This is for the 3 or so Lightning fans on this board.
The shitty part of having a pro franchise that doesn't suck is that we're gonna lose a damn fine player when an expansion draft occurs.
I only have a rudimentary understanding of how this process is going to work...but I believe I have the basics down. I'm not going to get into the details of that here (y'all can research that yourselves) but suffice it to say, the Bolts are gonna lose someone they (most likely) don't want to.
Unless Yzerman pulls a rabbit out of his hat...which he probably will (more later).
This is who I have as eligible to be taken by Vegas...or most likely to be unprotected by us AND potentially taken:
First...whom we protect (assuming they go with the 7/3/1 option...which is what most sources have us doing.)
Hedman (No move clause - must be protected)
(I'm unclear if Koekkoek is eligible or not. If he is, he'll be protected).
Stamkos (No move clause)
Callahan (no move clause)
Johnson (again...I'm unclear as to how his FA status impacts his availability. For now, I'm assuming he is protection eligible).
This leaves us with the guy we're most likely to lose:
Gudeveskis (our AHL goalie, projected to be our back-up next year)
What I suspect, is that Yzerman will make some magic happen and will trade picks and/or prospects to Vegas in order to entice them to take Garrison (and his contract). That would free up another 4.5 mil in salary cap space, virtually guaranteeing that we re-sign ALL of our vital players.
There is also the theory that Yzerman will talk Callahan into waiving his no trade clause, in the assumption that his contract will make it unlikely that Vegas would take him (it is and they won't). That would allow us to protect one other player (likely Namestikov or Gudeviskis).
This is WHY Stevie Y was a ****ing wizard when he suckered Philly into taking Fillpula at the trade deadline. Fill (and I like the player) also had a no trade clause and we would've been forced to protect him (and his terrible salary). If he doesn't make that deal, we're looking at losing a top 6 offensive player. As it stands, we're looking at losing a 3rd or 4th liner.
If any of you have some insight into something I'm missing, please respond.