Colorado Avalanche: Expansion Draft Just Got More Interesting

Mar 4, 2017; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; Colorado Avalanche defenseman Francois Beauchemin (32) poses for a photo prior to the game between the Winnipeg Jets and the Colorado Avalanche. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 4, 2017; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; Colorado Avalanche defenseman Francois Beauchemin (32) poses for a photo prior to the game between the Winnipeg Jets and the Colorado Avalanche. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports /

The Colorado Avalanche are already involved in a rather precarious expansion draft situation, but with the updated rules, things just got more interesting.

The NHL announced updated expansion draft rules on Thursday, and it just made things more interesting for the Avs.

First of all, hopefully everyone is aware of what the Avs need to do to protect the players they want to. If not, it really comes down to one thing, getting Francois Beauchemin to waive his no-movement clause (NMC), or buy him out of his contract.

Luckily for the Avs, the way they can do that just became more clear cut. I’ll run through the updated rules in a second. However, first keep in mind that regardless of these updated stipulations, the Avs may be unable to convince Beauch to waive his NMC.

Second, keep in mind that trades may ultimately make the current protection list a moot point. With that being said, the trade window just got closed quite a bit with the new rules. So, let’s run ’em through.

Updated Expansion Draft Rules Detailing Specificity for the Avs

These rules were probably in place the entire time that this draft was being imagined, but it is a bit funny that they were just released.

Regardless, a lot of these rules were necessary additions to help fans understand the expansion draft at least, as I’m sure GMs were pretty aware of what it meant to them and their clubs.

Let’s get started, shall we. Here are the rules, as provided from

Monday June 12

This is the deadline for the Colorado Avalanche to request that Francois Beauchemin waive his NMC. They must submit this request by 3:00pm MST.

Thursday June 15

This is when the buyout period begins. Essentially, the Avs — if they intend on buying out Beauch — must ask him if he wants to be placed on waivers prior to the expansion draft. The deadline for this is 9:59am MST.

Friday June 16

This is the last day that the Avs can place Beauch on waivers because a waiver freeze will go into effect at 10am MST. Furthermore, this is also the deadline for Beauchemin to decide whether or not he wants to waive his NMC, which he has to decide by 3:00pm MST. A little confusing? Yes it is isn’t it, but that’s how it reads folks.

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Saturday June 17

A complete waiver/trade/roster freeze is put in action at 1:00pm MST. The Avs have to submit their protection list by 3:00pm MST on this date.

Sunday June 18- Thursday June 22

From the moment the trade freeze is put in place on Saturday at 1:00pm MST, only the Las Vegas Golden Knights are allowed to make trades, sign players off waivers and talk to free agents.

That is mainly what they will be doing during the time period, as well as selecting players from team’s rosters of course. The roster they choose will be announced during the NHL awards ceremony on Wednesday June 21 (the ceremony begins at 6:00pm MST).

On Thursday June 22, the roster freeze will be lifted, a day before the entry draft begins.

What Does All of This Mean for the Colorado Avalanche?

That’s a confusing mess of deadlines. But what does it all mean?

Well, for one, trades just got a lot more interesting. June 14 is the latest that the Stanley Cup Final can extend to, if it goes to game seven.

If that happens, the Colorado Avalanche will have a total of essentially two days to make trades before the roster freeze is put in place.

They also only have four days to get Beauch to waive his NMC before the expansion draft. So, these new rules will either cause mass mayhem as soon as the Cup is lifted, or they will stifle it.

Related Story: Best-Case Scenario for the Avs in the Expansion Draft

There are a lot of teams out there that want to make trades prior to the expansion draft. And, it just became much more difficult to do that.

However, clubs know how to work fast at the trade deadline, so they are likely to figure out this timeframe as well. Theoretically however, no clubs are talking trade right now, because they technically aren’t allowed to, except on the golf course.

In all seriousness, trade talk is not allowed from the trade deadline until the Cup is lifted. So, finding a trade that makes sense for both sides in — at the very most — 12 days, could be difficult. However, that’s only if the Penguins sweep. Six games is more likely, which would cut that window in half.


This is a big deal to the Colorado Avalanche. One, hopefully they are able to convince Francois Beauchemin to waive his NMC.

At this point, it’s pretty clear that any waive of a NMC is solely for expansion draft purposes, and it immediately goes back into effect after the expansion draft is over. The player is either taken by the Knights or he isn’t, and then he rides out the rest of his contract.

That doesn’t sound like a bad deal for Beauchemin. First of all, I would be very surprised if the Knights took him. Second of all, he’d still have a contract, which is his ultimate desire. Finally, this allows both sides the most flexibility. Beauch gets a chance to stay in the NHL (if he’s bought out it would mean retirement), and the Avs get to maneuver the expansion draft with ease.

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If the Avs are unable to convince him to waive, then it comes down to two options. They either trade a player they have to protect for a player they don’t have to (i.e. a second year defenseman *cough* Jaccob Slavin *cough*). Or, they buyout Francois Beauchemin’s contract for the freedom to go with the 7/3/1 protection option.

The trade window became more clear cut in the wake of these expansion draft rules being released.

That means that teams will either scramble to get deals done in the allotted amount of time before the roster freeze. Or, they’ll feel hamstrung by the new rules, and find it hard to make deals.

This honestly doesn’t bode well for the Colorado Avalanche because Joe Sakic is looking for the perfect deal. Time will work against him.

Hopefully the Avs are able to find an avenue of mutual respect with Francois Beauchemin.