Rumor : Top tier team has a deal in place to cheat the expansion draft?

It's a big deal really.

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While everyone is busy watching the unfolding of the very climatic Stanley Cup final, 31 GMs across the league are hard at work to prepare the expansion draft. Statistics are being read, profiles are being put together and many scenarios are studied across the league at this very moment. The expansion draft is a very unique situation in this era and no one has a clear blueprint of what needs to happen. 

According to rumors, the Blue Jackets are working hard to put a deal together that would keep one of their most valuable player in place. Scott Hartnell didn't have the best Playoffs in his career, but he still has a year remaining on his contract and, more importantly, a non-moving clause. This means he can't be exposed to the draft and will count in the Jackets' sum of protected players, exposing younger, more promising assets. In time of needs, there's nothing like a good old deal. 

Still according to the rumor, the Jackets may have reached an agreement with McPhee's Golden Knights to exchange draft picks for the protection of a key exposed player. One can only think about Josh AndersonMatt Calvert or William Karlsson as potential targets, Anderson being the most likely candidate. 

The same source cite this scenario : 

Speculation is that the Blue Jackets already have a deal in place with Vegas, that the sides have agreed to some form of mutual back-scratching that will steer the Golden Knights toward taking a player on their roster who will cause only a minor wince.

The Jackets will send Vegas a prospect and/or a draft pick to take player “A” instead of player “B,” and Vegas will agree to future considerations to make the deal conform to NHL guidelines.

Would it make sense? Of course. McPhee has been pretty vocal about his willingness to build the Vegas franchise on promising prospects and not proven veterans, so exchanging picks for foregoing tempting targets makes a lot of sense.