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New York Islanders Turbulent History with NHL Expansion Draft

Mar 21, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; General overall aerial view of the Las Vegas Strip on Las Vegas Blvd including the Mandalay Bay resort and casino, Luxor hotel and casino, T-Mobile Arena, Monte Carlo resort and casino, MGM Grand Las Vegas hotela and casino and T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 21, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; General overall aerial view of the Las Vegas Strip on Las Vegas Blvd including the Mandalay Bay resort and casino, Luxor hotel and casino, T-Mobile Arena, Monte Carlo resort and casino, MGM Grand Las Vegas hotela and casino and T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Vegas Expansion Draft hype is ramping up the closer we get to June 21st. Going back through history the New York Islanders fared well in the expansion process.

Since the New York Islanders joined the NHL in 1972 they’ve participated in nine expansion drafts, including the one that created our own team, and the Atlanta Flames. RIP.

Going back through the 70’s to the 2000 expansion draft, It’s impressive to see how little the NHL cared for new franchises. In the 1972 draft teams could protect seventeen players. Leaving two teams to fight over the scraps.

In 2000 teams had the option of protecting a goalie, five defensemen, and nine forwards or two goalies, three defensemen and seven forwards. No wonder Columbus and Minnesota finished 23rd and 25th respectively. Although the Isles still finished 30th.

The 2017 expansion draft was designed to give Vegas the best chances at being competitive in year one. Because let’s be honest a terrible team in year one doesn’t stand a good chance at generating any revenue. And in the end, that’s all that actually matters.

Vegas is already at a significant disadvantage. They aren’t a typical sports market. They’ve never had a professional sports franchise. And being right in the middle of the desert, it isn’t what one would imagine as an environment that lends itself well to hockey.

Here’s a little history lesson on NHL expansion drafts and the New York Islanders since their inception in 1972. Starting with the draft that brought the team a Hall of Fame goaltender.

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