Preds release NHL Expansion Draft Protected List

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UPDATE: More players have been added to the exposed list as of 11:20AM CST.

After pushing the release of the lists back by thirty minutes, the NHL officially allowed us commoners to see who teams protected… and who they did not. By no surprise, the great debate between James Neal and Calle Jarnkrok has left the Real Deal exposed along with a few others that were expected.

Exposed Players:

  • James Neal
  • Matt Irwin
  • Colton Sissons
  • Craig Smith
  • Colin Wilson
  • Cody McLeod
  • Yannick Weber
  • Marek Mazanec
  • Pontus Aberg
  • Cody Bass
  • Vernon Fiddler (UFA)
  • Mike Fisher (UFA)
  • P.A. Parenteau (UFA)
  • Adam Payerl
  • Mike Ribeiro
  • Miikka Salomaki
  • Trevor Smith
  • Austin Watson
  • Harry Zolnierczyk
  • Taylor Aronson
  • Anthony Bitetto
  • Stefan Elliott
  • Brad Hunt
  • Andew O’Brien
  • Adam Pardy
  • Petter Granberg
  • Jaynen Rissling
  • Scott Valentine

Protected Players:

  • Viktor Arvidsson
  • Filip Forsberg
  • Calle Jarnkrok
  • Ryan Johansen
  • Mattias Ekholm
  • Ryan Ellis
  • Roman Josi
  • P.K. Subban
  • Pekka Rinne

If you are freaking out about Neal (or anyone else) being exposed, as I mentioned in my previous post, that doesn’t automatically mean he’s headed to Vegas. Now that the exposed players have been released, teams can negotiate trades between the Golden Knights to attempt to protect these particular players. However, David Poile will more than likely have an uphill battle when it comes to negotiating with Las Vegas General Manager George McPhee (see Erat/Latta for Forsberg trade).

Wondering about Nashville’s other players? Here’s the list of the Predators’ exempt players from the Expansion Draft:

  • Kevin Fiala
  • Frederick Gaudreau
  • Vladislav Kamenev
  • Juuse Saros

UPDATE: It has now been acknowledged that Pontus Aberg, Mike Fisher, P.A. Parenteau, Vernon Fiddler, and Petter Granberg are not exempt from the expansion draft. It is important to note that Fisher, Fiddler, and Parenteau are all free agents, which means Vegas could go ahead and sign these players (the rest of the league has to wait until July 1st). However, if Vegas were to sign one of Nashville’s free agents, that would count as their expansion draft pick leaving the rest of the exposed players (like Neal, Watson, and Aberg) to stay with Nashville.

To see who the other teams in the league protected and exposed, here is the list from the NHL. So, what are your thoughts? Do you think GMDP can manage to work out a deal to save Neal? Whatever the case, there is no denying that George McPhee has the best seat in the house for this expansion draft and is soaking up every second of it.

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Jarnkrok makes Preds protected list

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Image Source: Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

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