While the notion has been floating in the back of our minds since the announcement of the Las Vegas Golden Knights, those backing the Nashville Predators were focused on more in-the-moment matters as of late. Alas, the time as come for all (current) thirty teams to expose a player to the Expansion Draft whether they were ready to or not. While some teams opted to trade around, the Predators either remained silent on the matter or couldn’t get one sorted out. Either way, the expansion draft is not going to necessarily be kind to Nashville, though there are ways to lessen the blow.
Although names like Colin Wilson and Craig Smith have been tossed around, ultimately it seemed as if it came solely down between Calle Jarnkrok and James Neal. While Neal’s contract will be more extensive (expensive) in the future, one could offset that case with his dependability (and goal scoring). But, as we all know, it isn’t all about goals… I guess. Another reason why David Poile is the GM and not me.
Long story short, Adam Vingan of The Tennessean reported earlier this afternoon that Calle Jarnkrok’s agent stated that the young center was on Nashville’s protected list from the expansion. While the Twitterverse collectively freaked out (understandably), that does not ultimately mean that James Neal will be donning a Golden Knights jersey come this October. However, we will all find out just who was exposed and who was protected tomorrow morning at 10AM when the NHL reveals the protected list.
As you mull that over, let’s remember some key dates coming up in the extremely near future:
- June 18: Protected List revealed to public @ 10AM
- June 20: New Adidas jerseys unveiled
- June 21: NHL Expansion Draft & NHL Awards
- June 21: 2017-18 Home Openers Announced
- June 22: 2017-18 Schedule Released @ 2PM
- June 23 & 24: NHL Draft
- June 26: Deadline for RFA Qualifying Offers
- June 26-July 3: Preds Development Camp
- July 1: Free Agency Begins
- September 7: Preds Rookie Camp Opens
- September 14: Training Camp Opens