no-move clauses” must be protected, unless waived by the player. No player is under obligation to waive.
Out of the 60 players with “no-moves” in 2017, only two players agreed to waive: Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury (selected by Vegas) and Winnipeg Jets defenceman Toby Enstrom.
The Jets then left Enstrom exposed, but worked out a trade with Vegas that ensured Enstrom would not be taken. In exchange for taking Chris Thorburn, the Jets swapped first-round picks with the Golden Knights.
The difference: Kristian Vesalainen (24th overall) instead of Nick Suzuki (13th overall).
There were other “no-move” clauses that spurred deals.
Because the Minnesota Wild were required to protect Zach Parise, Ryan Suter, Mikko Koivu and Jason Pominville, they traded Alex Tuch to entice Vegas to take Erik Haula - rather than exposing Matt Dumba or Marco Scandella.
The New York Islanders needed to protected John Tavares, Andrew Ladd and Johnny Boychuk, resulting in Ryan Strome being exposed. So the Islanders sent their first-round pick (Erik Brannstrom) to Vegas so the Golden Knights would take goaltender Jean-Francois Berube.
The Anaheim Ducks were required to protect Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf, Ryan Kesler and Kevin Bieksa. So the Ducks traded Shea Theodore, who finished sixth in Norris Trophy voting last season, to Vegas so that the Golden Knights wouldn’t pick Sami Vatanen or Josh Manson.
The Columbus Blue Jackets were forced to protect Brandon Dubinsky, Scott Hartnell and Nick Foligno, so they traded their first-round pick (later Vesalainen in Winnipeg) and 2019 second-round pick (later Kings top prospect Samuel Fagemo) along with David Clarkson’s contract so Vegas would select William Karlsson instead of Josh Anderson.
(Yes, Florida trading Reilly Smith to guarantee the Golden Knights would take Jonathan Marchessault was a complete unforced error.)
This time around, there are 48 players requiring protection by virtue of their “no-move” clauses. Two teams, Chicago and Dallas, each have four players requiring protection. Nine teams don’t have any worries at all with “no-moves,” including: Anaheim, Columbus, Detroit, Edmonton, New Jersey, NY Islanders, Ottawa, St. Louis, and Vancouver.
Given their expensive contracts and ages, some players - such as Milan Lucic, Brent Seabrook, Zach Parise and Erik Johnson - are expected to be asked based on their unlikeliness of being claimed by Seattle. Others may be convinced for the good of the future of their team.
But they are under no obligation to waive, having earned the clause.
Here are the 48 players currently required to be protected in the Expansion Draft, according to CapFriendly.com, listed by position with details remaining on their contract after this season:
John Tavares, Toronto - $11 million, 4 years
Jonathan Toews, Chicago - $10.5 million, 2 years
Tyler Seguin, Dallas - $9.85 million, 6 years
Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh - $9.5 million, 1 year
Nicklas Backstrom, Washington - $9.2 million, 4 years
Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh - $8.7 million, 4 years
Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay - $8.5 million, 3 years
Kevin Hayes, Philadelphia - $7.143 million, 5 years
Patrice Bergeron, Boston - $6.875 million, 1 year
Jordan Staal, Carolina - $6 million, 2 years
Mika Zibanejad, N.Y. Rangers - $5.35 million, 1 year
Charlie Coyle, Boston - $5.25 million, 5 years
Left Wingers (10)
Artemi Panarin, N.Y. Rangers - $11.642 million, 5 years
Jamie Benn, Dallas - $9.5 million, 4 years
Jeff Skinner, Buffalo - $9 million, 6 years
Claude Giroux, Philadelphia - $8.275 million, 1 year
Zach Parise, Minnesota - $7.538 million, 4 years
Chris Kreider, N.Y. Rangers - $6.5 million, 6 years
Brad Marchand, Boston - $6.125 million, 4 years
Mats Zuccarello, Minnesota - $6 million, 3 years
Jonathan Huberdeau, Florida - $5.9 million, 2 years
Milan Lucic, Calgary - $5.25 million, 2 years
Right Wingers (6)
Patrick Kane, Chicago - $10.5 million, 2 years
Nikita Kucherov, Tampa Bay - $9.5 million, 6 years
Blake Wheeler, Winnipeg - $8.25 million, 3 years
Phil Kessel, Arizona - $6.8 million, 1 year
Brendan Gallagher, Montreal - $6.5 million, 6 years
Alexander Radulov, Dallas - $6.25 million, 1 year
Left-shooting Defencemen (8)
Roman Josi, Nashville - $9.059 million, 7 years
Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Arizona - $8.25 million, 6 years
Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay - $7.875 million, 4 years
Ryan Suter, Minnesota - $7.538 million, 4 years
Marc-Edouard Vlasic, San Jose - $7 million, 5 years
Keith Yandle, Florida - $6.35 million, 2 years
Jonas Brodin, Minnesota - $6 million, 7 years
Duncan Keith, Chicago - $5.538 million, 2 years
Right-shooting Defencemen (8)
Erik Karlsson, San Jose - $11.5 million, 6 years
Drew Doughty, Los Angeles - $11 million, 6 years
Jacob Trouba, N.Y. Rangers - $8 million, 5 years
Jared Spurgeon, Minnesota - $7.575 million, 6 years
Kris Letang, Pittsburgh - $7.25 million, 1 year
Brent Seabrook, Chicago - $6.875 million, 3 years
Jeff Petry, Montreal - $6.25 million, 4 years
Erik Johnson, Colorado - $6 million, 2 years
Carey Price, Montreal - $10.5 million, 5 years
Sergei Bobrovsky, Florida - $10 million, 5 years
Jacob Markstrom, Calgary - $6 million, 5 years
Ben Bishop, Dallas - $4.916 million, 2 years
Contact Frank Seravalli on Twitter: @frank_seravalli