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Who Would Colorado Protect In An Expansion Draft?

While the league currently explores the idea of adding teams, we wonder how that might affect the Avalanche roster.

Brian Bahr/Getty Images

Expansion is on the minds of both the National Hockey League and its fans. With unbalanced conferences and a few large American television markets begging for the opportunity to host a franchise, it seems inevitable the league will try to add a team or two in the coming years. The recent general managers' meetings in Las Vegas (a proposed expansion city, itself) only confirmed our suspicions when they announced they would finally open a formal inquiry. But while the potential for new NHL teams is certainly exciting, the league is already dealing troubled and underperforming markets in various parts of the country. The prospective Seattle ownership's recent announcement that they would refrain from submitting a bid until an arena agreement can be reached is also a major set-back in the process.

But what happens when the NHL decides to expand? Just like in 2000, when the Columbus Blue Jackets and Minnesota Wild were added, there will be an expansion draft -- and that means players filling out key roles for current NHL teams are going to be playing in new cities. Journeyman goaltender Rick Tabaracci was selected from the Avalanche by the Blue Jackets (never appearing in another NHL game), while Cody McLeod progenitor Jeff Odgers was taken by the Wild (who would be put on waivers before ever suiting up for Minnesota).

In light of these events, SBNation is looking to host an Expansion Mock Draft with its writing community, and I wanted to get the conversation started:

If the NHL expands for 2016-17, who do the Avalanche protect?

In 2000, a team could protect either:

- One (1) goalie, five (5) defensemen, and nine (9) forwards. Or...

- Two (2) goalies, three (3) defensemen, and seven (7) forwards

Here is a link to a graphic featuring all of Colorado's contracts. Let me know what you think.