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Ducks don’t protect Manson or Vatanen, may have deal with Vegas


during the third period of a game at Honda Center on October 26, 2016 in Anaheim, California.

Sean M. Haffey

Vegas Golden Knights GM George McPhee likely entertained multiple version of the question: “Am I better off picking that player or accepting the bounty that comes with picking a lesser one?”

The scenarios get even more interesting since, as of Sunday morning, the rest of the league knows which players are available and which ones are protected. With that in mind, the Golden Knights might be justified in serving as a “middle man” in getting valuable players and then flipping them for assets.

Yes, indeed: the hockey world is George McPhee’s oyster.

On paper, the Anaheim Ducks offer up absolutely tantalizing options in the expansion draft, especially considering how much value Sami Vatanen and/or Josh Manson could bring on the open market:

Honestly, one could have a lot of fun debating Vatanen or Manson ... but it sounds like the Ducks worked out a “side deal” with the Golden Knights, according to the OC Register’s Eric Stephens.

For the most part, Anaheim’s depth is a blessing. The expansion draft presents one of those rare moments where that deep group of defensemen can be at least a bit of a curse.

We’ll see if the Ducks manage to pay their way out of the situation.

While we wait, it’s still fun to ponder: a) Vatanen vs. Manson and b) who you’d take if those two were off the table.