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Looming expansion draft turns up trade chatter around NHL

The prospect of losing talent to Vegas is keeping a lot of NHL general managers up at night. Sometimes at 3 in the morning I wake up and remind myself of that `You can only lose one player. Go back to sleep, Minnesota Chuck Fletcher said. All 30 existing teams must submit their protected list for the upcoming expansion draft by Saturday afternoon, which has made for a week of trade chatter and speculation as GMs jockey for position. Only seven forwards, three defenseman and a goaltender can be protected.Article continues below ... Not knowing who Vegas GM George McPhee is going to take has everyone on edge. Everyone a little nervous, theyre a little reluctant, Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon said on Toronto TSN 1050. They dont want to lose two players if you make a deal. Theyre not quite sure. So everybody in the same boat. The Tampa Bay Lightning protected themselves by trading Jonathan Drouin to Montreal and thus can protect another forward Pittsburgh Penguins Store. The Washington Capitals acquired Tyler Graovac from Minnesota so they could meet the minimum exposure requirement and protect center Lars Eller. If we dont do anything else between now and Saturday afternoon, in trading Jonathan he wouldve required protection, Lightning GM Steve Yzerman said Thursday. It changes things, I guess, a little bit or it makes it a little clearer as to what were going to do. Similar moves are rumored before the league trade freeze goes into effect Saturday. The Wild have too many defensemen, so Jonas Brodin name has been bandied about in trade rumors, and the Ottawa Senators will have to do something because defenseman Dion Phaneuf said he wont waive his no-movement clause. It forces us that were in a situation that we felt that this could happen, Ottawa GM Pierre Dorion said. Is it a trade It a possibility. But trades are way easier talked about than to do. The Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins avoided making a potentially harmful trade several months ago when they asked veteran goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury if hed waive his no-movement clause so they could protect 23-year-old goalie of the future and present Matt Murray. Fleury agreed before the March 1 trade deadline, saying it gave the team more flexibility down the stretch. Fleury and Murray split the duties in the playoffs as the Penguins won a second consecutive championship. It certainly took a lot of pressure off of the organization to not pursue a trade and that really what we wanted to do, GM Jim Rutherford said. We wanted to keep both goalies. Now that were at the finish line we can look back and say were glad we did. It certainly relived a lot of the pressure thinking I had to get him moved so we wouldnt get in a jam here for our list. The positive for Pittsburgh is that if Vegas takes Fleury to be the face of the new franchise next season, it doesnt have to worry about potentially losing a valuable young defenseman like Olli Maatta. There a similar concern from the Western Conference champion Nashville Predators, who will most likely expose a few intriguing forwards to protect defensemen Roman Josi, P.K. Subban, Ryan Ellis and Mattias Ekholm. Nashville GM David Poile said he has spoken with McPhee and that the Predators will do the best we can to protect as many assets as we can. He not alone Zach Trotman Jersey. The New York Rangers and Colorado Avalanche did that with buyouts of aging defensemen. New York bought out the final three years of 33-year-old Dan Girardi contract, and Colorado the final year of 37-year-old Francois Beauchemin deal. Girardi and the Rangers bid an emotional goodbye after 11 seasons, but it was a necessary move as many of these are with Vegas about to poach 30 players for its inaugural season. This expansion draft, it complicated things a little bit, I think everyone is gradually working through and ultimately we all know were going to lose one player and you accept that Derek Sanderson Jersey, Yzerman said. AP Sports Writers Dave Campbell in St. Paul, Minnesota, Will Graves in Pittsburgh, Teresa M. Walker in Nashville, Tennessee, and The Canadian Press contributed.

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