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Morning Flurries: Expansion is Coming

Colorado Avalanche goaltender Pavel Francouz won’t receive an exemption

New York Rangers v Colorado Avalanche Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images

While the Colorado Avalanche had a quiet Father’s Day weekend, the NHL continues to inch along in preparation for the July 21st expansion draft for the Seattle Kraken. Yesterday afternoon the league announced which players would be exempt from the expansion draft via Cap Friendly.

There had been some speculation that goaltender Pavel Francouz could be declared exempt because he did not play a single game in the 2020-21 season but it seems clear that those who have retired or are close to it are really only those who will not be available for Seattle. Now the Avalanche must expose Francouz if they re-sign Philipp Grubauer or otherwise acquire another goaltender.

Also in preparation for expansion the San Jose Sharks extended old friend Matt Nieto. The two-year deal has a cap hit of $850k. The Sharks needed forwards to expose under contract for the 2021-22 season and Nieto now satisfies the requirement. Elsewhere the Dallas Stars gave Blake Comeau a one-year $1M extension as well.

Its the offseason for affiliates too and the Colorado Eagles are getting to their season awards. Unsurprisingly Alex Newhook won the trophy for Best Dressed despite only appearing in eight games with the Eagles. There’s a good chance Loveland has seen the last of Newhook’s threads and hat game.

In ongoing contests, Game 5 between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the New York Islanders went off last night. This one was over early as Steven Stamkos scored just 45 seconds into the game and that was all the Lightning would need in an eventual 8-0 rout and to take back the series lead at 3-2 going into a possible elimination Game 6 on Long Island.