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Expansion Draft Buzz

Vegas set a deadline for last night with clubs to make side deals and today Vegas will be picking their squad that will be officially turned into the Central Registry on Wednesday morning.

One NHL executive put the over/under at ‘8’ on side deals Vegas has worked out with clubs.

Some leaks that have emerged:

Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch reported few days ago the Blue Jackets have a deal in place to send a first round pick, prospect, and David Clarkson’s contract to Vegas and the Golden Knights will select Matt Calvert or William Karlsson.

The New York Islanders have a similar deal in place with Vegas where the Isles are expected to send Vegas a first round pick and will likely lose Nikolai Kulemin to avoid losing some of their key forwards left unprotected, per Arthur Staple of Newsday.

Vegas GM George McPhee is going to attain a ton of high picks for the next couple drafts but what we’re also going to see is Vegas selecting some impact veteran players with one year left on their deals that they plan to flip next year at the deadline for more picks or prospects.

Word is circulating Winnipeg’s Tobias Enstrom is a strong contender to be selected and talk around the league on Monday was Vegas plans to take James Neal if a deal with Nashville couldn’t be reached. Both being prime candidates to be moved next winter for a high return.

Vegas Owner driving the bus with pending Fleury acquisition

— How much fear have the Penguins had of losing a Bryan Rust or Ian Cole?

None, per sources close to the situation.

While Vegas GM George McPhee has viewed Marc Andre Fleury nothing more than a potential asset that would likely be flipped at some point in the near future, league sources say Vegas owner Bill Foley is ecstatic about getting Fleury and a driving force behind the belief now that Vegas has all intentions to make Fleury one of the faces of the franchise in year one.

In a goaltending market flooded with quality netminders where there’s good value to be had and after the Penguins didn’t receive one trade offer during the season, the Penguins are hitting the jackpot here.

They got a return on their investment this postseason in keeping Fleury as a $5.75 million insurance policy and now have an opportunity that wouldn’t be there without the expansion draft, where they are going to clear nearly $6 million in cap space from Vegas taking that contract.

Interesting enough, some around the league on Monday were saying that Foley loves Fleury so much that Vegas might be taking Fleury without a side deal having to be made, though, I got some serious pushback on that from others who claim a side deal was agreed upon last week before the Penguins official expansion list was even in.

Free Agency Buzz

— The Penguins intend to talk to free agent winger Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"

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William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at

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