The Komets, and the rest of the CHL's teams, are permitted to protect only eight players, general manager David Franke said.
It doesn't matter if those players are under contract; if the Komets want to keep them from becoming free agents, they must protect them.
There's isn't a waiver system for unprotected players, and just because a player isn't protected by the Komets, it doesn't mean they cannot re-sign with them. It just means that they are free to negotiate with anyone.
This my best guess on what the Komets' protected list will be:
-- Colin Chaulk
-- Frankie DeAngelis
-- Artem Podshendyalov
-- Tab Lardner
-- Leo Thomas
-- Lincoln Kaleigh Schrock
-- Nick Boucher
-- Craig Cescon
I didn't put Guy Dupuis or P.C. Drouin on that list because a) they might be retiring and b) I doubt they would play anywhere else. Mike Ratchuk will probably try to land in the American Hockey League, as would Matt Krug.
There are no exemptions from the protected list. Even Tom Mele, who participated in only the playoffs, would have to be put on it.
Franke wasn't sure about the deadline for the protected list to be turned it, but it's sometime in June.
- Franke and the coaches are still holding their exit interviews with the players, when they ask the players how they feel about their performances and give them feedback. After those are done, the Komets hold organizational meetings to determine their plan of action in the offseason.
- Franke said three players have told him they are contemplating retirement, but no decisions have been finalized.