NHL Expansion Rumours: Deals, James Neal, Marc Methot, and More

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NHL Expansion Rumours
LAS VEGAS, NV - NOVEMBER 22: A general view of the Las Vegas NHL team name Unveiling ceremony on November 22, 2016, at The Park at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV. (Photo by Josh Holmberg/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The NHL is entering its busiest part of the off-season. The NHL Draft and Free Agent frenzy is normally enough to keep the rumour mill churning. This year, however, the NHL is having an expansion draft. The Vegas Golden Knights expansion draft roster will be announced on June 21st at the NHL Awards Ceremony in Las Vegas. The expansion draft has added a new layer to the normal NHL off-season craziness. The following are some of the rumours circulating throughout the league.

NHL Expansion Rumours: Deals, James Neal, Marc Methot, and More

Tonight is the night! The Vegas Golden Knights will announce their expansion roster at the NHL Award Ceremony. They will announce deals they made leading up to the expansion draft, but Vegas most certainly will not be done there. Expect more deals to be announced, including deals involving Vegas, once the trade freeze is lifted June 22.

Vegas Expansion Draft Deals

Bob McKenzie took to Twitter to flush out some of the details regarding the deals Vegas has made with teams. Notable trades are believed to have been made with the Anaheim Ducks, Chicago Blackhawks and Minnesota Wild, among others.

Anaheim Ducks

McKenzie says the belief is that Vegas will select Clayton Stoner. That means exposed defensemen Sami Vatanen and Josh Manson are safe. The Ducks will likely send Shea Theodore to Vegas as part of their agreement.

Chicago Blackhawks

The deal between Chicago and Vegas would have the Golden Knights selecting Marcus Kruger. Chicago would send defensemen Trevor van Riemsdyk as compensation.

Pittsburgh Penguins

Probably the worst kept secret during this entire expansion draft is the Golden Knights selecting goalie Marc-Andre Fleury from the Penguins. The Penguins are sending a draft pick to Vegas as part of the deal.

Minnesota Wild

McKenzie, through Michael Russo of the Star Tribune, is reporting that the Golden Knights will sign RFA Erik Haula as their expansion player. The Wild are sending prospect Alex Tuch to ensure the deal. The deal also keep Vegas from selecting Mathew Dumba, Marco Scandella, and Eric Staal.

Tampa Bay Lightning

Along with McKenzie, Tampa Bay Times reporter Joe Smith says the Lightning appear to have worked out a deal for Vegas. The deal would have Vegas select either Jason Garrison or Andrej Sustr. The Golden Knights will receive a pick to ensure the deal and keep them from selecting prospects Slater Koekkoek and Jake Dotchin.

Columbus Blue Jackets

Elliotte Freidman is reporting that the Golden Knights will select David Clarkson in the expansion draft. To ensure the deal, Columbus is sending a first round pick, a prospect and (potentially) another player.

Florida Panthers

With Jonathan Marchessault exposed, the belief was that the Panthers would cut a deal to ensure he is not selected. McKenzie reports that Marchessault might actually be part of a deal to ensure the Golden Knights select Reilly Smith. The Panthers had been trying to move both players before the roster freeze on June 19th.

Players Selected

With the expansion announcement hours away, some information has leaked about which players the Golden Knights are and are not taking in the expansion draft.

The Dallas Stars are expecting Cody Eakin to be selected by Vegas.

David Perron of the Saint Louis Blues is another player that is highly speculated to be selected by the Golden Knights.

Charles Hudon of the Montreal Canadiens is not going to be selected by Vegas, reports Roby St-Gelinas of Le Journal de Quebec.

Instead it seems the Golden Knights are targeting Canadiens defensemen Alexei Emelin and not Brandon Davidson in the expansion draft, tweets TSN’s Frank Saravelli. No word on if there is a deal in place for this.

Darren Dreger of TSN posted on Twitter that the Toronto Maple Leafs are expecting to lose prospect Brendan Leipsic. There were reports the Leafs GM Lou Lamoriello was trying to work out a deal keep Vegas from picking him.

Pierre LeBrun reports via twitter that the Golden Knights have selected Ottawa Senators defensemen Marc Methot. Speculation is that Vegas will move Methot for more assets after the expansion draft. More details on this below.

More on Vegas

TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reported, via twitter, that, so far, the Golden Knights have amassed 10 draft picks spread out over the next three years.

The Golden Kings will play their first regular season NHL game on October 7th, in Arizona. Their first home game is October 10th, also versus Arizona.

Marc Methot

TSN’s Frank Seravalli reported that the Leafs and Golden Knights are discussing a deal. The Leafs are looking to add defence and could look to make a deal with Vegas after they announce their expansion roster. Marc Methot and Colin Miller are two names Seravalli thinks could be targets for Toronto.

The Montreal Canadiens would also have interest in Methot. The issue becomes Methot’s limited no trade clause. The Leafs and Habs may be on his no trade list. The Dallas Stars are also an option.

James Neal

Elliotte Freidman of sportsnet.ca reported that the Los Angeles Kings may be interested in making a deal for James Neal. Previously, the Kings had been in discussion with the Buffalo Sabres about acquiring Evander Kane, but those talks have cooled off. Freidman speculates that the Kings and Golden Knights could work out a deal, if Neal is selected in the expansion draft.

Other News and Notes

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