Some interesting details continue to emerge regarding the upcoming expansion draft, coming next summer.
In an article on ESPN.com, Pierre LeBrun wrote the following:
Sources told ESPN.com that as part of these fascinating expansion-draft rules we keep learning about, the Vegas organization will have a 48-hour window ahead of the expansion draft in June to speak with and sign any pending unrestricted or restricted free agents whom the 30 teams left unprotected for the expansion draft…. Another important detail: If any of the 30 teams loses a free agent to Vegas during this 48-hour window, it no longer can lose anyone in the expansion draft. In other words, that free agent lost counts as the one player lost in the expansion draft.
This will undoubtedly impact negotiations between free agents and teams all over the NHL – including the Blackhawks. And Chicago has some players they’ll need to consider with this in mind.
Here is a list of the players headed to free agency in Chicago in 2017:
Obviously Panarin is a priority for Chicago to re-sign. But the play of Panik creates an interesting situation for the Hawks as well. With the number of no-move clauses, Chicago can’t protect both of them ahead of the draft. Would Panik be a guy Vegas would consider offering a deal to rather than selected a player like Marcus Kruger?
On the blue line, the fact that Kempny, Pokka and Gustafsson could be plucked is also interesting, especially with the emergence of Gustav Forsling. Those three and Trevor van Riemsdyk will all be players who could intrigue Vegas.
Both Darling and Johansson could get the attention of Vegas, but there will undoubtedly be a deep market of netminders available for the expansion draft.