The draft board pages include every player who was left unprotected in the 1999 Expansion Draft. The overwhelming majority of players who do not carry over are either old, unproductive, injured, primarily used for fighting, marginal players, minor league veterans, or unsigned European prospects. The majority of pending UFAs (Group III, Group V, and Group VI) will not carry over. Exceptions to these rules are provided if the incumbent team left almost nothing of value available to choose from, in which case everyone gets at least a closer look.
As we are capped by league restrictions to selecting no more than six pending free agents, we must be judicious with our choices.
The Canucks seemed to regard their miserable 1997-98 as some type of challenge, as they found a way last season to sink to their worst record since 1977-78.
Goalies: Corey Hirsch(Gr.II – RFA), Garth Snow(Gr.II – RFA)
Defensemen: Roger Akerstrom(UE), Murray Baron, Karri Kivi(UE), Dana Murzyn(Gr.III – UFA), Bert Robertsson(Gr.VI – UFA), Mark Wotton(Gr.VI – UFA)
Forwards: Hakan Ahlund(UE), Evgeni Babariko(UE), Larry Courville(Gr.II – RFA), Dave Gagner, Robb Gordon(Gr.II – RFA), Roger Hansson(UE), Trent Klatt, Steffan Nilsson(UE), Darren Sinclair(Gr.II – RFA), Steve Staios(Gr.II – RFA), Steve Washburn(Gr.II – RFA), Peter Zezel(Gr.III – UFA)
Neither of their two goalies will be considered, nor five of their six defensemen, nor eleven of their twelve forwards. We’ll take a closer look at Murray Baron and Trent Klatt.
D Murray Baron – 32-year-old defenseman, 8th-round pick of Philadelphia (1986)
The case for taking Baron – Big, tough, bruising defenseman along the board. He’s able to play around 20 minutes a night, log plenty of PK time, and give opposing forwards a hard time within a big radius of the net. A PK of Baron and Dave Manson, or Baron and Mark Tinordi, is one that would send chills down the spine of opposing players and coaches alike.
The case against taking Baron – He produces absolutely no offense, was a -23 just this past season, and has been a minus player the majority of his career despite playing on several good teams. His lack of speed prevents him from being a true shutdown defenseman, and although he’s been disciplined enough to avoid taking a lot of stupid penalties, his inability to do much with the puck prevents quick easy exits from the defensive zone. He knows what his abilities are and doesn’t try to do too much. He’s a smart depth player, and not much more.
F Trent Klatt – 28-year-old forward, 4th-round pick of Washington (1989)
The case for taking Klatt – He’s a utility forward who won’t look out of place on any line. He played in Philadelphia’s second and third lines in 1996-97 and 1997-98, putting up a total of 45 goals and 87 points. A good chunk of offense came when he was filling on the first line with Eric Lindros, and although Klatt isn’t Lindros’ equal, he wouldn’t have been slotted there if he didn’t have the skill to be able to make that transition. He’s also been fine in a defensive role on the third and fourth lines in Philly, Dallas, and more recently with Vancouver. He’d get plenty of ice time in our first year, and we can go from there.
The case against taking Klatt – He scored 45 goals and 87 points in those two seasons, then was traded for a 6th-round pick two years out. This was two weeks after the waiver draft, so it’s not like it was part of the machinations involving protecting or otherwise stashing a player. The value on that is extremely low, and doesn’t bode well for returning assets if we were to take him and get little production out of him.