The NHL expansion draft is happening as you read this (unless you’re reading this after the expansion draft has already happened), so why not do a mailbag exclusively about the topic? How would Marc Bergevin screw it up? What’s my protected list of movies? What’s the best music for the Golden Knights at home games? And how should expansion work during the next round of it?
It’s time for an EXPANDED mailbag! (It’s about the usual length, actually.)
1. Defending Your Life
Who would Bergevin pick as his top 6 D if he was Las Vegas GM?
— Jason Lavallee (@constantcolorup) June 19, 2017
This is fun. Marc Bergevin’s goal is to build as slow a blue line as possible, but with a dash of grit and pinch of leadership. The older, the better too. Bergevin’s favorite movie is probably Last Vegas, the story of a group of old men pretending they are still in their prime, so here are his six d-men.
Ron Hainsey–Michal Rozsival
Rob Scuderi–Deryk Engelland
Brooks Oprik–Roman Polak
And to fill out the roster, Bergevin would add a seventh defenseman by handing out a four-year, $16 million free-agent contract to Dan Girardi.
2. Back To The Future
The NHL is forcing me to watch a shitty awards show for the expansion draft? Why do they hate us?
— Dan (@Danstwatting) June 19, 2017
Because there is no competing league and you people all come crawling back after lockouts, so they know you’ll never turn away from them.
3. The World’s End
Who do you think Vegas takes/should take from the bottom 3 teams from the 16-17 season?
— Bryce (@BMcSherry) June 19, 2017
Avalanche — Duncan Siemens
Canucks — Reid Boucher
Blue Jackets — Lukas Sedlak
Yep, those are players from the bottom-three teams, as requested.
4. The Sound Of Music
What should Vegas use as their goal song?
— Dumb Doug (@LorenzoMeow) June 19, 2017
Here is the Vegas playlist:
** Goal song — “Viva Las Vegas” by Elvis Presley (obvious is good sometimes)
** Postgame, as fans exit the building — “Leaving Las Vegas” by Sheryl Crow
** When the team is struggling — “A Little Less Conversation” by Elvis Presley
** During all non-TV timeout stoppages — Everything off the “Ocean’s” soundtracks that’s the instrumental stuff during montages you know what I’m talking about
Then you have to work in Frank Sinatra as much as possible.
** “Ain’t That A Kick In The Head” whenever Zac Rinaldo or James Neal kicks someone in the head (so like three or four times per season)
** “Strangers In The Night” during and/or after all fights
** “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” before games against rivals like Arizona (and then the Kings once the Coyotes move to Seattle)
** “High Hopes” before games too
Then you have to work in clips from Vegas-based movies as much as possible.
** When the Knights are getting thumped (this will be a lot), play the scene from Leaving Las Vegas where Nicolas Cage is buying all the booze.
** There’s a scene in Showgirls where Jessie Spano says something isn’t fair and some dude says it’s not about fair, it’s about power. Play that when Toronto overturns a Vegas goal.
** You can probably use the scene from The Hangover when Stu loses a tooth where applicable.
** If Sidney Crosby ever chops a finger on a player’s right hand, grab that scene from Casino when they take a hammer to that cheater’s hand.
I’m just saying, you’re Vegas. Embrace it. Own it. Don’t just play the same dumb arena rock and pump-up clips the other 30 arenas use. Go over the top with Vegas stuff and never look back.
5. Howard’s End
Howard protected over Mrazek? Does Ken Holland have any clue what he's doing anymore?
— Brian Ditzek (@darkknt1047) June 19, 2017
I’m fine with it. I think it’s the right play and I expected all along they’d expose Jimmy Howard. Mrazek is a worse version of Jonathan Quick, who is only above average. Both are small, venture way out of their nets and get caught on rebounds and back-door plays, only Quick is way better at recovering and reacting.
Howard is older and more expensive, but I think he’s better.
6. Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas
how long will it take for a golden knights player to get into a serious gambling problem?
— Ley (@Ahemhem) June 19, 2017
I don’t think this will happen to a Knight. My money is on a visiting player or players having something come out about a night of crazy gambling or a fight at a club no later than Nov. 18. There’s something to be said for people who actually live in the debauchery having more control than those who live in it.
Think about New York and how often it’s dudes from other sports teams showing up and getting in trouble. Derek Jeter lived there for two decades and his big scandal was gift baskets. I’ve got money on Nazem Kadri, Patrick Kane or Tyler Seguin oversleeping for a morning skate in Vegas.
7. The Pick-Up Artist
Should vegas pick all AHL talent and tank the next 4-5 years to pull an Oilers type rebuild?
— Justin (@Just919) June 19, 2017
I’m tanking the crap out of this season. All I want are picks. I’m blackmailing teams for picks before the expansion draft. I’m picking guys I can trade before July 1 for picks. I’m picking guys I can trade at the next deadline for more picks.
After that, I work toward getting my NHL product more competitive. It took the Nashville Predators two decades to reach a Stanley Cup Final and you can argue they did more things properly than any expansion team. You can’t get caught up in results over the first five years. Just grab all the picks and young talent you can and hope for the best.
8. Protect And Serve
Protection list of movies
— Joe Lyle (@JLyle95) June 19, 2017
PROTECTED LIST (Four comedies, three dramas, one documentary)
My Cousin Vinny
The Big Lebowski
A League Of Their Own
Dead Poets Society
Million Dollar Baby
Marley & Me
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
This Is 40
Super Size Me
9. Why Him?
Why did the Blues protect Reaves?
— Ray Brinston (@RayBrinston) June 19, 2017
My only guess is they want to shed salary and hope that Jori Lehtera or David Perron are enticing enough to Vegas that they lose one of them. Nothing else really makes sense.
10. A Simple Plan
How would you modify the current expansion draft format before the next expansion?
— Charles Paradis (@charlesparadis_) June 19, 2017
Very simple. Here’s what I do.
1. I add a 32nd team in Seattle using the same expansion draft rules that exist now.
2. I remove eight teams — New Jersey, Arizona, Ottawa, Carolina, Florida, Winnipeg, Anaheim and Columbus.
3. I let all those players be drafted by the remaining 24 teams in reverse order of the previous year’s standings.
4. I allow for amnesty buyouts by all teams that add players from the other eight teams.
5. I am heralded as the greatest commissioner in sports history, as hockey improves by 200 percent, which includes league profits.