Pacific Division 2013 NHL Mock Expansion Draft

USA TODAY Sports

If an Expansion team were to be awarded to Seattle, their logical destination would be the Pacific Division. We take a look at how their potential rivals would posture themselves in order to protect their valued players.

With 7 teams in the Mountain and Pacific time zones, it seems only logical that, if the NHL wishes to even out the divisions at 8 teams apiece, this division would need another team. Seattle would be a logical solution, and would allow for coastal rivalries with the California teams as well as their nearest rival in Vancouver, B.C.

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.

So how do these teams protect their current players from a new neighbour? We take a look below:

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ANAHEIM DUCKS

Right off the bat we see a team that would likely want to protect 2 goalies. But they can't. You see, there's also another rule that if a team wishes to protect 2 goalies, they have to have a third goalie available that either played 10 games the previous full season, or 25 the previous 2 seasons. The Ducks do not have that option and suddenly one of their goalies is available: Jonas Hiller.

Protected Unprotected
G Viktor Fasth G Jonas Hiller
D Cam Fowler D Sheldon Souray
D Francois Beauchemin D Ben Lovejoy
D Luca Sbisa F Patrick Maroon
D Sami Vatanen F Daniel Winnik
D Bryan Allen F Matt Beleskey
F Ryan Getzlaf F Nick Bonino
F Corey Perry F Brad Staubitz
F Kyle Palmieri
F Peter Holland
F Saku Koivu
F Devante Smith-Pelly
F Jakob Silfverberg
F Andrew Cogliano
F Dustin Penner


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CALGARY FLAMES

With Kiprusoff constantly threatening retirement, he was left unprotected as it would seem likely he would refuse to report to a new team at this stage of his career. The Flames would be wise to take advantage of that.

Protected Unprotected
G Karri Romo G Miikka Kiprusoff
D Dennis Wideman G Joey MacDonald
D Mark Giordano D Shane O`Brien
D TJ Brodie D Derek Smith
D Chris Butler F Tim Jackman
D Kris Russell F Ben Hanowski
F Mike Cammalleri F Brian McGrattan
F Jiri Hudler F Blair Jones
F David Jones
F Matt Stajan
F Curtis Glencross
F Mikael Backlund
F Lee Stempniak
F T.J. Galiardi
F Roman Horak

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EDMONTON OILERS

Sooner or later the pieces will be in place for the Oilers to make a real go of it. As they have finally started to invest in defense, that time may be rapidly approaching.

Protected Unprotected
G Devan Dubnyk G Jason LaBarbera
D Ladislav Smid D Nick Schultz
D Andrew Ference D Anton Belov
D Justin Schultz D Denis Grebeshkov
D Jeff Petry D Corey Potter
D Philip Larsen F Ryan Smyth
F Anton Lander F Jesse Joensuu
F Jordan Eberle F Mike Brown
F Taylor Hall
F Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
F Sam Gagner
F Ales Hemsky
F David Perron
F Boyd Gordon
F Ryan Jones

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LOS ANGELES KINGS

A few good players available for the choosing. That's what happens when you're a Cup contender like the Kings.

Protected Unprotected
G Jonathan Quick G Ben Scrivens
D Drew Doughty D Willie Mitchell
D Slava Voynov D Robyn Regehr
D Jake Muzzin D Keaton Ellerby
D Matt Greene D Jeff Schultz
D Alec Martinez F Colin Fraser
F Anze Kopitar F Daniel Carcillo
F Mike Richards F Dwight King
F Jeff Carter F Jordan Nolan
F Matt Frattin
F Justin Williams
F Jarret Stoll
F Dustin Brown
F Trevor Lewis
F Kyle Clifford

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PHOENIX COYOTES

With their ownership woes behind them (for now), the Coyotes can finally focus on putting a quality product on the ice to attract fans to watch on the soon to be named Arizona Coyotes.

Protected Unprotected
G Mike Smith G Thomas Greiss
D Oliver Ekman-Larsson D Derek Morris
D Keith Yandle D David Schlemko
D Zbynek Michalek F Brandon Yip
D Rostislav Klesla F Rob Klinkhammer
D Michael Stone
F Mike Ribeiro
F Antoine Vermette
F Martin Hanzal
F Radim Vrbata
F Shane Doan
F Lauri Korpikoski
F David Moss
F Kyle Chipchura
F Paul Bissonnette

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SAN JOSE SHARKS

We'll see if the Brent burns experiment continues to work for the Sharks. The former defender got a big payday before switching to the wing. Let's see if he's earned it this season.

Protected Unprotected
G Antti Niemi G Alex Stalock
D Dan Boyle D Scott Hannan
D Marc-Edouard Vlasic D Justin Braun
D Brad Stuart F Adam Burish
D Jason Demers F Tommy Wingels
D Matt Irwin F Andrew Desjardins
F Joe Thornton
F Patrick Marleau
F Logan Couture
F Joe Pavelski
F Martin Havlat
F Brent Burns
F James Sheppard
F Tyler Kennedy
F Raffi Torres

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VANCOUVER CANUCKS

The window of opportunity for the Canucks to seize a Stanley Cup is rapidly closing, and they will be banking on Roberto Luongo to take one last shot at Lord Stanley's mug this season.

Protected Unprotected
G Roberto Luongo G Eddie Lack
D Alexander Edler D Chris Tanev
D Kevin Bieksa F Tom Sestito
D Dan Hamhuis

F Dale Weise

D Jason Garrison F Jordan Schroeder
D Yannick Weber
F Henrik Sedin
F Daniel Sedin
F Alexandre Burrows
F Ryan Kesler
F David Booth
F Chris Higgins
F Jannik Hansen
F Brad Richardson
F Zack Kassian

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

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