The protection lists for the 30 teams participating in the Seattle Kraken expansion draft have been unveiled by the National Hockey League. We know now which Calgary Flames properties – and players from every team other than Vegas – will be protected and available for Seattle’s selection.
The Flames opted to protect seven forwards, three defensemen, and a goaltender:
  • Forwards: Mikael Backlund, Johnny Gaudreau, Matthew Tkachuk, Sean Monahan, Elias Lindholm, Dillon Dube and Andrew Mangiapane
  • Defensemen: Rasmus Andersson, Chris Tanev and Noah Hanifin
  • Goaltender: Jacob Markstrom
Once Milan Lucic agreed to waive his no-move clause, the forward protection list seemed academic. (He actually agreed to waive it when he was acquired in July 2019, but formalized it in May.) The seven forwards are a mixture of the team’s best offensive players (Gaudreau, Tkachuk, Monahan, Lindholm, Mangiapane), their best shutdown forward (Backlund) and a promising young forward (Dube).
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As has been documented a lot, both here and on social media, two out of three defensive spots were academic. Andersson and Hanifin are young, promising and cost-controlled assets. The last spot seemed obviously Giordano’s when Tanev was signed last fall, but Tanev’s superb season made it all-but-impossible for the Flames to expose him given his cap hit ($4.5 million, $2.25 million less than Giordano), age (31, six years younger than Giordano) and ability to elevate everyone on the ice with him.
The goaltending spot was automatic, as Markstrom negotiated a no-move clause (as the team’s undisputed starting goalie) and wasn’t asked to waive it.
The players available for selection by Seattle are as follows:
  • Forwards: Milan Lucic, Derek Ryan, Josh Leivo, Matthew Phillips, Byron Froese, Glenn Gawdin, Zac Rinaldo, Justin Kirkland, Brett Ritchie, Buddy Robinson and Dominik Simon
  • Defensemen: Mark Giordano, Michael Stone, Oliver Kylington, Nikita Nesterov and Alex Petrovic
  • Goaltenders: Tyler Parsons and Louis Domingue
Aside from Giordano, who won the Norris Trophy in 2018-19, the Flames have a few available players that could tempt the Kraken. Derek Ryan is a superb two-way forward who can win key face-offs and kill penalties. Matthew Phillips has been excellent in the AHL, as has Glenn Gawdin – and both are right shot forwards. Oliver Kylington is a superb skater and, if paired with a stay-at-home partner, could be a superb puck-moving presence from the blueline. If Seattle decides not to grab Giordano – whether because of his cap hit, age, or an enticement of assets from the Flames, they have some pretty nice options to choose from.
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The Kraken will announce their selections on Wednesday night in a live broadcast beginning at 6 p.m. MT on Sportsnet – our pals at 960 will carry the festivities on the radio, while the televised broadcast will be on the national TV feed.