Vegas Golden Knights Will Be Exempt From Next Expansion Draft

By Kyle Morrison on March 22, 2018 at 10:15 am
USA Today – Kirby Lee

Potential NHL expansion to Seattle isn’t a sure thing just yet, but if it does happen, there’s one team that will likely be pretty happy about it.

The biggest news out of this week’s NHL GM meetings involves the league’s newest team, the Vegas Golden Knights, who would apparently be exempt from a Seattle expansion draft – whenever that may be.

The rationale makes plenty of sense – Vegas won’t get a dime of the potential $650 million expansion fee that Seattle’s investor group will pay for the rights to the franchise – but it’s certainly a huge advantage for a team that’s already had an easier path to relevance after expansion than its predecessors. It’s also apparently a part of the deal that Vegas owner Bill Foley struck with the league when he sent them $500 million to start the Golden Knights.

Seattle’s entry into the league isn’t settled yet – or likely happening until at least 2020 – giving the Golden Knights three full years in the league by the time the expansion draft rolls around. Exempting one team from the expansion draft – regardless of them not getting part of Seattle’s expansion fee – seemingly stacks the deck for Foley and GM George McPhee. In addition to not losing a player, they could have a chance to acquire potential expansion-eligible players on the cheap from teams who would rather get something back than lose them in expansion.

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