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SB Nation's Mock NHL Expansion Draft: Creating the Flyers' protected list

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The SB Nation hockey community is in the process of putting together a mock expansion draft. Last week, at, we polled readers, asking them which cities to which our league should expand. The results? Quebec and Winnipeg.

So over the weekend, when we polled them on team nicknames... well, let's just say people aren't that creative.

The Quebec Nordiques and Winnipeg Jets are ready to draft, but first, they need a pool of players to pick from. That's where we come in, sort of. Each team blog at SB Nation is creating a "protected list" of players that cannot be poached away from their team. The remaining players will be available for the two new GM's -- Gabe Desjardins and James Mirtle -- to select.

After the jump, we'll break down a few rules and start the debate.

The rules 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.

- If you've played 49 games or less in the NHL, you're exempt and automatically protected.

According to those rules, the following players are exempt from this process:

Goalies: Johan Backlund, Sergei Bobrovsky, Nicola Riopel, Brian Stewart

Defense: Erik Gustafsson, Marc-Andre Bourdon, Joonas Lehtivuori, Kevin Marshall, Tyler Hostetter

Forwards: Mike Testwuide, Andrew Rowe, Stefan Legein, David Laliberte, Andreas Nodl, Garrett Klotz, Ben Holmstrom, Luke Pither, Shane Harper, Eric Wellwood, Zac Rinaldo, Patrick Maroon, Matt Clackson

We're obviously going the "1 goalie" route, so we need to protect...

- one goaltender

- five defensemen

- nine forwards

So, let's get the obvious selections out of the way.

On defense, we'll be protecting Chris Pronger, Kimmo Timonen, Matt Carle and Braydon Coburn. That's four, leaving one spot open.

At forward, we'll be protecting Danny Briere, Mike Richards, Jeff Carter, James van Riemsdyk, Claude Giroux, Nikolai Zherdev and Ville Leino. You're probably asking why Scott Hartnell isn't on the list. Well, we didn't have an internal consensus on protecting him, and the money could prevent him from even being selected in the expansion draft.

We'll debate this more as we go on.

We have one more defenseman to protect, one goaltender and two forwards. This is the pool of players that are still unprotected.

Goal (select one): Michael Leighton, Brian Boucher

Defense (select one): Andrej Meszaros, Oskars Bartulis, Matt Walker, Sean O`Donnell, Dan Jancevski

Forwards (select two): Scott Hartnell, Ian Laperriere, Blair Betts, Dan Carcillo, Jody Shelley, Darroll Powe, Greg Moore

We'll open polling on each of these positions later today, and that'll stretch into tomorrow, but for now, let's just start the debate on this. Who from this list should be protected?