Vegas holds all the cards with National Hockey League expansion draft list out

"We can put a good team on the ice and accumulate draft picks and be in a surplus situation here in the next couple of years so that we can start with a real good team and then build it with these draft picks to a team that can win a Cup".

The Golden Knights can't just claim a bunch of low-priced players and tank for profits and high draft picks in their inaugural season; they are required to reach the National Hockey League salary floor, which according to Elliotte Friedman, will be set at $55.4 million for 2017-2018.

Theres a three-time Stanley Cup champion goalie in Pittsburghs Marc-Andre Fleury available and several 20-plus-goal-scorers in Nashvilles James Neal and Minnesotas Eric Staal. That forced the team to also expose top-pairing blueliner Marc Methot. "I'm really interested to see how much movement that there's going to be". The most notable players the Capitals could lose are defenseman Nate Schmidt and goaltender Philipp Grubauer.

By some estimates, Vegas may already have up to eight trades in place with teams prepared to pay a price to the Golden Knights to keep their hands off their unprotected players. A roster freeze went into effect June 17, with clubs only allowed to talk trade with the Golden Knights. Still, as Saturday's trade freeze approached, one expected National Hockey League teams would do make a lot of moves to protect as many valuable assets as possible. Little wonder the Ducks would like to work out a deal with the Knights to keep him. In some of these deals, Vegas will also be asked to absorb an unwanted contract, which in Anaheim's case might be Clayton Stoner, as part of the transaction.

Fifty years ago, after Sawchuk went first overall to the Kings, the next 11 selections were all netminders - Bernie Parent, Philadelphia Flyers; Glenn Hall, St. Louis Blues; Cesare Maniago, Minnesota North Stars; Joe Daley, Pittsburgh Penguins; Charlie Hodge, California Seals; Wayne Rutledge, Los Angeles; Garry Bauman, Minnesota; Doug Favell, Philadelphia; Roy Edwards, Pittsburgh; Gary Smith, California; and Don Caley, St. Louis.

Among the other available goaltenders: Cam Ward (Carolina); Petr Mrazek (Detroit); Jonathan Bernier (Anaheim); Brian Elliott (Calgary); Joonas Korpisalo (Columbus); Ryan Miller (Vancouver); Jaroslav Halak (New York Islanders); Roberto Luongo (Florida); Antti Niemi (Dallas); Kari Lehtonen (Dallas).

Just two years ago, the Senators got a first-round pick from Buffalo for goaltender Robin Lehner, Boston a first-round pick from San Jose for Martin Jones and NY second- and third-round picks from Edmonton for Cam Talbot. But it's unlikely the two would consider joining an expansion team at this point in their respective careers.

"We've had a lot of discussions with free agents, we've had a lot of agents call", said McPhee. He intends to inform teams who Vegas is selecting in the event they want to strike a deal to have the Golden Knights choose another player.

Steve Carp of the Las Vegas Review-Journal expects the Golden Knights to tread delicately in free agency.

"Every team in this league has a chance to protect their roster", he said. Ryan has five years left on a seven-year $50.8 million contract and represents a $7-plus-million cap hit. Also, the salaries of players selected must total at least 60 percent of the salary cap ($43.8 million) for the season that just ended.

McPhee said he has not completed any trades with teams looking to protect players, but he is now talking to several teams.