NHL Expansion Draft: Who's been asked to waive their no-movement clause?

The deadline to request that a player waive his no-movement clause for the NHL expansion draft passed on Monday, giving teams a better idea of who they will need to protect for the NHL expansion draft.

The results of those conversations have slowly leaked out over the past 24 hours and that’s bound to continue until players are forced to make a decision by 5:00 p.m. ET on Friday, with final protection lists due Saturday.

Here’s what we know so far:

Agreed to waive

Marc-Andre Fleury

The NHL’s worst-kept secret was revealed on Monday, as it was reported Marc-Andre Fleury agreed to waive his no-movement clause way back in February.

Although it will be weird seeing Fleury in another jersey after spending the last 13 seasons in Pittsburgh, the 32-year-old is a logical candidate for Vegas, giving the team a quality person and veteran presence who can hold down the crease for a few more years.

Fleury, who struggled in a backup role this season, has two years remaining on his contract with a cap hit of $5.75 million. He also has an 18-team no-trade clause, but that would only come into play if Vegas opts to go in a different direction.

Refused to waive (for now)

Dion Phaneuf

Barring a last-minute change of heart, Dion Phaneuf will be back with the Senators next season.

The big-ticket blueliner reportedly opted not to waive his NMC clause, meaning the Senators will likely be forced to expose either veteran defenseman Marc Methot or 23-year-old Cody Ceci.

The Senators could try and trade Phaneuf before Saturday’s deadline, but with a 10-team no-trade list and a $7-million cap hit for four more seasons, it seems doubtful there would be any takers.

Dion Phaneuf won’t waive his NMC, according to reports. (Adrian Wyld/CP)
Dion Phaneuf won’t waive his NMC, according to reports. (Adrian Wyld/CP)

Keith Yandle

Keith Yandle is a good defenseman on a bad contract, with six years remaining on a deal that carries an annual cap hit of $6.35M.

If the Panthers want to unburden themselves from that commitment, they’ll have to go the trade route as Yandle has decided to exercise his NMC.

That puts the Panthers in a tough spot, as they’ll likely be forced to expose Alex Petrovic, Mark Pysyk or Jason Demers unless they can swing a deal with Vegas or another team before Saturday.

Not asked to waive

Dan Girardi, Marc Staal

Dan Girardi and Marc Staal will be back plodding around the MSG ice next season after neither player was asked to waive his NMC.

The Rangers didn’t really need them to, but their contracts are long and expensive and they’d surely like to get out from at least one of them if not both. It just doesn’t make sense to have two slow-footed defensemen eating up that much cap space as the game becomes increasingly faster. Whether Vegas would have taken either of them is a different question.

With the Rangers presumably going the 7-3-1 route, that will leave Kevin Klein and Nick Holden up for grabs on defense.

Bruins Core

Five of Boston’s core players — Zdeno Chara, Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, David Krejci and David Backes — have NMCs, and none of them were asked to waive for Vegas.

That doesn’t come as much of a surprise, as there’s almost no chance any of them would be exposed anyways.

Assuming the Bruins go with a 7-3-1 format, Chara and Torey Krug will occupy two of the slots on defense, leaving Adam McQuaid or the Millers, Kevan and Colin, available to the Golden Knights.

Kevin Bieksa

The Anaheim Ducks are the most intriguing team heading into the expansion draft as they try and figure out a way to keep their D-core intact.

It appears they have found a solution, and it doesn’t include asking Kevin Bieksa to waive his NMC or leaving one of their highly-coveted defensemen unprotected.

This is a smart move by Vegas, as Anaheim would have never let Sami Vatanen, Josh Manson or Jakob Silfverberg go for nothing. So they take say Andrew Cogliano or Antonie Vermette instead, while plucking an additional asset or two away from the Ducks.

Once the expansion draft is over, it would be a surprise if the Ducks didn’t buyout the final year of Bieksa’s contract.

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