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Canadiens expose Price in Kraken expansion draft after goalie waives no-move clause – CBC.ca

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After backstopping the Montreal Canadiens to the Stanley Cup final, Carey Price has been left unprotected for the Seattle Kraken expansion draft.

Price could become the face of the NHL’s 32nd franchise if general manager Ron Francis and his staff decide to take on one of the biggest contracts in hockey.

The league released the protected lists of all 30 teams eligible for the expansion draft on Sunday morning. Seattle will pick one player from every team except Vegas — which just went through this process in 2017 — and announce those selections at the expansion draft on Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET.

Price agreed to waive a clause in his contract to be exposed so Montreal could protect cheaper backup Jake Allen, but his goaltending ability, off-ice marketability and ties to the Pacific Northwest could make Price an attractive option even with a salary cap hit of $10.5 million US for five more years.

The 2015 MVP and Vezina Trophy winner is the biggest star left unprotected for the Kraken to select, but there’s plenty of other talent available.

St. Louis winger Vladimir Tarasenko is an option two years removed from hoisting the Stanley Cup after asking the Blues for a trade. Calgary exposed captain and 2019 Norris Trophy-winning defenceman Mark Giordano. And Carolina surprisingly made forward Nino Niederreiter available.

Price is the most intriguing for Seattle, and the location likely helped convince the soon-to-be 34-year-old to waive his no-movement clause to be exposed. He played for the Western Hockey League’s Tri-City Americans a few hours’ drive away, and his wife, Angela, is from Kennewick, Wash.

Benefit of salary cap space

That could make Price a natural cornerstone for the Kraken to build around, like the Golden Knights did with goalie Marc-André Fleury, who was fresh off winning the Cup with Pittsburgh. Price and the Canadiens lost to Tampa Bay in five games in the final.

The back-to-back champion Lightning have easily the deepest pool of available players. Top-line winger Ondrej Palat, longtime forward Alex Killorn, third-line centre Yanni Gourde and young defenceman Cal Foote are all exposed. Squeezed by the cap that’s remaining flat at $81.5 million, they could also work out a side deal with the Kraken to take Spokane native Tyler Johnson and his $5-million price tag for three more seasons.

Seattle has all the leverage and the benefit of cap space.

“The one thing that we think is extremely, extremely valuable in this environment is cap space,” Francis said on Saturday. “We’ve got $81.5 million of cap space to play with, so that’s certainly something that we want to make sure we try and take advantage of moving forward.”

Seattle has certain minimums it must meet in the expansion draft, including selecting at least 20 players under contract for next season with salaries totalling at least $48 million. The Kraken must pick at least 14 forwards, nine defencemen and three goaltenders.

There’s no shortage of options:

  • Beyond Price, Dallas’s Ben Bishop, Florida’s Chris Driedger and Washington’s Vitek Vanecek are among the available goalies. Driedger is a pending free agent, but the Kraken have an exclusive negotiating window until Wednesday to sign him and others to a new contract.
  • Colorado captain Gabriel Landeskog, Toronto’s Alex Kerfoot and newly acquired Jared McCann, Pittsburgh’s Jason Zucker and Philadelphia’s James van Riemsdyk join the Lightning trio, Niederreiter and Tarasenko as the most productive forwards available.
  • Tarasenko’s Blues teammate Vince Dunn, New Jersey’s personable P.K. Subban and Washington’s Justin Schultz are among the unprotected defencemen, a position not quite as deep in high-end talent. That’s by design.

“Teams knew we were coming, and they’ve had four years to prepare,” Francis said.

WATCH | Get ready for a wild NHL off-season: 

Thanks to the Seattle Kraken, hockey fans will have plenty to keep them busy over the next few weeks. 2:57

Calgary Flames

Available

  • Byron Froese (F)
  • Glenn Gawdin (F)
  • Justin Kirkland (F)
  • Josh Leivo (F)
  • Milan Lucic (F)
  • Joakim Nordstrom (F)
  • Matthew Phillips (F)
  • Zac Rinaldo (F)
  • Brett Ritchie (F)
  • Buddy Robinson (F)
  • Derek Ryan (F)
  • Dominik Simon (F)
  • Mark Giordano (D)
  • Oliver Kylington (D)
  • Nikita Nesterov (D)
  • Alexander Petrovic (D)
  • Michael Stone (D)
  • Louis Domingue (G)
  • Tyler Parsons (G)

Protected

  • Mikael Backlund (F)
  • Dillon Dube (F)
  • Johnny Gaudreau (F)
  • Elias Lindholm (F)
  • Andrew Mangiapane (F)
  • Sean Monahan (F)
  • Matthew Tkachuk (F)
  • Rasmus Andersson (D)
  • Noah Hanifin (D)
  • Christopher Tanev (D)
  • Jacob Markstrom (G)

Edmonton Oilers

Available

  • Tyler Benson (F)
  • Alex Chiasson (F)
  • Adam Cracknell (F)
  • Tyler Ennis (F)
  • Joseph Gambardella (F)
  • Seth Griffith (F)
  • Dominik Kahun (F)
  • Jujhar Khaira (F)
  • Cooper Marody (F)
  • James Neal (F)
  • Alan Quine (F)
  • Patrick Russell (F)
  • Devin Shore (F)
  • Anton Slepyshev (F)
  • Kyle Turris (F)
  • Bogdan Yakimov (F)
  • Tyson Barrie (D)
  • Oscar Klefbom (D)
  • Slater Koekkoek (D)
  • Dmitry Kulikov (D)
  • William Lagesson (D)
  • Adam Larsson (D)
  • Kris Russell (D)
  • Mikko Koskinen (G)
  • Mike Smith (G)
  • Alex Stalock (G)

Protected

  • Josh Archibald (F)
  • Leon Draisaitl (F)
  • Zack Kassian (F)
  • Connor McDavid (F)
  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (F)
  • Jesse Puljujarvi (F)
  • Kailer Yamamoto (F)
  • Ethan Bear (D)
  • Duncan Keith (D)
  • Darnell Nurse (D)
  • Stuart Skinner (G)

Montreal Canadiens

Available

  • Brandon Baddock (F)
  • Joseph Blandisi (F)
  • Paul Byron (F)
  • Phillip Danault (F)
  • Laurent Dauphin (F)
  • Jonathan Drouin (F)
  • Michael Frolik (F)
  • Charles Hudon (F)
  • Corey Perry (F)
  • Michael Pezzetta (F)
  • Eric Staal (F)
  • Tomas Tatar (F)
  • Lukas Vejdemo (F)
  • Jordan Weal (F)
  • Cale Fleury (D)
  • Erik Gustafsson (D)
  • Brett Kulak (D)
  • Jon Merrill (D)
  • Gustav Olofsson (D)
  • Xavier Ouellet (D)
  • Shea Weber (D)
  • Charlie Lindgren (G)
  • Michael McNiven (G)
  • Carey Price (G)

Protected

  • Josh Anderson (F)
  • Joel Armia (F)
  • Jake Evans (F)
  • Brendan Gallagher (F)
  • Jesperi Kotkaniemi (F)
  • Artturi Lehkonen (F)
  • Tyler Toffoli (F)
  • Ben Chiarot (D)
  • Joel Edmundson (D)
  • Jeff Petry (D)
  • Jake Allen (G)

Ottawa Senators

Available

  • Vitaly Abramov (F)
  • Michael Amadio (F)
  • Artem Anisimov (F)
  • J.C. Beaudin (F)
  • Clark Bishop (F)
  • Evgenii Dadonov (F)
  • Jonathan Davidsson (F)
  • Ryan Dzingel (F)
  • Micheal Haley (F)
  • Jack Kopacka (F)
  • Zachary Magwood (F)
  • Matthew Peca (F)
  • Logan Shaw (F)
  • Derek Stepan (F)
  • Chris Tierney (F)
  • Josh Brown (D)
  • Cody Goloubef (D)
  • Mikael Wikstrand (D)
  • Joey Daccord (G)
  • Anton Forsberg (G)
  • Marcus Hogberg (G)
  • Matt Murray (G)

Protected

  • Drake Batherson (F)
  • Connor Brown (F)
  • Logan Brown (F)
  • Nick Paul (F)
  • Brady Tkachuk (F)
  • Austin Watson (F)
  • Colin White (F)
  • Thomas Chabot (D)
  • Victor Mete (D)
  • Nikita Zaitsev (D)
  • Filip Gustavsson (G)

Toronto Maple Leafs

Available

  • Kenny Agostino (F)
  • Joey Anderson (F)
  • Adam Brooks (F)
  • Pierre Engvall (F)
  • Nick Foligno (F)
  • Alex Galchenyuk (F)
  • Zach Hyman (F)
  • Alexander Kerfoot (F)
  • Kalle Kossila (F)
  • Denis Malgin (F)
  • Jared McCann (F)
  • Riley Nash (F)
  • Stefan Noesen (F)
  • Nic Petan (F)
  • Scott Sabourin (F)
  • Wayne Simmonds (F)
  • Jason Spezza (F)
  • Antti Suomela (F)
  • Joe Thornton (F)
  • Zach Bogosian (D)
  • Travis Dermott (D)
  • Ben Hutton (D)
  • Martin Marincin (D)
  • Calle Rosen (D)
  • Frederik Andersen (G)
  • Michael Hutchinson (G)
  • David Rittich (G)

Protected

  • Mitchell Marner (F)
  • Auston Matthews (F)
  • William Nylander (F)
  • John Tavares (F)
  • TJ Brodie (D)
  • Justin Holl (D)
  • Jake Muzzin (D)
  • Morgan Rielly (D)
  • Jack Campbell (G)

Vancouver Canucks

Available

  • Sven Baertschi (F)
  • Justin Bailey (F)
  • Jay Beagle (F)
  • Travis Boyd (F)
  • Loui Eriksson (F)
  • Jonah Gadjovich (F)
  • Tyler Graovac (F)
  • Jayce Hawryluk (F)
  • Matthew Highmore (F)
  • Lukas Jasek (F)
  • Kole Lind (F)
  • Zack MacEwen (F)
  • Petrus Palmu (F)
  • Antoine Roussel (F)
  • Brandon Sutter (F)
  • Jimmy Vesey (F)
  • Jake Virtanen (F)
  • Madison Bowey (D)
  • Guillaume Brisebois (D)
  • Jalen Chatfield (D)
  • Alexander Edler (D)
  • Travis Hamonic (D)
  • Brogan Rafferty (D)
  • Ashton Sautner (D)
  • Josh Teves (D)
  • Braden Holtby (G)

Protected

  • Brock Boeser (F)
  • Jason Dickinson (F)
  • Bo Horvat (F)
  • J.T. Miller (F)
  • Tyler Motte (F)
  • Tanner Pearson (F)
  • Elias Pettersson (F)
  • Olli Juolevi (D)
  • Tyler Myers (D)
  • Nate Schmidt (D)
  • Thatcher Demko (G)

Winnipeg Jets

Available

  • Mason Appleton (F)
  • Marko Dano (F)
  • Jansen Harkins (F)
  • Trevor Lewis (F)
  • Skyler McKenzie (F)
  • Mathieu Perreault (F)
  • Paul Stastny (F)
  • CJ Suess (F)
  • Nate Thompson (F)
  • Dominic Toninato (F)
  • Nathan Beaulieu (D)
  • Jordie Benn (D)
  • Dylan DeMelo (D)
  • Derek Forbort (D)
  • Luke Green (D)
  • Sami Niku (D)
  • Nelson Nogier (D)
  • Tucker Poolman (D)
  • Mikhail Berdin (G)
  • Laurent Brossoit (G)
  • Eric Comrie (G)
  • Cole Kehler (G)

Protected

  • Kyle Connor (F)
  • Andrew Copp (F)
  • Pierre-Luc Dubois (F)
  • Nikolaj Ehlers (F)
  • Adam Lowry (F)
  • Mark Scheifele (F)
  • Blake Wheeler (F)
  • Josh Morrissey (D)
  • Neal Pionk (D)
  • Logan Stanley (D)
  • Connor Hellebuyck (G)

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Canadiens’ salary cap situation heading into the draft & free agency – Habs Eyes on the Prize

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Some of the biggest stories of the off-season so far have revolved around the Montreal Canadiens. First, Shea Weber’s hockey future was thrown into doubt by reports of a serious injury, and the belief now is that his career is “probably” over, according to general manager Marc Bergevin.

The key bit of news when the Seattle Kraken expansion draft was approaching was that Carey Price was dealing with a less serious injury, but would nevertheless potentially miss the start of the new season. As a result he waived his no-movement clause and was available to be selected by the new team.

Seattle shied away from the $10.5-million cap hit, however, leaving Price unclaimed and free to re-enable his NMC to stay in Montreal.

Salary cap information via CapFriendly
Justin Blades/EOTP

That cap hit remains the largest on the team. Technically Weber’s is the second-highest on the books at almost $8 million, but he will likely be put on long-term injured reserve. For the intents and purposes of this graphic, removing his slice from the chart serves the same purpose; that cap space is free to be spent on other players.

There are six defencemen under contract for next season who played on the team in 2020-21, but Bergevin will want someone more of Weber’s calibre to take top-four minutes. Expect that to be one of his top priorities, and the first-round pick in tonight’s draft could be in play to acquire such a blue-liner.

He also needs to get a centreman to take big minutes against top players, because it’s sounding like Phillip Danault won’t be back with the team. Nick Suzuki has established himself as the top offensive option down the middle, but the team will be trying to add a number-two to back him up.

We also heard on Thursday that Jonathan Drouin is expected to play next year, so there are now eight forwards signed for next season, with five to six more to go. Restricted free agents Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Artturi Lehkonen can probably be re-signed relatively inexpesively, the former getting a birdge deal hoping to cash in a few seasons from now, and the latter a reliable bottom-six player. Corey Perry may also be offered a deal, but his interest in sticking around may depend on how Bergevin is able to restore the team’s contender status via his other moves.

There is a bit more than $21 million available to make this all happen. A small portion of the available space is eaten up by a bonus overage penalty the Canadiens were handed, but having your young players perform too well in the post-season is far from the worst problem an NHL team is facing. There are more young prospects who could step into lesser roles without needing big financial commitments, so there could be a major splash — or two — made in the coming days.

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Down Goes Brown: Let's painstakingly build the worst possible team-by-team first round in NHL Draft history – The Athletic

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Last year, in the aftermath of the NHL Draft, I took on a challenge from a reader. They wanted me to come up with the ultimate first round, one where I’d use one pick from each team to create the best possible list of 31 choices. I threw in a bunch of rules to make it overly complicated and got to work, and this was the final result.

People seemed to like it. We debated the picks in the comments, readers argued about which teams got shafted, and a few of you even tried to make your own version.

And then, as always, came the request: OK, now do the same thing but for the worst picks.

Yeah, I knew this was coming. So now, as we count down to the first round of the 2021 draft, that’s what we’re going to do.

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Tokyo Olympics officially begin under spectre of pandemic – Al Jazeera English

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The opening ceremony marks the beginning of the Summer Games, delayed by a year and held under unprecedented restrictions.

The opening ceremony of the Summer Olympic Games has begun in Tokyo, with a blaze of white and indigo fireworks officially kicking off the quadrennial international sporting event being held under the unprecedented circumstances of the coronavirus pandemic.

Japan’s Emperor Naruhito and Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach were followed by a small delegation carrying the Japanese flag as they entered Friday’s ceremony, which was initially scheduled to be held about a year earlier before its postponement due to surging COVID-19 infections across the world.

The procession was followed by a moment of silence for victims of the pandemic, as well as Israeli Olympians killed during the 1972 Munich games, before the first of an expected 5,700 athletes began streaming into the ceremony.

Only a few hundred dignitaries and special guests, including French President Emmanuel Macron and US First Lady Jill Biden, were allowed into the 68,000-capacity New National Stadium after games officials decided to largely bar spectators. International and domestic fans have been banned from all venues in Tokyo.

Top sponsors, including Toyota and Panasonic, also opted not to send their representatives to the opening event, with polls showing the Japanese public remaining largely against moving forward with the sprawling gathering in which about 11,000 athletes will contest 339 medal events across 50 disciplines in 33 sports over two weeks.

Japan’s flag is carried during the opening ceremony. [Leah Millis/Reuters]

Days preceding the ceremony have been defined by positive tests among athletes, officials and their small teams of support staff amid fears the games could become a super-spreader event.

On Friday, the number of Olympic-related infections since July 1 stood at 106, dashing the hopes of some athletes who have trained for years to qualify and forcing some events to already dip into carefully tailored contingency plans designed to assure the competition can proceed.

Concerns of further infection were on full display on Friday, with some country’s teams, notably Brazil, opting to send only their flagbearers as representatives at the ceremony.

Nevertheless, hundreds of people began gathering outside the Olympic Stadium on Friday hoping for a glimpse of what is usually an opportunity for the hosting country to offer an elaborate spectacle highlighting their history and culture to audiences watching around the world.

A small group of protesters also gathered outside of the event.

Anti-Olympics protesters gather outside the opening ceremony. ‘[Issei Kato/Reuters]

Reporting from outside the ceremony, Al Jazeera’s Andy Richardson said, “There’s a sense of almost disbelief hanging around this stadium.”

“There has been so much talk about this over the last 12 months – but here we are,” he said, adding that the planners of the event have said the programme will be “sombre and in sync with the sentiment of today, what this country and the world is going through with the pandemic.”

“The opening ceremony has always been a pretty integral part of the Games in showcasing the country’s national identity, but I don’t think many host cities have had to pull off quite such a balancing act to win over such a sceptical public,” he said.

Performers are seen during the opening ceremony. [Stefan Wermuth/Reuters]

Meanwhile, Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga sought to frame the games as the beginning of a return to normalcy after a year and a half of global uncertainty as he urged the athletes “to fully demonstrate their abilities and show us their very best performances”.

“The sight of athletes aiming to be the very best in the world gives dreams and courage to young people and children and deeply moves them,” he said in a video posted on Twitter.

Still, questions over the wisdom of moving forward with the games were not the only cloud to loom over Friday’s event.

In a last-minute scandal, the opening ceremony’s director, Kentaro Kobayashi, was fired on Thursday over jokes he made in the 1990s about the Holocaust.

Officials said the dismissal would not affect the programme.

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