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SBNation Mock Expansion: Coyotes Protected List

So if you haven't heard, which I wouldn't be surprised of, SBNation is conducting a mock expansion of the NHL. Basically they let some crazy people vote and they stacked it for Winnipeg and Quebec City. to be our "hypothetical teams. In that vein each of the bloggers for the 30 current teams had to create a list of protected players that the two GMs of said teams wouldn't be able to pick. So here's my list of those I thought the Coyotes might want to protect and those that didn't make the cut. First here are the rules I had to follow though so no one gouges out my eyes for not protecting their favorite players and you'll see why I hate Wayne Gretzky even more...

The Rules:

Ground rules on protected lists:

- Teams can protect either "1 goalie, 5 defensemen and 9 forwards" OR "2 goalies, 3 defensemen and 7 forwards."
- If you go the two goalie route, at least one goalie left unprotected must have played in at least 10 games last season OR 25 games in the last two seasons combined. One game = at least 31 minutes.
- Each team must leave unprotected at least one defenseman who appeared in 40 games last season OR 70 games in the last two seasons combined.
- Each team must leave unprotected at least two forwards who appeared in 40 games last season OR 70 games in the last two seasons combined.
- Players who have played in 49 or fewer games are automatically exempt and do not need to be protected.

Ground rules on drafting:

- Each expansion team selects 30 players. A total of 60 players will be selected.
- The first 26 picks are to be used on three goaltenders, eight defensemen and thirteen forwards.
- The final four picks can be used to pick a player at any position.
- Only one goalie or one defenseman can be selected from each existing team.
- Team must be compliant with the salary cap.    

More on who was protected and who wasn't after the jump...

Protected Players:

Goalies: Ilya Bryzgalov

Defense: Ed Jovanovski, Derek Morris, Keith Yandle, Adrian Aucoin and Kurt Sauer

Forwards: Shane Doan, Ray Whitney, Wojtek Wolski, Petr Prucha, Lee Stempniak, Martin Hanzal, Mikkel Boedker, Kyle Turris, Viktor Tikhonov

Unprotected Players

Goalies: Jason LaBarbera

Defense: Sami Lepisto

Forwards: Ryan Hollweg, Vernon Fiddler, Paul Bissonnette, Andrew Ebbett, Lauri Korpikoski, Taylor Pyatt, Radim Vrbata, Alexandre Picard

So now I get to hear it about why I left Vernon Fiddler and Radim Vrbata unprotected. It's easy, I didn't have a whole lot of choice. See in this particular exercise I had to protect anyone that played over 50 games and thanks to the brilliance of Wayne Gretzky and others in charge of the team all our talented youth was over the limit from two seasons ago. Great. So if I want to keep the top prospects I had to open up some players we liked to keep them. That means Fiddler and Vrbata were left open to have some sort of future. Yet another reason I hate Wayne. 

Luckily this expansion isn't happening any time soon if ever so it's all just an exercise in total offseason boredom. Otherwise I'd be seriously cheesed that A) Canada got two more teams and B) We'd lose quality players because Wayne still screwed us. Oh well. There's the list. discuss amongst yourselves.