In The Hockey News they decided to expand the NHL and give Quebec and Markham, Ontario teams. In order to fill out those teams, they came up with a protected list of players for each team based on the NHL rules on protecting players from 2000 when Columbus and Minnesota came into the league.
The rules to protect players are: 1 goalie, 5 defensemen and 9 forwards or 2 goalies, 3 defensemen and 7 forwards.
Players left unprotected, by rule, needed to have played in at least 40 games in 1999-2000 or 70 games in 98-99 and 99-00 combined.
For the Rangers, they protected:
- Henrik Lundqvist
- Michael Del Zotto, Dan Girardi, Ryan McDonagh, Marc Staal and Anton Stralman
- Brian Boyle, Ryan Callahan, Rick Nash, Marian Gaborik, Carl Hagelin, Brad Richards, Taylor Pyatt, Mike Rupp and Derek Stepan
Players left unprotected, who are on the current roster, are Arron Asham, Jeff Halpern, Steve Eminger, Stu Bickel and Marty Biron.
Note: Chris Kreider is on the Whale roster so he likely doesn’t need to be protected and since Michael Sauer is injured he may be automatically protected.
Update: 12:02PM: The only Rangers player selected in their expansion draft was Martin Biron