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Friday thoughts: Maatta/Daley, undrafted free agents, expansion is coming

A look at things going on in and around the Pittsburgh Penguins on an off-day of the Stanley Cup Final. See how the team is looking for the next crop of undrafted players, how will they handle the Olli Maatta / Trevor Daley pairing? Also a look at the schedule for the upcoming expansion

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The Pengiuns are in the Stanley Cup Final, but the #grind never stops. The hunt for the next undrafted free agent never ends:

Tirone is a goalie who is a rising senior at the University of New Hampshire and has been their starter for the past 3 years. He's also officially listed at a tiny-for-a-goalie 5'11, 175. Will anything come of it? Probably not. But good to see the tangible efforts that scouting never ends and searching for new talent will continue.


The Pens have been really steady with their defense if they've had health. The pairs have been constant: Dumoulin/Hainsey, Maatta/Daley, Cole/Schultz. All six regular defensemen entered the finals playing between 19-21 minutes, very even.

That may change, and is something worth watching. As anyone with eyes or an eye for stats knows, the Olli Maatta and Trevor Daley pair have had significant issues and difficulties throughout the season. Even though the pair rebounded and seemed to play well against Ottawa, they haven't in the first 2 games against the Predators. Coach Mike Sullivan adjusted and broke them up in the 2nd period of Game 2.

The gist of the change was to put Maatta with Justin Schultz and Daley on a pair with Ian Cole. It will be interesting to see if Sullivan, who's been stubborn about keeping Maatta/Daley together, will do so again as the Pens prep for Game 3.


The NHL released a schedule of events for the upcoming expansion process in a press release yesterday:

Monday, June 12 Deadline for Clubs to request that a Player "waive" his "No Move" clause for purposes of Expansion Draft (5 p.m. ET) (with the exception of Nashville and Pittsburgh, whose Deadline will be the later of: (i) 5 p.m. ET on June 12; or (ii) 5 p.m. ET on the day following the last day of the Stanley Cup Final).

Wednesday, June 14 Last possible day of 2017 Stanley Cup Final.

Thursday, June 15 First Buy-Out Period begins.

Deadline for Clubs to ask Players with "No Move" clauses whether they want to be placed on Waivers for purposes of Buy-Outs prior to Expansion Draft (11:59 am ET).

Friday, June 16 Last day to place Player on Waivers prior to Expansion Draft Trade/Waiver Freeze (12 p.m. ET).

Deadline for Players to agree to "waive" their "No Move" clauses for purposes of Expansion Draft (5 p.m. ET).

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).

There won't be much turnaround time for Pittsburgh at all with the Stanley Cup Final going on, especially if this series goes 6 or 7 days. If they want Marc-Andre Fleury to waive his no movement clause so that he could be eligible to be selected by Las Vegas, they would have to do so probably hours after the conclusion of the series.

Also, the team can make trades up to the June 17th freeze. In fact, it won't happen, but Pittsburgh could trade a player right now if they wanted to, just that since it's post trade-deadline no acquisition would be eligible to play in this season's playoff. That's very unlikely to be any sort of meaningful trade made while the playoffs are going on, of course, but just to point out that it is technically possible.