This summer, rumors of potential NHL expansion are reaching a high point. As expansion appears to become a distinct possibility, as part of Insider's 2013-14 NHL preseason coverage, we're running a mock expansion draft. If the NHL were to expand instead of relocate for its next new team -- be it in Seattle, Quebec City or elsewhere -- by what rules would the expansion draft be bound, which players would be protected and which players (of the unprotected) would the new teams select?
Over the next three days, we're running through the answers to all those questions with the help of Insiders Craig Custance and former assistant GM Frank Provenzano. Here are the rules of our mock expansion draft, as crafted by Provenzano, a former assistant GM with two NHL teams.
1. Protected Lists
Clubs shall be permitted to protect the following players on their respective Reserve Lists:
i. 5 defensemen, 9 forwards and 1 goaltender
ii. 3 defensemen, 7 forwards and 2 goaltenders
All players with a no-movement clause that is active for the 2013-14 season shall automatically be deemed to be on that club's protected list.
Clubs may lose a maximum of two players. No club may lose more than one goaltender or one defenseman, and a club that loses a goaltender may not lose a defenseman.
2. Available Lists
Each club must make available for claim at least the following players with the corresponding experience requirements:
i. Goaltenders (1). For clubs protecting one goaltender, no experience requirement applies; for clubs protecting two goaltenders, the available goaltender must have either played six NHL games in the 2013 season or 20 NHL games in the 2011-12 and 2013 seasons combined. A goaltender must have played a minimum of 31 minutes for that game to qualify as a game played for this experience requirement.
ii. Defensemen (1). Either 23 games played in the 2013 season or 55 games played in the 2011-12 and 2013 seasons combined.
iii. Forwards (2). Either 23 games played in the 2013 season or 55 games played in the 2011-12 and 2013 seasons combined.
Note: Games played include NHL regular-season and playoff games.
3. Exempt Players
All players not on a club's Reserve List, including restricted free agents, are eligible for selection in the expansion draft, with the following exemptions:
i. All first- and second-year pros. A year of professional experience shall be credited if a player plays in 11 or more professional games (regular season or playoffs) as an 18- or 19-year-old and one professional game (regular season or playoffs) as a 20-year-old.
ii. All unsigned draft choices, with the exception of any European unsigned draft choice who remains unsigned four years or longer after the date of his draft.
iii. Final player eligibility designation shall be determined by Commissioner Custance or his designate.