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Seattle Will Be Scouting The Playoffs By Watching TV

from Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times,

Seattle Kraken general manager Ron Francis won’t be in attendance this weekend when the NHL becomes the latest sports league to roll the dice by playing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Strict protocols in Canadian “bubble” cities Edmonton and Toronto have limited quarantined arena access to the 24 teams participating in what will pass for this year’s Stanley Cup playoffs. That means Francis and his staff, like millions of hockey fans, will be watching on television these next two months as they scout games ahead of the Kraken’s 2021-22 season debut.

How valuable their information-gathering will be is questionable. It’s been 4½ months between meaningful NHL games, and no fans will attend these makeshift playoff contests to help energize things.

“It’s going to be interesting,’’ Francis said. “Normally, guys start training camp and they kind of build up to the playoffs. They roll right into the playoffs, they’re in peak performance and peak conditioning and ready to go.

“So, I’m curious to see how the hockey is going to be out of the gate because they haven’t played in four months. It’s going to take them a while to get used to the flow of the game again.’’

Francis has assigned his scouts — including onetime NHL instigator Ulf Samuelsson, rehired after a brief coaching stint in Sweden — one team apiece to follow from each of the Eastern and Western conferences as round-robin seeding games and a best-of-five “qualifier round” begin Saturday.

Back alongside Samuelsson in the pro scouting ranks are mainstays Cammi Granato, Stu Barnes, Dave Hunter and John Goodwin and some new additions.


Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: seattle+kraken


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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com