ANAHEIM — After months of guessing, the Mighty Ducks will finally learn shortly after 5 p.m. today which players will be available in Thursday's NHL expansion draft.
The list--which is shaping up to include some quality goaltenders and an assortment of high-salaried or aging veterans--will be made public Monday.
Several teams are expected to be active right up to today's trading deadline in an effort to resolve protection problems, particularly involving goaltenders.
Chicago traded Jimmy Waite to San Jose on Friday and will protect Ed Belfour rather than lose one without compensation. The New York Rangers, with John Vanbiesbrouck and Mike Richter, were also working to keep from losing one of the two.
Quebec goalie Ron Hextall, who made $1.135 million this season, could be available.
Among veterans expected to be left unprotected are Edmonton center Craig MacTavish, who turns 35 in August, and Montreal center Guy Carbonneau, 33, who made $725,000 this season.
"You'd like to get two good goaltenders, a couple of experienced defensemen, and we'll take the best we can get up front as far as size and speed are concerned," Duck General Manager Jack Ferreira said. "Skill will probably be one of the last things we'll able to get."
Each of the 24 existing teams can protect one goaltender, five defensemen and 10 forwards from the draft, scheduled for Thursday in Quebec City. The Ducks and Florida Panthers each will select 24 players.
The annual entry draft of North American prospects aged 18-20 and Europeans over 18 is set for Saturday.