Commissioner Gary Bettman suggested recently that the upper limit might remain at or close to last year's mark of $73 million.
The Golden Knights have hired a general manager, George McPhee.
Bettman won't necessarily be handing over the keys to NHL HQ but right now, McPhee is the boss. Vegas could agree, for example, not to pick a certain player in exchange for a draft pick.
McPhee has often indicated he wants a team that can skate fast, move the puck quickly in transitioning from defense to offense, win battles along the boards and in front of the net, play with a bit of an edge and outwork the opposition.
The Florida Panthers protected their defensive core from the upcoming National Hockey League expansion draft - but they left some scorers available to the Vegas Golden Knights. He took a few moments away to speak with the Vegas media on Sunday.
Got all that? The examples for other clubs go on and on.
The Blues' finalized protected list for the upcoming National Hockey League expansion draft was revealed Sunday, and there weren't really any surprises. "We really like what we're looking at right now". "We expect to put a good, entertaining club on the ice".
"We have an idea of who we're going to protect, but I'm not going to let anybody know what those players are because we're still talking to different teams and we still might make a move", Canucks GM Jim Benning said in an interview. "There's lots of chatter, but there's lots of teams in the bucket of not being able to do anything without impacting what their list is".
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"Some of the things we were anxious about with no-move clauses and that sort of thing didn't happen and I think the harvest of assets that we were going to have now will be what we are hoping for".
GM: We're focusing on everything. Carpenter was a pending unrestricted free agent, while Heed and Ryan were both restricted. We've done this well enough that we were happy with what we saw this morning... But I still think there's a minimal chance Mrazek could get selected. They want those stars to bolt and change the entire sport (what that Kevin Durant guy did in Golden State, for example) in the process, or blockbuster trades they can overanalyze for weeks. Until the players are our property, I can't talk about them.
While you could argue that Marchessault is unproven, you could also say that he was one of the best players on a very young, competitive Panthers team at the end of 2016.
McPhee has said he's had contact with all teams and was expected to have several trades in place.
Will there be hard positional discussions? New teams haven't been given opportunities to get quality players from other teams in the past. Now, this is our club that's up on the board.
When it came to protected players, much of the Blackhawks' situation was easy to figure out due to their contract situations.
It's already begun to happen. The Islanders were the only team to protect five defensemen, and they might still lose blue-liner Calvin de Haan. "Whoever we lose, we're going to lose a good player".