NHL Releases Protected Lists for Expansion; Holland’s Loyalty Trait Showing Fully
The Golden Knights will now have 72 hours to select one player from each team. NHL clubs are allowed to make deals with Vegas to keep certain unprotected players safe by giving up draft picks or protected players for example.
Red Wings fans better hope Ken Holland has a deal like that in place.
Here is the Detroit Red Wings protected list of seven forwards, three defensemen and a goalie.
F Henrik Zetterberg
F Frans Nielsen*
F Justin Abdelkader
F Andreas Athanasiou
F Tomas Tatar
F Gustav Nyquist
F Anthony Mantha
D Danny DeKeyser
D Mike Green
D Nick Jensen
G Jimmy Howard
* Had to be protected due to No Movement Clause
Guys like Dylan Larkin, Evgeny Svechnikov and Tyler Bertuzzi are considered exempt because they haven't played more than two years of professional hockey.
Some smart no-brainer decisions were made. Guys like Athanasiou and Mantha are labeled as the future of the Wings up front so their inclusion is no surprise. Nick Jensen is another guy who has earned his spot on the protected list with solid play in the Wings bottom four defense pairings.
Then you have the head scratchers.
Justin Abdelkader, who has six years at $4.25 million a season still left on his deal was protected over guys like Tomas Nosek (led the Griffins in goals this postseason en route to a championship) and Riley Sheahan (one year left and will be a restricted free agent).
But the biggest most glaring issue in this list, protecting Jimmy Howard over Petr Mrazek. Howard is 33, Mrazek is 25, Howard has two years at about $5.3 million left on his deal. Mrazek is a restricted free agent after this season and is a $4 million goalie. Howard might have played better this season and in the World Championships over his Czech teammate but Ken Holland has risked the future of the crease for the Red Wings unnecessarily by exposing Mrazek.
Protecting guys like Abdelkader and Howard who's contracts could scare away Vegas over younger cheaper talent would almost guarantee that Detroit is going to lose a bright futured prospect over a veteran who is probably on the decline.
It is possible that Holland has a deal in place with Vegas to not take guys like Mrazek or Sheahan given that Detroit has four third round picks in this year's entry draft, but no news of that nature has been confirmed yet.
Prepare yourselves Red Wings fans, Holland's loyalty has put the Red Wings in a position to lose a contributor for the next decade for one or two that will last a couple of years at best.
Notable players currently exposed to be selected by Vegas are Petr Mrazek, Tomas Nosek, Riley Sheahan, Luke Glendening, Niklas Kronwall, Jonathon Ericsson, Xavier Ouellet, Ryan Sproul and Jared Coreau.