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There are plenty of big days coming up as the Vegas Golden Knights’ expansion draft rapidly approaches, but Saturday is one of the biggest so far.

The NHL is instituting two big deadlines regarding the expansion draft today:

Trade freeze: At 3 p.m. ET, all 30 of the teams outside of the Golden Knights must halt trades. There’s also an “expansion draft signing moratorium” for everyone except Vegas, but the trade freeze is most likely to generate some interesting moments today.

It’s believed that Golden Knights GM George McPhee already has some deals brewing that will give him picks (and more?) to guide his hand away from teams’ unprotected players.

Speaking of trades, it might take some time for rumors to turn into confirmations, at least when it comes to teams paying a ransom for the Golden Knights to take specific players.

Of course, today’s deadline is more about teams making deals between each other to avoid losing players, at least on its face.

Protected lists due: At 5 p.m. ET, every team except the Golden Knights must submit their list of protected players.

Fans will get a treat on Sunday, as 10 a.m. ET stands as the deadline for the league to “approve and simultaneously distribute” said protected lists.

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As a reminder, here are the rules regarding who teams can protect:

Protected Lists

* Clubs will have two options for players they wish to protect in the Expansion Draft:

a) Seven forwards, three defensemen and one goaltender

b) Eight skaters (forwards/defensemen) and one goaltender

* All players who have currently effective and continuing “No Movement” clauses at the time of the Expansion Draft (and who to decline to waive such clauses) must be protected (and will be counted toward their club’s applicable protection limits).

* All first- and second-year professionals, as well as all unsigned draft choices, will be exempt from selection (and will not be counted toward their club’s applicable protection limits).

Also, take an updated look at the remaining deadlines/key dates/etc. for the expansion draft (this might be friendlier to the eye).

Saturday, June 17 Commencement of the Expansion Draft Trade/Waiver Freeze for all NHL Clubs with exception of the Expansion Club (3 p.m. ET).

Commencement of Expansion Draft Signing Moratorium on NHL SPCs for all NHL Clubs with exception of the Expansion Club (3 p.m. ET).

Deadline for each Club to simultaneously submit its Protection List to Central Registry and the NHLPA (5 p.m. ET).

Sunday, June 18 Deadline for Central Registry to approve and simultaneously distribute the Protection Lists to all NHL Clubs (including the Expansion Club) and the NHLPA (10 a.m. ET).
 
Opening of the UFA/RFA Interview Period (only applies to Players who are available for selection in the Expansion Draft) for the Expansion Club only (10 a.m. ET).

Wednesday, June 21 Deadline for the Expansion Club to simultaneously submit its Expansion Draft Selections to Central Registry and the NHLPA (10 a.m. ET).

Deadline for the Expansion Club to submit SPCs for any pending UFA/RFAs who are selected by the Expansion Club and signed to a new contract (10 a.m. ET). The Expansion Club is permitted to sign a current or pending Free Agent on a Current Club’s list of Available Players during the period between 10:01 a.m. ET on Sunday, June 18, and 9:59 a.m. ET on Wednesday, June 21, and in so doing will be deemed to have made its Expansion Draft selection from such Current Club. If the Expansion Club signs a Restricted Free Agent from the Available List of a Current Club during said period, the Current Club will not be entitled to any compensation from the Expansion Club.

Official distribution and announcement of the Expansion Club’s Selections in conjunction with the 2017 NHL Awards presented by T-Mobile (8 p.m. ET).

Thursday June, 22 Expansion Draft Signing Moratorium and Trade/Waiver Freeze are lifted (8 a.m. ET).

PHT will be here to guide you through what could be a wild ride.

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