How do expansions work?
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12-26-2010, 03:56 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Originally Posted by
I know they build buildings and stuff, but how are the teams able to get more players? Do they build through the draft or sign fa's from other leagues?
For each expansion there was an expansion draft where the new teams could select players from existing teams. There were rules on how many players could be protected by each existing team, what players were exempt, and how many players had to be made available.
Besides the expansion draft, expansion teams filled out their rosters with selections from the Entry Draft and UFAs.
The Sharks (1991) expansion draft was funky - due to the deal where the Gunds (owners of the North Stars) were granted the San Jose Franchise and Howard Baldwin (who had been granted the rights by the City of San Jose to operate an NHL team in the then San Jose Arena) became part of a partnership that bought the North Stars. The Sharks got to select players from the North Stars in a Dispersal Draft and then both the Sharks and the North Stars picked in the Expansion Draft.
The expansion draft rules changed over the years - but Wiki now has summaries of each draft including rules and players selected:
Dispersal Draft: Before the draft, the North Stars selected 14 skaters and two goaltenders who had played at least 50 NHL games by the end of the 1989–90 season. These players were protected. From the unprotected North Stars players (but excluding 1990 draft picks), the Sharks selected 14 skaters and two goaltenders. Up to three Shark selections could have been unsigned North Stars draft choices, while another three could have been players signed between May 2 and June 15, 1990.
After San Jose had chosen 14 skaters and two goaltenders from Minnesota, the teams would take turns choosing from the pool of unclaimed players until the Sharks roster reached thirty players.
Expansion Draft: The other 20 teams in the league were allowed to protect two goaltenders and 16 skaters. The Sharks and North Stars would take turns selecting from the pool of unprotected players until each had chosen ten players. 20 total players would be selected, one from each franchise.
21 of the 22 franchises in the league at the time of the draft were allowed to protect two goaltenders and fourteen position players (the San Jose Sharks were the only team exempt of protection restrictions as they were an expansion team the previous season). Beyond that, every team had to make available at least one goaltender who had played at least one game in the 1991–92 NHL season. This clause (known to the league teams far in advance) led to several trades so that teams could fulfill the requirement without exposing their two lead goaltenders. It also led to anomalies such as Ray LeBlanc (the star of the 1992 United States Olympic team) being put into the only NHL game of his career so that the Chicago Blackhawks could expose him, and therefore would not have to expose Ed Belfour, Dominik Hasek or Jimmy Waite.
There were 42 players selected in the draft, two from each participating franchise. The Lightning and Senators were each to pick two goaltenders, seven defensemen and twelve forwards.
The 24 teams existing in the league at the time of the draft were each allowed to protect one goaltender, five defensemen and nine forwards. All first-year pros were exempt from claim, and all second-year pros on the reserve list were exempt from claim.
48 players were chosen in the draft, two from each franchise. Only one goaltender or one defensemen could be selected from each franchise. Therefore, six teams would lose one goaltender and one forward, sixteen teams would lose one defenceman and one forward, and two teams would lose two forwards.
Both the Panthers and the Mighty Ducks were to select three goaltenders, eight defensemen, and thirteen forwards.
The Predators were to select 26 players, one from each of the 26 existing franchises at the time of the draft.
First- and second-year pros were exempt from being selected in the draft. Each of the 26 franchises in the league were allowed to protect either one goaltender, five defensemen and nine forwards or two goaltenders, three defensemen and seven forwards.
Of the unprotected players, each franchise had to include at least one forward and one defenseman who appeared in 40 games in the 1997–98 season. Each franchise also had to include at least one goaltender who appeared in 10 games in the 1997–98 season, and a minimum of 25 games since the 1995–96 season. These minimums for goaltenders were put into place in order to avoid manipulation of rosters, such as what occurred before the 1992 NHL Expansion Draft, which weakened the talent pool available in the draft.
This draft was interesting in that some of the players the Predators chose (e.g. Mike Richter and Uwe Krupp) were set to become unrestricted free agents on July 1, just days after the draft. The Predators knew they would have little chance to sign these players; however, they received a compensatory pick in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft for each player they "lost".
The Thrashers were to select 26 players, one from each existing franchise (except for the Nashville Predators) at the time of the draft. Each franchise was allowed to protect either one goaltender, five defensemen, and nine forwards or two goaltenders, three defensemen, and seven forwards. Teams which lost goaltenders in the 1998 NHL Expansion Draft (Anaheim, Los Angeles, Montreal, New Jersey and the New York Rangers) could not lose a goaltender in the 1999 Draft. 
The Thrashers were to choose at least three goaltenders, eight defensemen, and thirteen forwards. Their final two choices could be from any position.
26 of the 28 teams existing in the league at the time of the draft were each allowed to protect either one goaltender, five defensemen, and nine forwards or two goaltenders, three defensemen, and seven forwards. The Nashville Predators and Atlanta Thrashers had their entire rosters protected, as they were the two newest franchises in the league.
For teams protecting only one goaltender, there was no experience requirement for those left unprotected. For teams protecting two goaltenders, each goaltender left unprotected must have appeared in either 10 NHL games in the 1999–2000 season or 25 games in the 1998–99 season and 1999–2000 seasons combined. A goaltender had to be in net for at least 31 minutes in each game for the game to be counted against these totals.
At least one defenceman left unprotected by each team had to have appeared in at least 40 games in the 1999–2000 season or 70 games in the 1998–99 season and 1999–2000 seasons combined. At least two forwards left unprotected by each team had to have met the same requirements.
52 players were chosen in the draft, two from each participating franchise. Only one goaltender or one defensemen could be selected from each franchise. Both the Blue Jackets and the Wild were to use their first 24 selections on three goaltenders, eight defensemen, and thirteen forwards. The final two picks for each team could be any position.
How the expansion teams were treated w.r.t. their first Entry Draft also changed over time:
1991: The Sharks were given the #2 Pick (ie Not Eric Lindros) - Pat Faloon
1992: Tampa and Ottawa were given the #1 & # 2 picks (by coin flip) - Roman Hamerik & Alexie Yashin
1993: Anaheim and Florida were given the #4 & #5 picks (by coin flip) - Paul Kariya & Rob Niedermayer
1998: Nashville was awarded the #2 Pick, but got bumped to #3 when the Sharks won the Draft Lottery - Tampa exercised it's right from the Bryan Marchment Trade to swap picks with the Sharks, so the original draft order was Tampa, San Jose, Nashville. San Jose traded down and swapped picks with Nashville in return for a 2nd rounder, so Nashville ended picking #2 - David Legwand
1999: Atlanta was granted the #2 Pick and traded up with Tampa for the #1 - Patrik Stefan
2000: Minnesota & Columbus were granted teh #2 & #3 picks, but were bumped to #3 & #4 when the Isles won the Draft Lottery - Marian Gaborik & Rostislav Klesla
Last edited by kdb209: 12-26-2010 at
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