The Washington Capitals have made 15 players -- and coach Terry Murray -- available for today's expansion draft.
The San Jose Sharks, who will start play in October, and the Minnesota North Stars each will select 10 players, one from each of the other 20 teams.
"We have zillions of lists around here, and I guess Terry was on one of them," Capitals general manager David Poile said, tongue in cheek, of Murray who was on the Washington unprotected list with the notation 'voluntarily retired' after his name. "I think Terry's a has-been, but if we could get any kind of draft choice for him, they could have him. Really, it's all just a joke, a joke."
Among the legitimate Capitals left unprotected were veteran goalie Mike Liut, 35; defenseman Neil Sheehy, 31, who missed last season with a broken ankle and back surgery; left wing Dave Tippett, 29; and right wing John Kordic, 26, who was acquired from the Toronto Maple Leafs in a January trade and is undergoing treatment for alcohol-related problems at a Minnesota clinic.
"In the true hockey Utopia, we like to hoard all of our toys," said Poile. "But, in reality, we had to make some players available, and we believe that we have given San Jose and Minnesota a good mix of veterans, like Mike Liut and Neil Sheehy, and some younger players who have had some experience in the National Hockey League. Whom we lose will depend on the drafting team's need."
The Capitals and every other NHL team except the North Stars will lose no more than one player each.
"That shouldn't deplete us too badly," Poile said.
The North Stars, in an agreement with the NHL that allowed the Gund brothers, George and Gordon, former owners of the Minnesota franchise, to acquire the San Jose franchise, will lose 30 players from their organization, most of whom are expected to come from the Kalamazoo Wings, the Minnesota franchise in the International Hockey League, in a dispersal draft between the North Stars and the Sharks that will be held before the expansion draft.
San Jose then will be further stocked and Minnesota will be restocked in the expansion draft, which is set to begin at 4 p.m.
The other players the Capitals made available for the expansion draft are minor-leaguers who have had some NHL experience. Most are either Baltimore Skipjacks, former Skipjacks who still are Washington's property or players acquired in recent trades who are ticketed to play in the AHL next season.
The players are: left wing Robin Bawa, a free agent who played for the Fort Wayne Komets of the IHL last season; center Mike Richard, a free agent who played in Europe last season; defenseman Chris Felix and center Alfie Turcotte, both of whom have signed to play in Europe next season; defenseman Mark Ferner, center Rob Murray, left wing Steve Seftel and right wing Tim Bergland, all of whom split their time between Washington and Baltimore last season; and left wing Craig Duncanson, left wing Brent Hughes and center Simon Wheeldon, all of whom played with the AHL Moncton Hawks last season, and were acquired in a recent trade with the Winnipeg Jets.
Poile wasn't the only general manager having a joke or two at his counterparts' expense. The Philadelphia Flyers made Hall of Famers Bob Clarke, North Stars general manager, and Bill Barber available; the Montreal Canadiens listed Jean Beliveau, Yvan Cournoyer, Ken Dryden, John Ferguson and Bob Gainey, the coach of the North Stars; the Hartford Whalers listed former coach Larry Pleau; and the St. Louis Blues listed coach Brian Sutter.
Here are some of the bigger names left unprotected for today's NHL expansion draft. Existing teams can lose no more than 1 player:
Player.. ... .. .. Pos.. .. .. ... Team
Bryan Trottier.. ... C.. .. .. .. .. Penguins
Charlie Huddy.. .. . D.. .. .. .. .. Oilers
Mike Liut.. .. .. .. G... .. .. .. . Capitals
Michel Goulet.. .. ..LW.. .. .. .. ..Blackhawks
John Tonelli.. .. .. LW.. .. .. .. . Kings
Kelly Kisio... .. .. C.. .. .. .. .. Rangers
Bob Froese.. .. .. . G.. .. .. .. .. Rangers
Ryan Walter.. .. ... C.. .. .. .. .. Canadiens
Tim Kerr.. ... .. .. C.. .. .. .. .. Flyers
Pete Peeters.. .. .. G.. .. .. .. .. Flyers
Randy Carlyle.. .. . D.. .. .. .. .. Jets