The National Hockey League released the protected lists for the Vegas Golden Knights expansion draft and the Canadiens elected to protect seven forwards, three defencemen and one goalie.
Forwards protected were Max Pacioretty, Alex Galchenyuk, Brendan Gallagher, Paul Byron, Phillip Danault and Andrew Shaw. Artturi Lehkonen didn’t have to be protected as a first-year player. Daniel Carr, Jacob De La Rose, Brian Flynn, Torrey Mitchell and Charles Hudon are among the forwards who are available.
Tomas Plekanec is also available and would provide solid defence and leadership. He has a $6 million cap which is a lot for someone whose production declined last year but Vegas has to be concerned about reaching the salary cap floor.
The Canadiens protected defencemen Shea Weber, Jeff Petry and Jordie Benn. Alexei Emelin is available but his contract means Vegas probably won’t be interested. However, there might interest in Brandon Davidson.
Carey Price was the no-brainer in goal and Al Montoya is available as a backup goaltender. Vegas is expected to select Pittsburgh’s Marc-André Fleury as its starting goaltender.