Now that the NHL’s expansion franchise (finally) has an identity, attention turns toward the intricate process of assembling a competitive roster of spare parts from the other 30 teams. A Sportsnet report on Wednesday revealed a preliminary list of 66 players who will be off limits to the Vegas Golden Knights.
The report cites an internal memo recently distributed to NHL clubs that outlines which players have no-movement clauses in their contracts, thus rendering them exempt from June’s expansion draft. Any player who possesses the NMC at the time of the draft must be protected by his team, unless the clause is waived. And though most of the names on the list were expected, a few might come as a disappointment for cash-strapped clubs hoping to unload a bad contract as Vegas attempts to reach its salary cap floor.
As Sportsnet notes, the biggest surprise may be New York Rangers forward Rick Nash.
Nash’s exemption is related to language in his contract that states his no-movement clause, previously thought to have been waived, is still active. The 32-year-old carries a $ 7.8 million cap hit next season and would have been an attractive add for the Golden Knights, whose contracts need to reach at least 60 percent of next season’s salary cap.
Some other players, such as Boston Bruins goalie Tuuka Rask, who were expected to be protected, won’t be, the report said. Rask’s NMC expires just two days before the June 17 cutoff date for teams to submit their protected players. If it intends to keep Rask, which seems obvious, Boston will be unable to protect another of its goalies.
Below is the full list of players who are exempt:
Columbus Blue Jackets
Detroit Red Wings
Los Angeles Kings
New Jersey Devils
New York Islanders
New York Rangers
Tampa Bay Lightning
Toronto Maple Leafs