Monday’s deadline for asking players to waive no-trade clauses to become eligible for the expansion draft has passed, with the Rangers not approaching any of their own players (NY Post). The notable effect is that defensemen Marc Staal and Dan Girardi will continue to take up two of the three protection spots the Rangers own on defense.
Nonetheless, the future for the two remains up in the air. The NHL’s buyout period begins on Thursday, and if the Rangers are planning on buying out (or trading?) one then there would be no need to have an awkward conversation about being exposed to Vegas.
Teams must submit their lists of protected players to the NHL on Saturday, June 17th. Thus, should the Rangers want to open up a protection slot on defense, the Rangers must move one of Staal or Girardi before then. Opening a spot is essential if the Rangers plan on making a move for a defenseman from a team who can’t protect all of theirs, such as Anaheim or Florida. That spot could also be useful if the Rangers want to protect Nick Holden.
The New York Post also confirms that, as expected, Rick Nash, Derek Stepan, Chris Kreider, Mats Zuccarello, Mika Zibanejad, Kevin Hayes, and J.T. Miller will be the seven forwards the Rangers protect. Ryan McDonagh, who also has a no-trade clause, is a no-brainer to be the third defenseman protected, while Henrik Lundqvist will of course be the lone goaltender made safe. Pavel Buchnevich, Jimmy Vesey, and Brady Skjei are off-limits due to playing fewer than three pro seasons.
Expansion draft results will be formally announced on June 21st.