Metropolitan Division 2013 NHL Mock Expansion Draft

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

In a division that is basically one giant urban area, 8 teams will battle it out with their close geographical neighbors as travel times will be down, but rivalries will expand.

The Metropolitan Division may not have the most likable name in hockey, but the intensity of the rivalries should more than make up for the name. The former Atlantic Division is joined by Carolina and Washington from the Southeast, while Columbus makes the switch over to the Eastern Conference.

Following the previous models of expansion drafts, most recently in June of 2000 when Minnesota and Columbus got the chance to pick a rag tag group of players from a list that their NHL counterparts had chosen not to protect. When Geoff Sanderson is the best of that bunch, you know that there's not a lot to choose from. Which is not meant to be a slight to Sanderson, who put in 355 NHL goals and was more than capable of contributing to his team, but is meant to show that there were no superstars available for the choosing.

The reason for that was that each team was allowed to select players they would protect from being chosen. They had the option of protecting 1 goalie, 5 defenders and 9 forwards, or they could protect 2 goalies but that would mean they could only protect 3 defenders and 7 forwards. There were also stipulations on ensuring that some players with experience were left open to be chosen, such as a defender per team that had played 40 NHL games the previous season, or 70 in the previous 2. There is yet another stipulation protecting first or second year players. Only one player is to be chosen from any team.

As close as these teams are geographically, it is the polar opposite for Seattle, who would be picking their players from a continent away. Here's how I think the players get protected:

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CAROLINA HURRICANES

The Hurricanes do not have a full roster right now, making it both easy and difficult to choose players. Assuming Komisarek meets the requirements for leaving a veteran defender unprotected, he is the obvious choice, while the pickings at forward were also slim.

Protected Unprotected
G Cam Ward G Anton Khudobin
D Joni Pitkanen D Mike Komisarek
D Tim Gleason F Patrick Dwyer
D Andrej Sekera F Kevin Westgarth
D Jay Harrison
D Justin Faulk
F Eric Staal
F Jordan Staal
F Alexander Semin
F Jeff Skinner
F Tuomo Ruutu
F Jiri Tlusty
F Jeremy Welsh
F Drayson Bowman
F Jared Staal

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COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS

Their drive for the post-season came up just short last year, and, even with an expansion draft, the Blue Jackets should be in contention to crack the post season again as part of the Metropolitan Division.

Protected Unprotected
G Sergei Bobrovsky G Curtis McElhinney
D James Wisniewski D Dalton Prout
D Fedor Tyutin F Jack Skille
D Jack Johnson F Mark Letestu
D Nikita Nikitin F Jared Boll
D Tim Erixon F Derek MacKenzie
F Marian Gaborik F Blake Comeau
F Nathan Horton
F R.J. Umberger
F Brandon Dubinsky
F Artem Anisimov
F Cam Atkinson
F Nick Foligno
F Matt Calvert
F Ryan Johansen

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NEW JERSEY DEVILS

It feels like a sacrilege to leave Martin Brodeur unprotected, but it appears that the Devils have hitched their wagon to Cory Schneider for the foreseeable future. I doubt Brodeur would get picked though, or that he would really be all that willing to go if chosen.

Protected Unprotected
G Cory Schneider G Martin Brodeur
D Anton Volchenkov D Mark Fayne
D Marek Zidlicky D Peter Harrold
D Bryce Salvador F Dainius Zubrus
D Andy Greene F Steve Bernier
D Adam Larsson F Krystofer Barch
F Travis Zajac F Jacob Josefson
F Patrik Elias F Mattias Tedenby
F Ryane Clowe F Stephen Gionta
F Jaromir Jagr
F Adam Henrique
F Andrei Loktionov
F Michael Ryder
F Rostislav Olesz
F Ryan Carter

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NEW YORK ISLANDERS

Remember way back when I said the Panthers looked bad? Well...they do! The Islanders have the lowest cap hit in the league, and that includes over 2 million to Alexei Yashin, and they STILL look better than Florida. I guess that's a perk when you have John Tavares on your roster.

Protected Unprotected
G Evgeni Nabokov G Kevin Poulin
D Lubomir Visnovsky D Andrew MacDonald
D Travis Hamonic D Joe Finley
D Matt Carkner F Casey Cizikas
D Brian Strait F Matt Martin
D Thomas Hickey F Peter Regin
F John Tavares F Colin McDonald
F Matt Moulson F Eric Boulton
F Josh Bailey
F Michael Grabner
F Kyle Okposo
F Anders Lee
F Pierre-Marc Bouchard
F Frans Nielsen
F Cal Clutterbuck

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NEW YORK RANGERS

I briefly considered leaving Brad Richards unprotected, but my name is not John Tortorella, and the Rangers would be wise to keep the centerman handy.

Protected Unprotected
G Henrik Lundqvist G Martin Biron
D Michael Del Zotto D John Moore
D Ryan McDonagh D Justin Falk
D Marc Staal D Aaron Johnson
D Dan Girardi F Taylor Pyatt
D Anton Stralman F Benoit Pouliot
F Rick Nash F Darroll Powe
F Brad Richards F Dominic Moore
F Ryan Callahan F Arron Asham
F Derick Brassard
F Carl Hagelin
F Chris Kreider
F Derek Dorsett
F Mats Zuccarello
F Brian Boyle

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PHILADELPHIA FLYERS

The Flyers just signed Mark Streit as a UFA for big bucks and big term. That was stupid, so he's unprotected. Also Nik Grossmann, mostly because I don't see him as worth the contract he has.

Protected Unprotected
G Ray Emery G Steve Mason
D Kimmo Timonen D Mark Streit
D Andrej Meszaros D Chris Pronger
D Luke Schenn D Nicklas Grossmann
D Braydon Coburn D Bruno Gervais
D Erik Gustafsson D Marc-Andre Bourdon
F Scott Hartnell F Adam Hall
F Vincent Lecavalier F Zac Rinaldo
F Jakub Voracek F Jay Rosehill
F Wayne Simmonds
F Claude Giroux
F Brayden Schenn
F Sean Couturier
F Matt Read
F Maxime Talbot

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PITTSBURGH PENGUINS

The Penguins do not feature the deepest team in the league, but they are so front loaded it barely makes a difference. The offseason reacquisition of Rob Scuderi made it possible for Engelland and Niskanen to go unprotected.

Protected Unprotected
G Marc-Andre Fleury G Tomas Vokoun
D Kris Letang D Matt Niskanen
D Paul Martin D Deryk Engelland
D Brooks Orpik D Robert Bortuzzo
D Rob Scuderi F Tanner Glass
D Simon Despres F Joe Vitale
F Sidney Crosby F Matt D`Agostini
F Evgeni Malkin
F James Neal
F Chris Kunitz
F Pascal Dupuis
F Dustin Jeffrey
F Jussi Jokinen
F Brandon Sutter
F Craig Adams

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WASHINGTON CAPITALS

Decent depth at forward is overshadowed by a lack of current depth at D. The Capitals had better hope the limited help in the prospect pool pans out.

Protected Unprotected
G Braden Holtby G Michal Neuvirth
D Mike Green D Jack Hillen
D John Carlson D Steven Oleksy
D Karl Alzner F Jason Chimera
D John Erskine F Aaron Volpatti
D Tomas Kundratek F Jay Beagle
F Alex Ovechkin
F Nicklas Backstrom
F Brooks Laich
F Martin Erat
F Marcus Johansson
F Troy Brouwer
F Mathieu Perreault
F Joel Ward
F Eric Fehr

Like what you see? Disagree completely? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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