This was a VERY hard protection list to come up with, not having the ability to actually be the GM and potentially make a deal on the side. So without further delay, the list followed by the tougher exposures:
Very hard working hockey player. Puts up solid production with limited ice time and subpar line mates. Underrated player in the early stages of his NHL career. But luckily he should survive thanks to some other names below.
On the list of tough exposures simply due to previous interest at the trade deadline. Hard to lose someone for nothing when they play a valuable position and also have been sought after in the past.
Exposed due to decline and cap hit. I figure he’s only worth his contract value one more season as it is. So if they want the wrong half of a contract, he’s all yours.
Most likely to be plucked, even with $5M+ cap hit. Younger defender with proven PP/Offensive talent.
Disclaimer, neither of these goalies are worthy of being protected. Neither will be. Carolina will have an upgrade in net before this happens.
Note: if I’m the GM and Staal will waive NMC, he gets exposed with Foegele getting protection. Or... I try what Jets GM pulled on Vegas, and upgrade a Seattle pick in order to avoid losing a good player. Eg: trade early CAR first round for late SEA first round pick in exchange for SEA agreeing to select Reimer.
Games played/contracts will resolve themselves in time to make this list “legit”. I sense Dundon will want to shed some salary, and expect him to speak with Staal...
Appreciate the writeup Burnt Juice, thank you!
There are a number of really intriguing options to pluck from the Canes. In addition to the names above in Foegele, Dzingel, Gardiner, and Skjei here are a few other names that stand out for me.
Jake Bean: Left shot defenceman drafted 13th overall in 2016. Has only appeared in 2 NHL games but could see much more time this season. Last year put up some really solid offensive numbers in the AHL, with 48 points in 59 games.
Haydn Fleury: Currently is a RFA and needs a contract for next season. Fleury sits below the depth chart on the left side behind Slavin, Gardiner, and Skjei and has actually played a fair amount on the right side as a result. Could simply need an opportunity to show what he can do.
Players like Skjei and Gardiner are solid NHL players right now and are signed with some term, which makes them appealing but neither excites me too much. Gardiner is 30 now so his best years are behind him and while Skjei is a decent option his numbers have also dipped over the last couple years.
Jake Bean meanwhile, led his team in points as a defenceman this past year. In his rookie year in the AHL he put up 44 points in 70 games. Bean is more than just a booming shot as well. He skates incredibly well, is an effective first passer out of the zone and defends well in his own zone. While Skjei and Gardiner are solid top 4 players, Bean has top pairing potential.