(Source, Larry Brooks, NY Post) – Slap Shots has learned that rules for the 2017 expansion draft that will precede Las Vegas’ anticipated 2017-18 admission to the league as its 31st franchise (“Done deal,” we’re told), will compel teams to protect players with no-move clauses even if they or the contracts themselves expire at the end of 2016-17.

This means if the expansion draft is held, say, on June 21, 2017, teams will be obligated to protect players who, a) would become unrestricted free agents 10 days later; or, b) would be able to be waived or traded 10 days later.

The worst kept secret in hockey will most likely come true at the end of the month when the Board of Governors meet and approve an expansion team in Las Vegas.  The NHL is not hiding the fact that they want the team in Vegas to be competitive right from the start and they have created expansion draft rules that are going to make the general managers of the other 30 teams a nightmare.

News recently has reported that teams will need to protect players who have “no movement” clauses in their contracts.  Teams are going to have 2 options on how they protect their players.  Option 1: they can protect 1 goalie and 8 skaters.  Option 2: they can protect 1 goalie, 7 forwards and 3 defenseman.  I believe a team can only lose one unprotected player, so a team like the Blackhawks for example can’t just get cherry picked and lose half of their team.  The interesting thing in the sourced article is teams will need to protect a player even if they are going to become a Unrestricted Free Agent on July 1st (start of the NHL year).

Having to protect a player who is going to be a free agent on July 1st because they have a “No Movement Clause” is one of the dumbest things I have heard.  I get having to protect players that have “No Movement Clauses,” but not players who are going to be Unrestricted Free Agents.  This is why there is going to be a lot of player movement this summer because teams have to start preparing for next summers expansion draft.  It is also going to cause teams who are borderline playoff teams at next years trade deadline to most likely sell off players they do not want to have to protect.

So how does this affect the Bruins?  Currently the Bruins have 7 players who have “No Movement Clauses” or “No Trade Clauses.”

David Krejci (No Movement)

Patrice Bergeron (No Movement)

Brad Marchand (No Trade)

Matt Beleskey (No Trade)

Zdeno Chara (No Movement)

Dennis Seidenberg (No Trade)

Tuukka Rask (No Movement)

This is why I feel a buy out of Dennis Seidenberg makes sense for this off season.  I just hope the Bruins do not drag their feet and try to trade him first and miss out on the opportunity to buy out Seidenberg.  They need to get out in front of this issue and would be a complete shame if they do not do something. It would really benefit the future of the Bruins to not hold onto Seidenberg to free up a slot to protect other players.

Also, if the Bruins are on the outside of the playoffs looking in at the trade deadline next season it would make the most sense to trade Zdeno Chara as well so they do not have to protect a 41 year old defenseman.  But we know the Bruins organization has at least publicly seemed to not notice the down season Chara just had and you have to wonder if they’ll do the right thing or continue to pretend he’s still the same player he was in 2011.

Not only does GM Don Sweeney have a difficult job this off season to fix the Bruins defense and put them in position to get them back into the playoffs but he needs to keep an eye on the expansion draft. It will certainly make things interesting over the next 12 months.