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Sabres Expansion Draft Protected List

After Fleury agreed to waive the no-movement clause in his contract, the Penguins protected goaltender Matt Murray, who led them a week ago to their second consecutive championship.The Golden Knights’ general manager shared his thoughts on the quality of players available to Vegas after receiving other teams’ protected lists on Sunday morning.McPhee has continually mentioned that any player left available for the Golden Knights could be available to any other team in a three-way deal. Detroit’s Petr Mrazek, once considered the top Red Wings goaltender, wasn’t protected along with defenseman Xavier Ouellet, a second-round pick in 2011.The Golden Knights must choose 30 players, one from each team.Vatanen was the odd-man out in being left unprotected from a deep and talented group of Ducks defensemen.Vatanen, a fifth-year player, won’t be ready for the start of next season after having surgery to fix a shoulder injury.Other notable forwards left unprotected were Los Angeles’s Dustin Brown, Montreal’s Tomas Plekanec and Pittsburgh’s Chris Kunitz.While George McPhee has said it’s important for the Golden Knights to imediately field a competitive team, he hasn’t been shy when talking about the importance he places on the Entry Draft. They’re going to lose a significant forward in the draft, one way or another. The Islanders were the only team to protect five defensemen, and they might still lose blue-liner Calvin de Haan.Under that line of thinking, Jori Lehtera is a player many Blues fans would like to see claimed by Vegas, as his performance has rarely lived up to expectations set by his rookie season and hefty contract. Their full roster will be announced on Wednesday night.There are definitely some surprises from many teams throughout the league. He holds the cards for a significant chunk of the league’s talent, fielding calls from colleagues willing to trade something to keep McPhee from plucking certain players from their rosters, or to take someone from another team to flip in a deal.Before the end of the week, the NHL’s 31st team will have enough players to take the ice.As one example, the Blue Jackets are expected to send their first-round pick (24th overall) to Vegas in order for the team to not select players Columbus hopes to keep. They have one unrestricted free agent – Scottie Upshall – and three restricted free agents (Parayko, Paajarvi and Nail Yakupov).That’s what Arizona Coyotes GM John Chayka was thinking after trading veteran goalie Mike Smith to Calgary on Saturday.Canes general manager Ron Francis said Friday that he has had conversations with McPhee, although noting, “Probably not as much as other teams have had”.”It certainly relieved a lot of the pressure thinking that I had to get him moved so we wouldn’t get in a jam here for our list”, Rutherford said. Boston also elected not to protect 23-year-old goalie Malcolm Subban, a 2012 first-round draft pick.In recent years, the extremists have become even more brazen, attacking sites frequented by Westerners.”I’ve got a huge opportunity to re-grow my game with a guy who played the game similarly to the way I would like to play it”, Beaulieu said, noting he also had a brief chat with Housley following the trade.