There may still be hope for hockey fans who watched one of their favorite players get scooped up by the Vegas Golden Knights during the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft. The NHL has clarified that teams can make a trade to reacquire a player they lost in the expansion draft (assuming the league believes the two sides didn’t work out a deal prior to the draft), but they will be unable to trade for players who were moved prior to the expansion draft until January 1st, 2018.

Here’s Pierre LeBrun to summarize:

That second note refers to a team trying to protect additional assets by setting up an agreement with the Golden Knights prior to the draft. The league is allowing deals in which teams traded with the Golden Knights to sway which player the Golden Knights selected, but they won’t allow any in which they feel a trade was made to skirt the rules of the draft.

However, players moved before the draft have to stay where they are until the first of the new year.

Thanks for clarifying, Pierre. We’re sorry that you share a first name with one of the most despised analysts in sports.

In other words, the NHL is doing the best they can to prevent teams from trying to game the system. It also means that if the Tampa Bay Lightning suddenly regret trading Jonathan Drouin to the Montreal Canadiens (they might), they can’t do anything about it until January 1st.

It remains to be seen whether or not any teams will try to reacquire a player they lost in the expansion draft, but now we at least know it’s within the rules.

About David Rogers

Editor for The Comeback and Contributing Editor for Awful Announcing. Lover of hockey, soccer and all things pop culture.