The Washington Capitals chose not to protect defensemen Dmitri Mironov, Mark Tinordi and former first-round pick Nolan Baumgartner for Friday's expansion draft in Boston. The NHL yesterday released the list of players who will be available to the expansion Atlanta Thrashers.
Tinordi, who will be a free agent this summer, missed much of the 1998-99 season with injuries. Baumgartner has not developed as the team had hoped when he was chosen 10th overall in 1994.
Mironov, who has three years left on his contract, played only 46 games in 1998-99 because of injuries. He had two goals and 14 assists. Capitals General Manager George McPhee described the 33-year-old Mironov as a "mid-level defenseman." Last summer, McPhee signed Mironov to a four-year, $11.5 million contract.
"There is some risk to it, but given that he had lower back surgery this summer, maybe they won't claim him," McPhee said of Mironov.
The NHL entry draft of Canadian junior league players and U.S. college and high school players will be held Saturday in Boston.
In Friday's expansion draft, the Thrashers will select 26 players, one from each NHL club except the Nashville Predators, who played their inaugural season in 1998-99.
Each club was allowed to protect either up to five defensemen, nine forwards and one goaltender or up to three defensemen, seven forwards and two goaltenders.
As in the past, the list of unprotected players includes older players, those with lucrative contracts or injuries and those who are free agents. The Thrashers are unlikely to select an unrestricted free agent because they would have no better chance of signing the player than any other team.
The Capitals protected goalie Olaf Kolzig, defensemen Sergei Gonchar, Calle Johansson, Ken Klee, Joe Reekie and Brendan Witt, along with forwards James Black, Peter Bondra, Benoit Gratton, Steve Konowalchuk, Andrei Nikolishin, Adam Oates, Chris Simon, Yogi Svejkovsky and Richard Zednik. The other defensemen left unprotected were Enrico Ciccone, Stewart Malgunas, Steve Poapst and Patrick Boileau.
Among the forwards left unprotected were Brian Bellows, Mike Eagles, Trevor Halverson, Kelly Miller, Jeff Nelson, Michal Pivonka and Jeff Toms.