When a new team comes into a league, they need players.  To make it happen, they have to get them from somewhere.  So they come from existing teams. 

It's called an "Expansion Draft."

The new team is allowed to pick certain players from all of the existing teams in the league.  This year, Seattle is joining the NHL with a team called "The Krakken."  Here's how it will work:

  • They must choose one player from every team except for the Las Vegas Knights. (They just joined the league and will not participate in the expansion draft)
  • From those existing teams, the Krakken need to choose at least 14 forwards, 9 defensemen, and 3 goaltenders.
  • Existing teams can "protect" certain players from being taken.  This will include 7 forwards, 3 defensemen, and 1 goaltender.  OR 8 skaters total + 1 goaltender.

Today, the Sabres made a pretty big move by convincing Jeff Skinner to drop his "No-Move" clause.  That's a clause that players put in their contract to avoid being traded to a team that they don't want to go to.

Now, does this mean that Skinner is a gonner?

Not necessarily.  When those players are chosen in the expansion draft, the new team has to take on their contract as well.  With Skinner's contract being as heavy as it is, it might not be something that the new team will want to have to pay out.  Skinner is set to make $9 million per year for the next 6 years.

What it does allow for is the Sabres to "protect" an 8th forward that MIGHT have been taken from them instead.

Is it possible that he will go?  Sure.  Anything is possible.

Is it probable?  No.  It's hard to imagine that a team would want to pick up a forward for $9 million per year that only scored 7 goals and 7 assists in 53 games last year.

We will find out.  The Expansion Draft will happen on July 21st.

 

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