We're in the fun part of the offseason now where every day there seems to be a little bit of news, and the big events are looking in the foreground. The schedule is a little off this year, and additionally condensed with an expansion draft added to the schedule. Speaking of, yesterday was the deadline for teams to request that players waiver their no-movement clauses for the purposes of the expansion draft. Erik Johnson reportedly has, and that frees up a lot more flexibility for the Avalanche and their protection list. I have seen Ryan Graves exposed in a lot of places, but I think they keep him and risk losing a forward instead. Going the eight-skater route would see the protection list as: Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, Nazem Kadri, and either Andre Burakovsky or Gabriel Landeskog at forward (Landeskog being a UFA, so he doesn't necessarily need to be protected – and is reportedly not close to a contract with the Avalanche); on defence we have Cale Makar, Devon Toews, Samuel Girard, and Graves; UFA Philip Grubauer is the only goalie worth protecting for the Avalanche.
While we're on the topic of the expansion draft, I wanted to share a link to a giant undertaking over at The Hockey Writers, where a writer from each team acted as the GM, and an entire expansion draft process was completed. I acted as the Nashville GM for the exercise (trading Mattias Ekholm for Barrett Hayton and picks before Viktor Arvidsson was rudely traded out from under me) and the results from the entire session can be found here: