There was very few surprises when Edmonton released the expansion protected and unprotected list today. With having to protect only Tommy Salo it allowed the team to retain the core players from this season. Nine forwards and five defensemen along with the lone goaltender will survive but one or two players may be protected by deals made this week by management.
1: RW Mike Grier
2: RW Bill Guerin
3: RW Georges Laraque
4: C Todd Marchant
5: LW Ethan Moreau
6: LW Rem Murray
7: LW Ryan Smyth
8: C Chad Kilger
9: C Doug Weight
1: Roman Hamrlik
2: Janni Niinimaa
3: Jason Smith
4: Sean Brown
5: Igor Ulanov
1: Tommy Salo
Note: LW Dan Cleary and D Tom Poti are ineligible since both are only second year pros.
Notable unprotected players:
1: LW Boyd Deveraux – Unfortunately Boyd is considering retirement due to the concussion he sustained at the end of the
season. He has had similar injuries in the past when he was struck in the head by a puck in his first year as a pro. He intends to consult several physicians this summer to make a definite decision on his future and does not want to rush back since re-injury so soon after the incident could be life altering. But, management has stated they will give him all the time he needs.Because of the injury neither expansion team would likely take him in the expansion draft.
2: RW Alexander Selivanov – If a player will be protected by a deal between Edmonton and the expansion teams it will be the Russian enigma. His salary, 1.7 million US, and his inconsistent play may be enough of a deterrent for either team not to select him. The price for protecting him may be the designation of a certain player or players on the unprotected list that each team covets.
3: C Jim Dowd – Dowd would be one of the players that most likely would be designated if a deal was struck. His low salary, 350,000US, strong defensive play, face off prowess and Stanley Cup experience makes him a solid choice for either expansion team.
4: D Bert Robertsson – The other player who may be involved in a designation deal plays a pest role while providing pretty decent defensive play in his own end and will be a fifth defensemen. Especially since his salary is ridiculously low at 440,000 Canadian he should be a lock to be taken by either team.
5: LW German Titov and D Frank Musil – Both contemplating retirement so neither would be chosen by either team.
Alexander Selivanov is taken by either team he will be replaced by right winger Michel Riesen who had an excellent season in Hamilton and may be the consistent powerplay sniper Edmonton has been looking for to compliment Billy Guerin on the right side. Riesen plays a better defensive game and is more responsible in all zones without the puck. I believe the reason for protecting Alexander Selivanov with deals is to make a trade for a couple of gritty forwards to give the team more well rounded abilities.
Losing German Titov and Frank Musil is not a large concern since Dan Cleary has shown the ability to step-up and play on a consistent basis and he did not look out of place on Weight & Guerin’s line at the end of the season and into the playoffs. Chris Hajt could very well win a roster spot and be the number six defenseman if Igor Ulanov does not resign since he is an unrestricted free agent. Or, it may be valuable to sign Igor anyway and trade him to a team looking for defensive depth in return for gritty forwards.
Very little impact will be made by the expansion teams on the Edmonton Oilers roster so management can concern themselves with more important things such as the upcoming Entry Draft and resigning key players.