How Will the Oilers Deal with the Seattle Expansion? PLUS Trade Rumors and Proposals

This morning I was discussing a hypothetical trade with some of my followers on Twitter (@beerleagueheroe) and one person brought up that the Oilers will need to think about the returns they get this year and how they might pertain to the Seattle expansion draft. I thought it was an interesting thing to go over, so I want to do that briefly and then go over some trade rumors real and proposed by myself.


We’ve been told that the expansion draft rules will be the same for the Seattle franchise as they were for Vegas. Below I’ve copied and pasted right from said expansion rules.

Protected Lists
* Clubs will have two options for players they wish to protect in the Expansion Draft:

a) Seven forwards, three defensemen and one goaltender

b) Eight skaters (forwards/defensemen) and one goaltender

* All players who have currently effective and continuing “No Movement” clauses at the time of the Expansion Draft (and who to decline to waive such clauses) must be protected (and will be counted toward their club’s applicable protection limits).

* All first- and second-year professionals, as well as all unsigned draft choices, will be exempt from selection (and will not be counted toward their club’s applicable protection limits).

Player Exposure Requirements

* All Clubs must meet the following minimum requirements regarding players exposed for selection in the Expansion Draft:

i) One defenseman who is a) under contract in 2017-18 and b) played in 40 or more NHL games the prior season OR played in 70 or more NHL games in the prior two seasons.

ii) Two forwards who are a) under contract in 2017-18 and b) played in 40 or more NHL games the prior season OR played in 70 or more NHL games in the prior two seasons.

iii) One goaltender who is under contract in 2017-18 or will be a restricted free agent at the expiration of his current contract immediately prior to 2017-18. If the club elects to make a restricted free agent goaltender available in order to meet this requirement, that goaltender must have received his qualifying offer prior to the submission of the club’s protected list.

* Players with potential career-ending injuries who have missed more than the previous 60 consecutive games (or who otherwise have been confirmed to have a career-threatening injury) may not be used to satisfy a club’s player exposure requirements, unless approval is received from the NHL. Such players also may be deemed exempt from selection by the League.


Lucic McDavid Pulju Nurse Larsson no
Caggiula Draisaitl Yamamoto Klefbom Sekera tendy
Khaira RNH Strome Russell Benning past ’19
(open) (open) (open Davidson

Red=NMC/NTC, Blue=RFA signing this yr, Green=Expansion exempt

Please let me know if I’ve left someone out!

I’m just assuming that all of, or most of, the RFAs will be re-signed up to at least 2020. But the Oilers will have to have at least 1 goalie to expose. So keep an eye on what happens with Cam Talbot in the next summer or two.

I didn’t include any farm kids because I’m not sure if any of them will get 40 games combined in the next two seasons to force them to become expansion eligible.

Zack Kassian’s deal runs out the summer of the proposed expansion draft, so he’d still technically be part of the roster and could be left unprotected like Derek Engelland was for Vegas.

So if we’re hypothesizing here with the two protection lists, what would yours look like?

  • A) Lucic, McDavid, Draisaitl, Puljujarvi, RNH, Khaira, Strome, Nurse, Sekera, Russell, Goalie A?
  • B) Lucic, McDavid, Draisaitl, Puljujarvi, Nurse, Larsson, Sekera, Russell, Goalie

Either way, the Oilers are kinda hooped, no?

In option A, they’re forced to expose one of Klefbom, Nurse, Larsson, or Benning. In option B, they’re forced to expose Puljujarvi or RNH on fwd and one of Nurse, Klefbom, Larsson, or Benning on D.

Now, will there be a lockout again and with said lockout compliance buyouts? Which player with an NMC would be the best to let go strategically? Lucic, Sekera, or Russell? And who gets dealt first, RNH or one of the young D (Larsson/Klefbom)?

**EDIT** The NTC/NMC thing is a bit tricky. I didn’t read up on it before. But here’s the gist. NTCs don’t have to be protected but NMCs do. So Lucic’s no-movement clause switches to a no-trade clause (player submits list) a year after the supposed Seattle expansion draft. The Oilers are stuck with him unless there’s a lockout w/compliance buyouts. BUT Russell+Sekera’s NMCs switch to modified NTCs the season before the Seattle expansion draft. Therefore, they can be exposed. I hope I got that right! Sorry for the confusion! Read more here.**

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This section and the above are not connected, think of them as separate blogs. I don’t want to confuse anybody into thinking I’m writing about expansion and then trade proposals that would hurt the Oilers expansion draft strategy. I’m just shootin’ the shit here.

I guess Max Domi is on the block. That’s really interesting to me because I feel like he’s a pretty decent player having a tough go in the desert right now. It’s not like an analytics-leaning GM to deal a young player like this unless of course, it’s been suggested to him by an agent.

Max Domi is in the final year of his entry-level contract and will be an RFA this summer.

He has been in pretty sharp decline since his first season though.

  • 2014/15 – 54pts (81 gp + 18 goals)
  • 2015/16 – 38pts (59 gp +9 goals)
  • 2017/18 – 22pts (52 gp +3 goals) to date.

Domi and McDavid are pretty good buddies. Tie’s kid can skate and shoot and he’s as fearless as they come. Top that off with his willingness to correct the other team’s behaviour with his fists and I think we’ve got the kind of player who would thrive in Edmonton.

I wonder what the Coyotes are looking for here? Would they accept Ryan Strome and one of the Oilers’ D prospects not yet in Bakersfield? I know the narrative is a tad Hollywood but I’m thinking Jujhar Khaira is a better fit for 3C than Strome for the Oilers and the Elder Strome would slide right into Max’s 3C role in Arizona seamlessly. He’d also be one of the older forwards on the Coyotes upon arrival as well.

At the beginning of this blog I talked about a trade proposal I sent out on Twitter that got the conversation about expansion started. Here it is:

What if the Oilers had two offers on Patrick Maroon,

  • From Toronto: Josh Leivo + Nikita Soshnikov (Both RFAs this summer)
  • From St.Louis: Jordan Kyrou

Which one would YOU pick or would you hold off for something better?

So as it pertains to the expansion draft, maybe you take the World Junior and OHL scoring standout Jordan Kyrou since he’d be exempt or do you take the duo from Toronto because they offer skilled depth and the Oilers HAVE to make a better run for the playoffs next year and not even think about the Seattle expansion draft…

Tough call…

What do you think? Let us know in the comments below!

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Beer League Hero Written by:

I'm the Beer League Hero! I am from Camrose, Alberta but I make my home in Taipei City, Taiwan. I've been through the ups and downs and the highs and the Lowes, the Bonsignores and the McDavids, the Sathers and the Eakins but I'll never leave my Oilers, no matter what! They're with me until the end and then some. GO OILERS GO!

  • Alex Maillet

    Whoever the GM might be, he will ask Lucic, Sekera, and Russel to waive their no movement clauses with intentions to protect other guys on the roster. There is no way Seattle is picking an unprotected and 2 years older Lucic (6mill), Sekera (5.5mill), or Russel (4mill). Also after the Phanuef fiasco I don’t think they will refuse.

  • Kepler62c

    I’d take Kyrou, no doubt about it. He’s the more skilled player of the three, and I don’t think it’s even close. Yes, you get two players the other scenario but are either top 6 options? MAYBE paired with McDavid, RNH, or Drai, but not in their own right – and gambling on them having great chemistry with one of the C’s hasn’t worked well with Caggiula, Slepy, and Strome.

    Also, the Seattle expansion can’t be ignored. For me, the real nail in the coffin for the Reinhart trade was the expansion – we traded 2 exempt players for one player who had to be exposed… yes it was somewhat unknowingly but still, it hurt. Kyrou will be exempt, he’s a prospect I’d put on a similar level with Yamamoto and Benson – that’s huge if we don’t have to protect him.