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GroupThink: SBNation Mock Expansion Protected List

To help relieve the summer doldrums, SB Nation is running a mock expansion draft. The two cities have been awarded (Quebec and Winnipeg) and the nicknames will be established today (Nordiques and Jets are the runaway non-original front runners). Now comes the fun part: we have to come up with a mock protected list for the Colorado Avalanche.

The rules of the deal are as follows:

  • Teams can protect either "1 goalie, 5 defensemen and 9 forwards" OR "2 goalies, 3 defensemen and 7 forwards."
  • If you go the two goalie route, at least one goalie left unprotected must have played in at least 10 games last season OR 25 games in the last two seasons combined. One game = at least 31 minutes.
  • Each team must leave unprotected at least one defenseman who appeared in 40 games last season OR 70 games in the last two seasons combined.
  • Each team must leave unprotected at least two forwards who appeared in 40 games last season OR 70 games in the last two seasons combined.

  • Players who have played in 49 or fewer games are automatically exempt and do not need to be protected.

The 49-game rule will exempt Ryan Stoa, Brandon Yip and Justin Mercier. Including John Grahame (who I believe is the only LEM player eligible to be taken), the Avalanche have 12 forwards, 6 defensemen and 3 goalies and it's our job to come up with a protected list from the listed players below.

Stastny Hannan
Duchene Liles
Hejduk Quincey
McLeod Foote
Winnik Cumiskey
O'Reilly Wilson
Jones Anderson
Porter Budaj
Koci Grahame

Porter and Jones are the only two players that didn't play in at least 40 games last year or 70 the last two years. At least two forwards and one defensemen need to have hit that plateau, so this fact may come into play later.

For now, though, I our job is to figure out if we are going to protect 1 goalie or 2. Protect one goalie (Anderson) and we risk losing Peter Budaj but we can 2 extra defensmen and 2 extra forwards. (A total of 60 players will be drafted and each existing team can lose no more than 1 D and 1 G). If you think the 8th best forward and 4th best defenseman on the above list is more worthy of protection than Budaj, then you'd want to go with the 1-goalie option in the poll. Once we determine which path to take, we'll narrow down our protected list later this week so get your vote in today.