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National Hockey League expansion draft: Vegas has all the power

Wednesday marks the NHL Awards show at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, and this year’s event is of the utmost importance because the expansion-draft picks of the Vegas Golden Knights will be announced during the broadcast.McPhee plans to finalize the Golden Knights’ roster Tuesday night, check with the National Hockey League to make sure everything’s good to go, sleep on it and submit it Wednesday morning before the deadline.Vegas Golden Knights general manager George McPhee had difficulty containing his excitement in anticipation of the NHL’s expansion draft list being released. For the latest news and information on the Golden Knights visit vegasgoldenknights.com. I remember it as being a kind of weird moment: Smith showing up on stage wearing the jersey of a minor-league team in which only a small number of us felt any personal investment.None of the past 10 expansion teams made the postseason in their first year – and only the Panthers really came close, which seems more like a happy aberration than anything else. Attempts to trade him failed, The Athletic reports, so the Red Wings dangled him in the expansion draft.Overall, I like The Post’s approach to the expansion draft and I think it will mirror Las Vegas’s actual strategy: lean towards younger players with upside over players with more experience (and more expensive contracts) for the near term.McPhee wasn’t prepared to discuss individual players when specifically asked about Fleury, but noted there were no surprises based on the numerous mock drafts the Golden Knights conducted over the past few months.McPhee said he would use “every minute” available before hitting send on his first roster. “We thought that when that happened, he’d be an outstanding goaltender“. Comprised of 31 Member Clubs, the National Hockey League is represented by players from more than 20 countries across team rosters.The Anaheim Ducks appeared to be another active trader, looking to protect young defenseman Josh Manson to keep and perhaps defenseman Sami Vatanen to move elsewhere this summer.The unprotected list includes players eligible to become restricted or unrestricted free agents.DON’T SLEEP ON: Vegas controls the trade market and can make some extra picks to flip a goalie or two. Even more unexpected was their decision to keep defensemen Alex Petrovic and Mark Pysyk over veteran Jason Demers, who signed a five-year contract less than a year ago and whose nine goals last season were more than Petrovic and Pysyk combined.The Brooklyn-born rapper rocked a brand new personalized Vegas Golden Knights jersey and did his thing. That they stuck with 35-year-old Scott Hartnell, who has two more years and nearly $10 million remaining on his current contract, was an intriguing move.But Vegas’ hometown team is in the spotlight for the first time this year, reaching a major milestone in its process of becoming the NHL’s 31st franchise – and doing it during a heat wave. With so many Cup teams built down the middle, Dallas’ Cody Eakin (who McPhee also drafted), Minnesota’s Erik Haula and St. Louis’ Jori Lehtera could help both present and future.