In the interest of killing time in the waning off-season, the SB Nation NHL community is putting together a mock expansion draft. Voting has already taken place at the main NHL site, and Winnipeg and Quebec City have been chosen the winners despite my best efforts to vote a new NHL franchise for Houston of Kansas City in an effort to reduce hypothetical Dallas Stars travel. Oh well.
Visit the main page for the mock draft exercise here.
The next step in the process is for each team to submit a protected list.
Here are the rules:
- Teams can protect either 1 goalie, 5 defensemen and 9 forwards OR 2 goalies, 3 defensemen and 7 forwards.
- If you protect two goalies, at least one goalie left unprotected must have played in at least 10 games last season OR 25 games in the last two seasons combined. One game = at least 31 minutes.
- Each team must leave unprotected at least one defenseman who appeared in 40 games last season OR 70 games in the last two seasons combined.
- Each team must leave unprotected at least two forwards who appeared in 40 games last season OR 70 games in the last two seasons combined.
- Players who have not played 50 NHL games are automatically exempt.
That leaves us with pretty few choices where the Stars are concerned. None of the kids on the farm (I don't think) have played 50 NHL games and thus are protected.
We're going the 1 Goalie, 9 forward route, obviously.
The forward list of 9 writes itself: Brenden Morrow, James Neal, Jamie Benn, Loui Eriksson, Brad Richards, Mike Ribeiro, Steve Ott, Tom Wandell, and.... and... uhhh...
That's where we need a little help, so vote below for the forward that you would protect from the expansion draft. If anyone wants to place a wager on Brunnstrom winning, email me about some great odds I'm offering.
The Defense: Robidas, Grossman, Fistric are shoe ins. We figure we'll protect Skrastins just because. Some say Daley, and others say Niskanen. Protecting Niskanen is an option because he seemingly has the most potential, where as Trevor Daley has had that said about him too many times now, and his salary might be a little high for services rendered.
So also discuss Niskanen vs Daley, and go ahead and assume that "neither" is not an option.
***All of this is assuming that Niskanen and Neal get re-signed, and that Jere Lehtinen retires. ***