Fleury and Neal among high-profile players available in expansion draft
Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury (29) stops a shot by Nashville Predators' James Neal (18) with Mike Fisher (12) looking for the rebound during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Pittsburgh, Thursday, March 31, 2016. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
The Associated Press
Published Sunday, June 18, 2017 11:00AM EDT
Three-time Stanley Cup champion goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, Nashville forward James Neal and Anaheim defenceman Sami Vatanen are among the high-profile players available for the Vegas Golden Knights to select in the NHL expansion draft.
Now it's on Golden Knights general manager George McPhee to spend the next three days poring over the list of available players and select one from each of the NHL's 30 teams.
Fleury was left unprotected by Pittsburgh after he agreed to waive the no-movement clause in his contract. The Penguins instead protected Matt Murray a week after the second-year goalie led them to win their second consecutive championship.
The Predators were put in a bind when exposing Neal, a 10-time 20-goal-scorer, because they elected to protect a fourth defenceman.
Vatanen was the odd-man out in being left unprotected from a deep and talented group of Ducks defencemen. The fifth-year player, however, won't be ready for the start of the season after having surgery to repair a shoulder injury.