I will be doing the write up for Detroit soon for the Seattle bloggers expansion draft. Not that there’s any hard decisions to make but just want to crowd source some protection lists. Who would you guys protect?
Super obvious protects:
Very likely protects
Uh, at this point probably whichever two of Svechnikov, Rasmussen, Smith, Timashov, and Hirose show the most promise after this season, plus whichever of Lindstrom or Cholowski has the better season. So if I had to pick today
, maybe Ras, Svech, Lindstrom?
Hilariously, I think the hardest thing about putting together a protection list is just making sure Detroit will actually have enough unprotected players that meet the minimum exposure requirements (2 forwards and 1 defenseman under contract through at least 2022 and played at least 40 games next season or 70 games this season plus last).
Nielsen should make that benchmark easily (he only has to play 10 games this season) but the Red Wings have no other forwards under contract beyond this season who would likely be left unprotected. Timashov would count if he's signed for at least two years and plays at least 26 games this year.
Meanwhile, assuming Stecher is protected, DeKeyser is the only draft-eligible defender under contract through 2022 and due to last season's injury he'd need to play 40 games this year in order to make the exposure requirement (hardly a guarantee).
Assuming exposing any of Fabbri, Namestnikov, or Stecher are not palatable options Yzerman may need to either extend some current UFAs midseason or trade for a couple of bargain-basement vets with an extra year of term left just to satisfy the exposure requirements, depending on whether or not any of Nielsen, DeKeyser, Timashov, or others make the minimum exposure requirements.