No surprises on Blues' protected list; Tarasenko, Dunn officially left exposed

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STLtoday.com 18 July, 2021 - 02:30pm 16 views

When is Seattle draft?

The Seattle Kraken are officially on the clock. On Sunday, the NHL released the available and protected lists for the 30 other teams ahead of the Kraken's expansion draft, which will take place July 21 (8 p.m. ET on ESPN2). USA TODAYNHL expansion draft: Protected lists ahead of Seattle Kraken's roster selection

When are the NHL protected lists released?

Starting at 10 AM ET on Sunday, when the NHL will make the protection lists public, the Kraken will have a window to negotiate with and sign any (un)restricted free agents who are unprotected from their 2020-21 team. Though, if they do, that will count as their pick from that player's 2020-21 club. novacapsfans.comThe Capitals’ Protection List For The 2021 NHL Expansion Draft

St. Louis Blues Vladimir Tarasenko shakes hands with Colorado Avalanche goalie Devan Dubnyk after the Blues were eliminated from the playoffs on Sunday, May 23, 2021 at Enterprise Center. Photo by Robert Cohen

The NHL released on Sunday the official team-by-team protected lists, along with a list of those players who will be exposed in the Seattle expansion draft.

There were no surprises when it came to the Blues. The list of protected was exactly as projected by the Post-Dispatch on Saturday, with the Blues going with the 7-3-1 formula of seven forwards, three defensemen and one goaltender protected:

Ivan Barbashev, Jordan Kyrou, Ryan O'Reilly, David Perron, Brayden Schenn, Oskar Sundqvist, Robert Thomas

Justin Faulk, Torey Krug, Colton Parayko

As a result, the following list of players are available for the taking by Seattle in Wednesday's expansion draft. Obviously, the Kraken can pick only one:

Sam Anas, Sammy Blais, Tyler Bozak, Kyle Clifford, Jacob de la Rose, Mike Hoffman, Tanner Kaspick, Mackenzie MacEachern, Curtis McKenzie, Austin Poganski, Zach Sanford, Jaden Schwartz, Nolan Stevens, Vladimir Tarasenko, Nathan Walker

Robert Bortuzzo, Vince Dunn, Petteri Lindbohm, Niko Mikkola, Mitch Reinke, Steven Santini, Marco Scandella, Jake Walman

Evan Fitzpatrick, Jon Gillies, Ville Husso

Among the exposed players, Bozak, Hoffman and Schwartz are unrestricted free agents. The only way Seattle claims any of them is if they can sign them to a contract by Wednesday morning. Otherwise the players hit the market again when the league-wide free agency period begins July 28.

A three-day window for the Kraken to negotiate with free agents began at 9 a.m. Central on Sunday.

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St. Louis Blues Vladimir Tarasenko shakes hands with Colorado Avalanche goalie Devan Dubnyk after the Blues were eliminated from the playoffs on Sunday, May 23, 2021 at Enterprise Center. Photo by Robert Cohen

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Blues protection list: Those excluded from the Kraken are set, and now the Vladimir Tarasenko watch begins

The Athletic 18 July, 2021 - 05:26pm

Blues protection list: Those excluded from the Kraken are set, and now the Vladimir Tarasenko watch begins

Tarasenko, Schwartz among Blues left unprotected for NHL expansion draft

KMOV.com 18 July, 2021 - 02:10pm

ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) - The Blues have released the names of players who the club has left unprotected for the upcoming expansion draft. 

Under the rules, all current NHL teams can either protect three defensemen, seven forwards and a goalie, or eight skaters and one goaltender. Blues GM Doug Armstrong chose the first option, keeping 11 players.

Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko requests a trade, per sources: Why he wants out, possible destinations and more. #stlblues https://t.co/ZzSIaBunC2

Most notably on the unprotected list is star winger Vladimir Tarasenko, who has reportedly demanded a trade amid a deteriorating relationship with the organization. Because of his hefty contract, many believe it is unlikely the Seattle Kraken will select Tarasenko when the expansion draft is held on Wednesday. The full unprotected list is below:

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Blues leave Vladimir Tarasenko unprotected in the expansion draft?

msnNOW 18 July, 2021 - 02:10pm

According to TSN's Frank Seravalli, the Blues have decided to leave Tarasenko unprotected in next week's expansion draft, meaning the Seattle Kraken can pick him up if they wish. 

Hearing #stlblues have exposed Vladimir Tarasenko in the Expansion Draft and are protecting Ivan Barbashev.

The news comes after it was reported earlier this month that Tarasenko had requested a trade from St. Louis. By leaving the veteran winger unprotected, the Blues risk losing him for nothing in the draft. 

If St. Louis had traded Tarasenko, it likely could have received a nice return for him. The franchise will now be able to move him only if Seattle doesn't select him. 

Tarasenko is entering the seventh year of an eight-year, $60 million deal he signed in July 2015. He has a cap hit of $7.5 million for the next two seasons, according to CapFriendly.

The 29-year-old has scored 30-plus goals in five of his nine NHL seasons and has 442 points (218 goals, 224 assists) in 531 games. He also had 17 points (11 goals, six assists) in 26 playoff games during St. Louis' Stanley Cup-winning 2018-19 season. 

Related slideshow: Who are the 25 best NHL duos of all time? (Provided by Yardbarker)

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Kraken could have choice of Tarasenko or Dunn in expansion draft

STLtoday.com 18 July, 2021 - 02:10pm

St. Louis Blues Vladimir Tarasenko is congratulated by the bench after scoring the first of his two goals against the Colorado Avalanche as the Blues were eliminated from the playoffs, losing 5-2 on Sunday, May 23, 2021 at Enterprise Center. Photo by Robert Cohen, rcohen@post-dispatch.com

It looks like the Seattle Kraken will have their choice of forward Vladimir Tarasenko or defenseman Vince Dunn in Wednesday’s expansion draft.

The Blues submitted their protected list to the NHL on Saturday afternoon, and shortly before the 4 p.m. Central deadline, sources told the Post-Dispatch that Ivan Barbashev was expected to be protected, which almost certainly would mean that Tarasenko would be exposed.

About that same time, Frank Seravalli of the Daily Faceoff said on Twitter he was “hearing” that Tarasenko would be exposed and Barbashev protected.

Nothing’s official until Sunday when the NHL announces the protected lists for all 30 teams. (Vegas is exempt from the expansion draft.)

Neither Blues general manager Doug Armstrong nor Tarasenko agent Paul Theofanous responded to messages seeking comment.

But if Tarasenko is indeed exposed, the Blues’ protected list is expected to include forwards Ryan O’Reilly, David Perron, Brayden Schenn, Robert Thomas, Jordan Kyrou, Oskar Sundqvist and Barbashev; defensemen Justin Faulk, Torey Krug and Colton Parayko; and goaltender Jordan Binnington.

There was another deadline Saturday, at 2 p.m., for trading, signing or waiving players. It came and went without the Blues making a trade. It’s widely known that Armstrong was shopping both Dunn and Tarasenko, but he apparently didn’t get an offer to his liking for either player.

Once the 2 p.m. deadline passed, no trades, signings, or waiver moves can be made league-wide until noon Thursday, or the day following the Seattle expansion draft. Seattle, however, can negotiate and sign any unprotected free agents – starting Sunday morning and ending Wednesday morning. Any free agent signed by the Kraken during the period counts as their expansion pick for that particular team.

In terms of the Blues, that means Seattle could negotiate and potentially sign forwards Jaden Schwartz, Mike Hoffman, Tyler Bozak or Zach Sanford, if as expected, they are left unprotected. Schwartz, Hoffman and Bozak are unrestricted free agents; Sanford is a restricted free agent.

As for Tarasenko, he has a full no-trade clause, meaning he would have to approve any trade. (He has given the Blues a list of several such teams, basically all strong playoff and Stanley Cup contenders.)

But he does not have a no-move clause, a distinction that leaves the Blues free to waive him, send him to the American Hockey League, or expose him in an expansion draft.

Should Seattle select Tarasenko, the Blues would get nothing in return. But they would be free of his $7.5 million salary cap hit, which would give them additional dollars to pursue players in free agency starting July 28.

The fact that Tarasenko would even be on an expansion list was unthinkable not that long ago. But three shoulders surgeries, starting in the spring of 2018, have changed the picture. Sources indicated to the Post-Dispatch that Tarasenko was unhappy with how the first two surgeries went – they were both performed by Blues doctors.

He was also unhappy with his declining ice time late this past season as well as his role on the power play. For a while he was moved to the second power play unit. When he returned to the top unit, he was placed net front rather than his usual spot on the flank – a move he did not like according to sources.

Prior to the season Tarasenko told a Russian media outlet he was upset with not being named team captain, which led to awkwardness in the locker room. (Ryan O’Reilly was named team captain.)

Seravalli of the Daily Faceoff reported Saturday that at least four teams were interested in trading for Tarasenko and willing to absorb the full cap hit. And that others were involved on the condition the Blues retained some of his salary.

But Armstrong obviously didn’t like any of those deals. And here we are.

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St. Louis Blues Vladimir Tarasenko is congratulated by the bench after scoring the first of his two goals against the Colorado Avalanche as the Blues were eliminated from the playoffs, losing 5-2 on Sunday, May 23, 2021 at Enterprise Center. Photo by Robert Cohen, rcohen@post-dispatch.com

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Blues must turn in list for expansion draft on Saturday

STLtoday.com 18 July, 2021 - 02:10pm

Blues forward Vladmir Tarasenko practices on Tuesday, July 21, 2020, at the Centene Community Ice Center in Maryland Heights. (Christian Gooden, cgooden@post-dispatch.com)

The 2 p.m. Central deadline for trades/signings/waivers came and went Saturday without the Blues trading either Vince Dunn or Vladimir Tarasenko.

So the earliest the Blues could trade Dunn and Tarasenko, assuming they're not exposed in expansion draft and one is taken Wednesday by Seattle, is after the trade/signing/waiver freeze ends at noon Central on Thursday.

Only Seattle can make roster moves between now and Thursday at noon.

The Blues’ offseason hits its first milepost Saturday when the team must submit its list of protected players to the NHL for the Seattle expansion draft.

The Blues have two ways to go in terms of their list, which must be turned in by 4 p.m. (St. Louis time). They can submit the names of seven forwards, three defensemen and one goalie. Or eight skaters (regardless of position) and one goalie.

It seems all but a certainty that Blues general manager Doug Armstrong will go with the 7-3-1 formula, which allows him to protect 11 total players as opposed to nine in the 8-1 formula.

The expansion draft takes place Wednesday night.

Assuming Armstrong does go 7-3-1, 10 of the 11 names appear to be no-brainers: Jordan Kyrou, Ryan O’Reilly, David Perron, Brayden Schenn, Oskar Sundqvist and Robert Thomas at forward; Justin Faulk, Torey Krug and Colton Parayko on defense; and Jordan Binnington at goalie.

That leaves one forward spot unaccounted for. Does Armstrong protect Vladimir Tarasenko, who he’s trying to trade? Or does he expose Tarasenko, thus leaving him there for the taking by the Kraken?

It’s a complicated situation. By exposing Tarasenko, the Kraken would get their choice of Tarasenko or defenseman Vince Dunn.

Under the 7-3-1 formula, exposing Tarasenko would allow the Blues to protect another forward — most likely Ivan Barbashev or Sammy Blais.

Should Tarasenko be exposed and claimed by Seattle, the Blues would be free of his $7.5 million salary-cap hit. That’s money they could use in the free agent market.

If Armstrong is convinced he can’t find a trade partner for Tarasenko, he could even offer a sweetener to the Kraken by adding a player or draft choice to the mix. Or agreeing to retain part of Tarasenko’s cap hit in return for Seattle selecting the disgruntled forward. That would seem to be a drastic solution, and out of character for Armstrong.

In any event, if Tarasenko is exposed and taken by the Kraken under any circumstances, the Blues would get nothing in return for someone who was a perennial 30 goal-plus scorer until shoulder issues derailed his last two seasons.

Among forwards expected to be exposed by the Blues are Tyler Bozak, Mike Hoffman, Jaden Schwartz, Zach Sanford, Kyle Clifford and Mackenzie MacEachern.

Other than Dunn, defensemen expected to be exposed are Robert Bortuzzo, Niko Mikkola and Marco Scandella.

Prospects such as Dakota Joshua, Klim Kostin, Jake Neighbours and Jake Walman are exempt from the expansion draft because they don’t have enough pro experience. (In the case of Neighbours, the team’s first-round pick in the 2020 draft, he has no pro experience in terms of games played.)

There’s another wrinkle to the Seattle expansion draft. From 9 a.m. Sunday until 9 a.m. Wednesday, the Kraken can negotiate with and sign any free agents left unprotected by the other teams. If the Kraken sign a player during this period, he counts as the expansion pick from that team.

Bozak, Hoffman and Schwartz are unrestricted free agents. So if they are left unprotected, as expected by the Blues, they can negotiate and sign with the Kraken during the three-day window. The same holds for restricted free agents Dunn and Sanford, although it’s a different situation with them. As RFAs, the Kraken hold their rights merely by claiming them.

That’s not the case with unrestricted free agents — they remain eligible for free agency on July 28 if not signed by the Kraken. (So it makes no sense for the Kraken to claim an unrestricted free agent if they can’t sign him.)

Of the 30 players ultimately claimed by the Kraken — one from every team except the expansion draft-exempt Vegas Golden Knights – Seattle can end up with a maximum of 10 players who were free agents entering the negotiating window.

One last thing to keep in mind with the expansion draft. From 2 p.m. Saturday until noon on Thursday, there is a freeze on signing, trading or waiving players by the rest of the NHL teams. So if Tarasenko is not traded by 2 p.m. Saturday, he cannot be traded until Thursday afternoon. The Kraken have the playing field to themselves.

The NHL is expected to release the protected lists of all 30 teams on Sunday.

The latest STL Blues hockey news, NHL headlines, scores, standings and rosters.

Jim Thomas covers Blues hockey for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Email notifications are only sent once a day, and only if there are new matching items.

Get your questions ready and join in at 1 p.m. Wednesday for our weekly Blues chat.

Blues forward Vladmir Tarasenko practices on Tuesday, July 21, 2020, at the Centene Community Ice Center in Maryland Heights. (Christian Gooden, cgooden@post-dispatch.com)

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Blues release protected list for 2021 NHL expansion draft

St. Louis Game Time 18 July, 2021 - 09:53am

Players who have two years are less league experience did not have to be protected, which means that Klim Kostin and Dakota Joshua, among others, are safe. Players not safe are as follows:

Forwards: Sam Anas, Sammy Blais, Tyler Bozak, Kyle Clifford, Tanner Kaspick, Mike Hoffman, Mackenzie MacEachern, Curtis McKenzie, Austin Poganski, Zach Sanford, Jaden Schwartz, Nolan Stevens, Vladimir Tarasenko, and Nathan Walker

Defense: Robert Bortuzzo, Vince Dunn, Niko Mikkola, Mitch Reinke, Steven Santini, Marco Scandella, and Jake Walman

Goalies: Evan Fitzpatrick, Ville Husso, Jon Gillies

Mike Hoffman, Jaden Schwartz, and Tyler Bozak are all pending UFAs and currently the Kraken can talk with their agents about terms, if desired. If the Kraken sign any of the three - and they’re able to sign to an eight-year deal if they do - then that counts as their Blues selection for the draft. Basically, the Blues lose a player that they may have wanted to lose regardless, while protecting everyone else, thereby minimizing the impact of the draft.

As expected, Vladimir Tarasenko has been left unprotected in the draft, as has pending RFA Vince Dunn.

Why Vladimir Tarasenko isn't on the Blues' protected list for the expansion draft

The Athletic 17 July, 2021 - 11:18pm

Why Vladimir Tarasenko isn’t on the Blues’ protected list for the expansion draft

Blues won’t protect Vladimir Tarasenko in Seattle expansion draft: Source

The Athletic 17 July, 2021 - 06:27pm

The St. Louis Blues won't protect right winger Vladimir Tarasenko in the Seattle Kraken expansion draft, a source told The Athletic's Jeremy Rutherford on Saturday.

While Tarasenko is disappointed by the decision, a source tells The Athletic it's not the top reason he's upset with the organization and that he can't believe Blues general manager Doug Armstrong hasn't moved him yet. Tarasenko requested a trade from the club earlier this offseason, The Athletic reported on July 7. According to sources familiar with the situation, he feels there's no trust left between him and the organization after what he felt was a mishandling of his first two shoulder surgeries — performed in 2018 and 2019 by Blues physicians.

The 29-year-old winger has spent the first nine years of his NHL career with the Blues after the team drafted him in the first round in 2010. For five consecutive seasons from 2014-15 to 2018-19, Tarasenko scored 33 or more goals, but he's been limited to just 34 games and seven goals over the past two seasons following his second and third shoulder surgeries.

Tarasenko has two years left on his contract, which includes a no-trade clause, with a $7.5 million cap hit.

For more on Tarasenko not being protected in the expansion draft, read Rutherford's full story in the Go Deeper section below.

Jeremy Rutherford, Blues beat writer: There is a debate between sources close to Tarasenko and league sources as to whether there is any interest in the Blues forward, specifically whether other clubs are willing to pay his entire $7.5 million salary-cap hit.

But the bottom line is: it's been nearly two months since Tarasenko requested a trade, and if there was a suitable return, the Blues would have made the deal by now. There's not, thus the saga continues.

Rutherford: There are three things that could happen at this point: Tarasenko could be selected by Seattle in next Wednesday's draft; he could go unselected, remain with the Blues and traded at some point before the start of the 2021-22 season; or if the Blues find no takers, Tarasenko could be forced to show up for training camp in September.

That would not be good, because what had become a fractured relationship has now become a hostile situation.

One thing is certain about this St. Louis Blues offseason: you have questions and it's going to be busy.

Add a few teams to the list of potential Tarasenko destinations, plus the latest on Schwartz and the Blues' Kraken protection list.

Blues general manager Doug Armstrong is currently attempting to facilitate a deal to move the team's longtime star winger.

One thing is certain about this St. Louis Blues offseason: you have questions and it's going to be busy.

Add a few teams to the list of potential Tarasenko destinations, plus the latest on Schwartz and the Blues' Kraken protection list.

Blues general manager Doug Armstrong is currently attempting to facilitate a deal to move the team's longtime star winger.

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