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Entries with the tag: seattle kraken

Growing Pains For The Seattle Kraken

from Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times,

The first casualty of the Kraken’s debut season came when the team announced Tuesday that goaltending coach Andrew Allen would not be retained....

“I thought we struggled early, and we just couldn’t kind of get out of it,” general manager Ron Francis said of the goaltending and the Allen move Tuesday during in a season-ending meeting with media members. “So we figured we’d look in a different direction for next season.”...

Nobody realistically expected the Kraken to make the Stanley Cup Final, as the expansion Vegas Golden Knights did four years ago.

What had been anticipated, by the Kraken themselves, was a reasonable middle ground someplace between that and their eventual 30th-place NHL standing. But at 27-49-6, they fell well short. And there are consequences for that, including the now-unemployed goaltending coach.

As mentioned in a recent story, the value of Kraken tickets declined heavily on the open market as demand waned once losses piled up quicker than expected. This is a big deal, because the team will need that value driven up again before it approaches season-ticket holders asking to renew when their minimum three-year commitments begin expiring two springs from now.

Also, not entirely unexpected, local Kraken TV ratings declined significantly once they fell out of contention early. Ratings for game broadcasts on ROOT Sports in the Seattle-Tacoma market plunged 68%, from a 2.2 average through the first eight October games to 0.7 in January, then a season-low 0.6 in February and March before ticking up slightly to 0.7 through much of April.

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The Seattle Kraken Will Take It Easy With Matty Beniers

from Matt Kalkins of the Seattle Times,

If you’re wondering why you should watch a hockey team that’s lost 20 more games than it has won and sits at the bottom of the Pacific Division, the answer lies in a 19-year-old rookie.

The Kraken might not have had the success much of Seattle was hoping for in their inaugural season, but they might have just provided a jolt in the form of a 175-pound Massachusetts native.

A day after agreeing to a three-year entry-level contract with the Kraken, center Matty Beniers introduced himself to the media Monday after his first practice with the team. And the No. 2 overall pick from last year’s amateur draft made it clear he’s ready to embrace hockey’s top tier.

“I’m excited to take it all in and be a sponge,” said Beniers, who played college hockey at Michigan this season. “I’m gonna try to get my feet under me and make as much of an impact as I can.”

Talented as Beniers might be, he is still a teenager entering a grown man’s league. And excited as the brass might be to bring him up, they’re putting the kibosh on the immediate hype. It’s fun to wonder what a prodigy might bring when he makes his NHL debut, which could come Tuesday in Calgary, Alberta, vs. the Flames. But Kraken coach Dave Hakstol made sure to emphasize that this is simply the beginning of a long process.

On Monday, a reporter asked Hakstol what the plan for Beniers was over the next few games. His response? Easy there, fella.

continued

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Details On Washington/Seattle Trade

added 11:48am, Washington release is below.

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Mark Giordano Headed To Toronto

 

added 5:07pm,

 

added 5:40pm, Kraken release below.

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Seattle Sends Calle Jarnkrok To Calgary

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A Good Chance Mark Giordano Gets Moved By The Trade Deadline

from TSN,

TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun reports the Seattle Kraken are expected to sit down with their captain in the coming weeks to discuss the possibility of a trade.

"Mark Giordano of the expansion Seattle Kraken is also a pending UFA, just like (Claude) Giroux. And the plan is for Kraken GM Ron Francis in the very near future to sit down face to face with Mark Giordano and discuss the future to see what Giordano wants to do," LeBrun said on Insider Trading Thursday. "He’s got a 10-team no-trade list, but the reality is I think they want to do well by Mark Giordano, who took on this commitment to be the captain of this first-year team.

"I think he ends up getting dealt and certainly there’s some contenders keeping a close eye on him – the Florida Panthers among them."

Giordano, who carries a cap hit of $6.75 million, has four goals and 18 points in 41 games with the Kraken this season.

a bit more

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Seattle Kraken Looking For Some Consistency

from Matt Calkins of the Seattle Times,

They announced a sellout, but there were so many gaps in the seating it looked like a hockey player’s smile.

Maybe it was the 2 p.m. start time on a holiday that people wanted to spend elsewhere. More likely, it was because the Kraken hadn’t won a game in over a month — or a home game since Dec. 3.

No one here is pretending the buzz surrounding this team has completely vanished. But the flame this city saw when the Kraken opened their inaugural season in October is whittling toward a flicker. Had Seattle lost its 10th straight game vs. the Blackhawks on Monday, the Climate Pledge Arena crowd might have stormed the ice in protest. This season has been a combination of disappointment, dysfunction and disaster.

Fortunately for those home fans, the Kraken did deliver a victory worth those hefty ticket prices. They rallied from a goal down in the third period, tied the game at 2-2, and outscored Chicago 2-0 in the shootout. 

Maybe that win is like a band-aid on a gunshot wound given the Kraken’s last-place standing in the Pacific Division, where they trail the seventh-place Canucks by 11 points. But Monday afternoon was at least something — even if those triumphant feelings will turn out to be fleeting.

continued

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Mark Giordano Back To Calgary?

from Eric Francis of Sportsnet,

As the agent who represents Mark Giordano and Andrew Mangiapane, Ritch Winter said he can absolutely see a scenario in which the former is traded back to the Flames, and will urge the latter to avoid signing a long-term deal with Calgary this summer.

Winter’s candid remarks came in a wide-ranging interview on The Eric Francis Show on Monday, when he provided plenty of insight into two hot-button topics involving the future of the popular players.

“I certainly think there’s a possibility,” Winter told Sportsnet Fan 960 listeners when asked if he thought the Flames might re-acquire Giordano -- the 38-year-old Seattle Kraken captain -- at the trade deadline.

“Coach loves him. Player loves the coach. Player has a home in the city. The team seems to be playing much better… and I think there could be an argument that a guy like Gio, with a little more offence, could really add to the mix.

“But that’s not something we control.”

continued

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Mark Giordano Leads Kraken Over Flames

from Eric Francs of Sportsnet,

Unable to catch up with any of his former Flames teammates before the game, Mark Giordano made sure they saw plenty of him once the contest started.

They saw him in the corners, after the whistle and, of course, on the scoresheet where the Calgary-turned-Seattle captain marked his first game against his former mates with a goal and two assists on Thursday.

“It felt good, I’m not going to lie,” said Giordano of his game-opening goal during a first intermission interview with Sportsnet’s Ryan Leslie.

“Chippy game so far, I love it. It takes all the other BS out of the game with me playing my old team. Guys are into it, it’s good.”

All that misty-eyed BS aside, no one was surprised Giordano’s legendary work ethic and will were driving forces in the Kraken’s ability to stay in a game dominated by the Flames.

Playing for the first time in 19 days due to a COVID-19-induced shutdown before Christmas, the Flames overcame two early deficits and a disheartening goal that tied things with three minutes left before capping a wild finish with a 6-4 win.

continued

Game highlights are below.

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Fans Need A Reason To Follow The Seattle Kraken

from Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times,

In completely random surveys of my sports obsessed pals and colleagues, most are hard-pressed to name more than a Kraken player or two, if that. Brandon Tanev is somewhat the exception, what with his flowing hair and the eye-bulging face he made taking his team headshot. Combined with his hardworking approach and unexpected goal scoring, you can see why he’d stand out.

And goalie Philipp Grubauer’s name elicits a “Gruuuuu!” reaction from the home crowd when he stops a puck, so it’s probably a matter of time before even casual fans pick up on that. Not that they could pick him out of a lineup, but it’s a start.

One acquaintance, who owns season tickets to the Kraken and other local teams, bumped into Amy and me at a weekend event, and we mentioned her not knowing the players.

“Oh, you’ve got to come to a game,” he said. “It’s completely different once you’re inside the arena.”

Which is very true but misses the point. You have to give non-hockey-fanatic casual fans a reason to go to the arena in the first place. And judging by the empty seats I’ve increasingly seen among the sold-out 17,151 nightly attendance and the falling Kraken ticket prices on online resale exchanges, that hasn’t been quite as automatic as many expected.

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Losing Streak Hits Six For The Seattle Kraken

from Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times,

Fewer than six minutes had gone by in the second period but for Kraken goalie Chris Driedger and the groaning fans watching, the game was already long over.

The expansion Kraken haven’t played too many stinkers in their early season swoon but this 7-3 loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Friday night definitely reeked of something by the time Driedger was pulled from the net with his team down by four. It ended in a sixth consecutive loss for the home side on yet another night when the goaltending wasn’t good enough and the Kraken skaters uncharacteristically followed suit.

“We’re getting down in games and we’re not helping ourselves when we get down,” Kraken captain Mark Giordano said. “We’re taking more chances when we get down and against good teams they’re going to make you pay because you’re giving them odd-man rushes, you’re giving them a lot of zone time, a lot of chances.”

A crowd of 17,151 at Climate Pledge Arena was reduced to near silence as the Avalanche, listed as preseason favorites by many to capture the Stanley Cup, put on a display of skill like none the Kraken have really seen this season. And by the time this horror show was done, the Kraken were left with far more questions than they likely have answers to about their own skill level, goaltending, lack of scoring and overall consistency.

continued

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The Seattle Kraken Defeated The Montreal Canadiens For First Home Win

from Andy Eide at NHL.com,

The Seattle Kraken won at home for the first time with a 5-1 victory against the Montreal Canadiens at Climate Pledge Arena on Tuesday.

Brandon Tanev scored twice, Yanni Gourde had a goal and an assist and Philipp Grubauer made 23 saves for the Kraken (2-4-1), who had lost four in a row, including their home opener, 4-2 against the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday.

"We got off to a good start, which always helps in your home building to build some momentum, especially with the crowd that we have behind us," Seattle coach Dave Hakstol said. "It was a good start, and we were able to play a pretty good first period. The big difference tonight, compared to a couple of nights ago, is we were able to build on that lead."

Mike Hoffman scored, and Jake Allen made 21 saves for the Canadiens (1-6-0), who opened a four-game road trip.

"It wasn't pretty," Montreal defenseman Ben Chiarot said. "Right from the beginning, they had us on our heels. We knew coming into the rink they'd be excited. Tough travel coming across the county and a time change, (but the) bottom line is they outskated us the entire game."

continued

Game highlights are below.

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The Unveiling Of Climate Pledge Arena In Seattle

from Matt Calkins of the Seattle Times,

It’s finally here.

After years of political tension and city-wide debates, after exploding budgets and construction delays, after a pandemic that did whatever it could to halt the opening — Climate Pledge Arena is ready.

No doubt that the birth of the NHL’s Kraken has energized and galvanized a sports-obsessed city that finally has a pro team to cheer for in the winter. But you have to think this town is equally stoked about the arrival of a state-of-the-art arena.

After all, many probably felt like this day would never come. They saw Chris Hansen’s Sodo project repeatedly torpedoed and figured a shiny new building was nothing more than a pipe dream.

But with the renovation of the old KeyArena, customers can expect an experience commensurate with a world-class venue. At least that’s what Oak View Group CEO Tim Leiweke is selling.

“This building is going to change the industry,” Leiweke said. “This could be one of the top two or three buildings in the world.”

continued

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Teaching Hockey In Seattle

from Trevor Lenzmeier and Marisa Ingemi of the Seattle Times,

On the ice, hockey players and fans are quite superstitious. Player rituals take many forms; some NHLers get dressed in the exact same order before every game (i.e., left skate then right skate, left glove then right glove), while other skaters refuse to leave the rink after warm-ups until every other skater has left the ice.

That’s not to mention the charms and curses that are commonplace come playoff time — in Detroit, fans throw a dead octopus onto the ice, while in Nashville, they chuck catfish. Bushy, unkempt playoff beards bring postseason success, while touching the Clarence Campbell or Prince of Wales trophies after winning a conference championship spells doom. As early as peewee hockey, preteen players are warned not to touch the Cup, lest they be cursed not to lift it themselves.

Did we mention that hand-to-hand combat is a semiregular part of the sport?...

Do’s and Don’ts
You snagged the hottest ticket in town and are headed to Climate Pledge Arena to see our Seattle Kraken face off with an NHL rival. Here’s what to expect at the rink.

Don’t wear shorts unless you like the cold. Layers are your friend.

Do wear a jersey (known as a “sweater”). Hats are acceptable, as are actual sweaters.

Don’t be surprised if our Kraken players and their opponents push each other in front of the net, regularly, after the whistle calls play dead. But it’s a fine line between shoving and trash talk and taking a minor penalty.

Don’t expect to get your hat back.

Do take bathroom breaks and/or get snacks during intermission. It’ll be a little while.

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The Seattle Kraken Notch Their First NHL Win

from Robby Stanley at NHL.com,

The Seattle Kraken got the first win in their history when they defeated the Nashville Predators 4-3 at Bridgestone Arena on Thursday.

Brandon Tanev scored two goals, Alex Wennberg and Jared McCann each had a goal and an assist, and Philipp Grubauer made 27 saves for the Kraken (1-1-0).

"I feel like it's just big for the franchise," Wennberg said. "Obviously, it's so new and to get that first win, I feel like it's a big accomplishment. I don't know if we celebrate it any differently, I think it's just really good for the team and for us as an organization. It's just like, 'Hey, that's the first one.' Hopefully there's many more to come and that's where we're aiming at."

Mikael Granlund had a goal and two assists, and Juuse Saros made 22 saves for the Predators (0-1-0).

Wennberg gave Seattle a 3-2 lead at 9:54 of the second period, shooting into an open net at the right post off a pass from Alex Barre-Boulet, who was playing his first game with the Kraken after being claimed off waivers from the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday.

continued

Watch the game highlights below.

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The Seattle Kraken Drop Their First Game

from Bob Condor of the Kraken website,

This night didn't end with a storybook finish for the Kraken, but no fan should feel cheated or worried. The Seattle squad went toe-blade to toe-blade with one of the league's favorites to win the Pacific Division and Stanley Cup.

The Kraken dug in right to the end with Jordan Eberle ending the game how he and his linemates started the game - with a near-miss scoring chance. The film and analytics will show lots of positives from this game. There's reason to be excited about the rest of this five-game road trip - and the full season ahead.

"We will take a lot of good things we did and build on them," Dave Hakstol said during the post-game media availability. "We will try to fix one or two things but no more. We have short practice tomorrow, then get on a plane to get ready for Game 2 in Nashville."

Hakstol acknowledged that the last couple days of COVID protocol uncertainty was "a challenging last 40 hours for our group." He praised his team and likely believes it built chemistry through shared adversity (my words, not his): "That we were down three-nothing [in this building} and pushed back, it says a lot about sticking together. We're disappointed we didn't get the two points."

continued

Watch the game highlights below.

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How Good Will The Seattle Kraken Be This Season?

from Michael Traikos of the National Post,

Nick Suzuki said he was relieved — and maybe a little confused — when the Seattle Kraken decided against picking Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price in the expansion draft last July.

He wasn’t the only one.

Hockey fans had a similar reaction when GM Ron Francis passed on Vladimir Tarasenko and James van Riemsdyk, along with other big-name stars, and instead chose players who were younger, less-established and who carried a smaller cap hit and contract term. For a team that is hoping to win fans — and games — right out of the gate, it seemed like a strange strategy. But if you think the NHL’s 32nd franchise will finish in 32nd place overall this year, think again.

“I liked their draft,” said Suzuki. “I think if they can piece it all together and gel, they’ll have a good season.”

Talk to most players around the league and this is what you’ll hear about the NHL’s newest franchise. Most believe the Kraken, who cobbled together its roster from the spare parts of its competitors, will be immediately impressive. Most wouldn’t be surprised if the Kraken challenge for a playoff spot. Some are even predicting an overnight success that is similar to what Vegas experienced.

continued

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A Win For The Seattle Kraken

from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of NHL.com,

The Seattle Kraken scored, the fans rose to their feet and roared, and Nirvana's "Lithium" blared from the loudspeakers. The fans jammed with the voice of the late Kurt Cobain.

"Yeah, yeah! Yeah, yeaaah!"

This was Spokane, Washington, more than four hours east of Seattle by car. But at times it felt like Seattle. It sounded like Seattle.

And the Kraken can only hope this is what the results will be like in Seattle when the regular season starts. In the first preseason game in their history, they defeated the Vancouver Canucks 5-3 on Sunday, coming back from down 2-0, scoring three power-play goals and outshooting the Canucks 38-14.

"It was exciting coming in," forward Ryan Donato said. "I think we knew how much of a blessing it was to be able to come here with the excitement and everything. I think that got to us a little bit at the beginning. We were kind of playing with nerves, and we were trying to stick so much to our systems.

"But once we got comfortable and played the way we knew that we could, obviously, with our systems and the way we practice, things went well."

continued

Below watch Riley Sheahan sore the first goal for the Seattle Kraken.

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The First Preseason Game For The Seattle Kraken Is In Spokane Tonight

from Angela Schneider of The Spokesman-Review,\

A new era of hockey is about to begin in Washington state.

Professional hockey returns to the Pacific Northwest at 6 p.m. Sunday when the puck drops on the NHL exhibition game between the Seattle Kraken and the Vancouver Canucks at the Spokane Arena.

The history of hockey in Washington is long and storied. Most hockey fans know the Seattle Metropolitans were the first American team to win the Stanley Cup, the championship trophy of the National Hockey League.

Yet hockey doesn’t outrank football, basketball, baseball or even soccer for U.S. sports fans.

“We’re putting a tremendous amount of work – from leadership at the top on down, everyone in the organization – into helping the entire hockey community thrive throughout the state and the region,” said Kyle Boyd, the Kraken’s director of youth and community development. “It says a lot about the values of the organization.”

One local hockey fan already sees a groundswell of fandom for the Kraken.

“I cannot believe how much Kraken stuff I see around,” said Luke Damskow, community development director for Spokane Youth Hockey. “It’s all over the place. My kids are all about the team already. They’re going to be huge.”

continued

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Philipp Grubauer Signs With Seattle

Numerous confirmations, 6 years, $5.9M AAV.

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The Seattle Kraken Picked Players With An Eye Towards The Future

from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,

The Seattle Kraken looked at Carey Price, Vladimir Tarasenko, James van Riemsdyk, Ryan Johansen, Matt Duchene and others during the expansion draft process and said ‘No thanks, I’m good.”

In doing so, the NHL’s newest franchise put itself in pole position to race towards a new epoch of roster construction. The easy takeaway from Friday’s made-for-TV event was that Ron Francis left talent on the table. But the most significant thing he did was avoid putting a bad contract on the books.

“We think that's a valuable thing to have right now, especially in a COVID environment with the flat cap,” said Francis, the Kraken's general manager. “We went through our choices and there were some good players that were out there; maybe we weren’t comfortable with the cap hit on some of them, so we tried to draft the best team possible we could and still keeping our cap space available just to hopefully do some things as we move forward.”

In the very near term that will mean spending some money when the free-agent market opens next Wednesday. They staked claim to defencemen Jamie Oleksiak and Adam Larsson, plus goaltender Chris Driedger, during this week’s UFA interview period and are expected to take a run at Jaden Schwartz, among others, on the open market.

But Seattle showed patience during the 72-hour period where the rest of the NHL sat and waited on the sidelines while it selected 30 players.

read on

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Players Selected By The Seattle Kraken In The NHL Expansion Draft

SEATTLE (July 21, 2021) -- The Seattle Kraken, set to participate in their inaugural National Hockey League season in 2021-22, selected 30 players – one from each club with the exception of the Vegas Golden Knights – Wednesday in the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft presented by Upper Deck.

The Kraken's complete selections by position (and ordered alphabetically):

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Seattle Close To Signing Two UFA Defensemen

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How Good Will The Seattle Kraken Be?

from Michael Traikos of the National Post,

The Seattle Kraken are going to be very good.

How good?

Well, we’ll have to wait until Wednesday night’s expansion draft to see whom GM Ron Francis selects to play for the NHL’s 32nd team. But based on the players who are available, as well as what’s out there in free agency, don’t be surprised if they challenge the Golden Knights for first place in the Pacific Division.

This is a team that potentially could have Carey Price, Mark Giordano, Vladimir Tarasenko and Yanni Gourde — and that’s without taking into account the various trades that might already be in the works.

For all we know, Seattle could also end up with Zach Hyman, Dougie Hamilton and Gabriel Landeskog — not to mention the “misfit” types like Vegas’ William Karlsson and Jonathan Marchessault, who just needed an opportunity to show what they can do in the league.

With $81.5-million to spend, here is a look at what Seattle’s roster could look like:

read on

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Chris Driedger Appears Close To Signing With The Kraken

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Morning Line- Elliotte Friedman

The facts are this: it is absolutely impossible for Seattle not to seriously consider this. There are extremely legitimate on- and off-ice reasons to select Price. He could be Seattle’s closer, and the Marc-Andre Fleury standard-bearer for the franchise. He played junior hockey in the state, wife Angela is from Washington.

And, word is they are seriously considering it.

-Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet has more on this plus other topics...

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Now It Is Up To Seattle

from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,

There was no way to completely trade your way out of trouble with these expansion-draft rules. That’s why Ron Francis remained so upbeat even after watching a flurry of transactions designed to limit options for his Seattle Kraken.

“We certainly think there’s going to be some good players available,” said Francis.

When the anxious wait ended Sunday morning with the NHL’s protection list release, Francis and his staff found themselves with a group of potential players that included former all-stars, current team captains and promising young pros.

They also had more big names with contracts to match available than the Vegas Golden Knights saw during their expansion draft process in 2017. Chalk that up to a tight-money, flat-cap environment and the fresh memory of mistakes made four years earlier.

The fundamental question now facing the Kraken before submitting their final expansion selections on Wednesday morning is how many big contracts to take on. Francis has the green light from ownership to spend to the $81.5-million cap -- and must select players making at least $48.9-million in this draft -- but protecting available space is an advantage they can maintain over most of the league for months and years to come.

“The one thing we think is extremely, extremely important in this environment is cap space,” said Francis.

There will be some tricky calls.

Here’s a look at the 10 most intriguing players left unprotected for the Seattle expansion draft:

continued

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Some Well Known Names Available For The Seattle Kraken

from Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times,

Among the surprise names now available to the Kraken in Wednesday’s NHL expansion draft is Montreal Canadiens netminder Carey Price, the onetime Tri-City Americans junior team standout coming off a stellar playoff performance in which he made the championship round.

Price’s exposure to the draft on a list made public Sunday is one of the more jarring developments and leaves the Kraken with decisions to make. The Kraken, which received the final list Saturday afternoon, must decide whether Price’s salary-cap hit of $10 million for four more seasons is an anchor worth taking on in hopes of a late career resurgence akin to what Vegas got four years ago in plucking veteran goalie Marc-Andre Fleury from the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Other prominent unprotected names the Kraken could be in on include Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog, a top-line forward and unrestricted free agent mired in a contract impasse, and Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Dougie Hamilton, another free agent whose protection status had been uncertain after that team allowed him to make preliminary inquires on the open market.

St. Louis Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko, a former perennial 30-goal-scorer slowed by recent shoulder surgeries and who recently requested a trade from that organization, was also notably left unprotected.

continued

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Dave Hakstol Named Head Coach Of The Seattle Kraken

from the Seattle Kraken,

Dave Hakstol makes franchise history, named Kraken head coach on June 24, 2021. Joins NHL's 32nd team after deep search by GM Ron Francis, who sought leader with NHL head coach experience, plus emphatically checks boxes for leadership, character and player development: "Dave is confident, strong on technical aspects of playing three-zone game."

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The Seattle Kraken Have Officially Joined The NHL

NEW YORK (April 30, 2021) – The Seattle Kraken today completed the acquisition of their team and officially joined the National Hockey League.

“On behalf of the Board of Governors, I am delighted to officially welcome the Seattle Kraken to the NHL as our 32nd Member Club,” Commissioner Gary Bettman said. “Congratulations to David Bonderman, the Bonderman Family, their partners, the entire Seattle Kraken organization, the city of Seattle and Kraken fans as the Club continues on its exciting journey towards puck drop in October.”

 

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The Kraken Bar & Lounge vs. The Seattle Kraken

from Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times,

A University District punk-rock bar is suing the Kraken for $3.5 million, alleging the NHL expansion team’s name choice and plans to open a Northgate Mall practice facility restaurant risks irreparably harming its brand.

A lawsuit filed Thursday in King County Superior Court states the Kraken Bar & Lounge, founded in 2011 by William Knupp and husband-and-wife Kat Colley and Daniel Colley, had begrudgingly tolerated the team’s name choice despite a parade of new patrons in “hockey themed attire” showing up amid its usual music clientele wanting to make the venue their hangout. But the final straw, according to the lawsuit, came when the team this month announced it will open the Kraken Bar & Grill at its planned $80 million training facility come mid-September.

The lawsuit for trademark infringement and tortious interference asks that the team be prohibited from using “The Seattle Kraken” name and any others similarly confusing with its own trademarks.

continued

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The Kraken Coach

from Stan Fischler of The Fishler Report,

Who cares that the soon-to-be 32d NHL team hasn't played a game yet; the Kraken's future is as bright as searchlights on the city's Space Needle. 

Enthused fans have shown their dedication by flooding the Kraken combine with ticket info and requests.

Meanwhile, the Seattle savants would love some news about their pre-natal franchise. One question that will grow in heat during the next month comes down to who the estimable Ron Francis chooses as head coach.

A few of the marquee names have a certain glow about them. A couple even wear Stanley Cup rings. Try these on for size and see if you like them:

MIKE BABCOCK: He's a proven winner -- despite what the Toronto media says -- and still has the glow, although it's fading fast. 

CLAUDE JULIEN: The French-Canadian maestro won a Cup in Boston and got the best out of a mostly  mediocre Montreal market. Claude is lower key than Babcock but just as savvy.

JOHN TOTORELLA: Another Cup-winner, Torts does well in his first year and that's vital with this new franchise. He'll get attention by intimidating the media, benching stars and wearing his emotion on his spectacles.

BRUCE BOUDREAU: Cousin Brucie would be the Don Cherry of the Northwest in the best possible way. His players, the press, the fans -- everybody -- will love this guy. His resume is lengthy and impeccable;

MY CHOICE: Cousin Brucie because I like smart coaches who are as funny as they are smart. 

more hockey topics...

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Video- How’s It Going In Seattle?

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Seattle Kraken Preparing For The 2021-22 NHL Season

from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of NHL.com,

Ron Francis held his first pro scouting meetings during the last week of January. The general manager of the NHL's newest team, soon to be called the Seattle Kraken, gathered the scouts in Seattle so they could get to know each other and start preparing for the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft.

They had no idea what was to come.

Francis hasn't been to Seattle since. Instead of moving there in the first half of the year as planned, the former GM of the Carolina Hurricanes has worked from home in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Instead of watching the rest of the 2019-20 season live, the scouts sat through a pause of more than four months and watched the postseason remotely as it was played without fans in the stands in the hub cities of Edmonton and Toronto. They never got to see the end of the American Hockey League season. It was canceled.

"This year's just been …" Francis said, his voice trailing off. "You kind of roll with the punches."

continued

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Seattle Kraken GM Ron Francis On The Flat Salary Cap

from TSN,

Seattle Kraken general manager Ron Francis believes the new flat salary cap in the NHL will help his team in the expansion draft next year.

While Francis admitted that much remains up in the air about next season and when the Kraken will eventually debut, a number of teams facing cap crunches could benefit Seattle when the draft finally comes.

“Well, I think certainly, that’s what we’re hoping,’” Francis told TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun for The Athletic.

“But I think there are pros and cons, right? Obviously, the cap being flat should be a benefit to us. But I think you saw a lot of teams doing some maneuvering this summer, whether it was buyouts, moving players for picks and stuff, to help alleviate some of their situations.”

The Seattle expansion draft will follow the same rules the league had for Vegas' draft in 2017. Teams may protect either seven forwards, three defencemen and one goaltender or eight skaters (regardless of position) and one goaltender. Players with no-move contracts must be protected unless the player waives his clause.

continued

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Hockey Experience Not Required

from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of NHL.com

John Mavroudis was vacationing in Seattle when a friend shared a link to a job posting. The NHL's newest expansion team, not yet named the Seattle Kraken, was looking for a data engineer.

Mavroudis had never played hockey or worked in the NHL. But he had grown up a hockey fan in the San Francisco Bay Area, played fantasy hockey and played NHL video games. He was a technical program manager at HelloSign, a Dropbox company, in the Bay Area. His resume was on his laptop.

What the heck? Why not?

"I just kind of blindly applied," he said.

Eric Mathiasen had been watching to see if the team posted anything. Maybe something in marketing?

Mathiasen had never worked in the NHL. But he had grown up a hockey fan in Vancouver and played fantasy hockey. He was a senior technical designer at Microsoft, working at the campus in Redmond, Washington, about 15 miles from the arena where the team will play starting in the 2021-22 season.

When he saw a posting for a developer, he applied.

"I just kind of jumped at it, and then I was, like, rereading it," he said. "I was like, this is actually in hockey operations. This is totally interesting. I never in my wildest dreams thought that the career I've had would lead to helping a hockey team make decisions or draft players."

continued

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Starting From The Ground Up In Seattle

from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of NHL.com,

Before Jeff Camelio became the head equipment manager of the Seattle Kraken, he starting thinking: What would he need if he got the job?

As the assistant equipment manager of the Nashville Predators, Camelio started taking inventory of what the Predators had, writing down items big and small to make sure he wouldn't forget anything.

Skate sharpeners. Helmet screws. Thread to sew jerseys. A convection oven to heat plastic guards molded over skates to protect players blocking shots …

"The amount of stuff that needs to be ordered is incredible," Camelio said.

But that's what this is: an incredible opportunity and challenge.

Among the seven hires the Kraken announced Tuesday were Camelio, head athletic trainer Mike Booi and head strength and conditioning coach Nate Brookreson.

Each not only has risen to the highest level of his profession in the NHL for the first time, he gets to start a department and do it in Seattle. The expansion team is building a training center and an arena, each as cutting-edge as new skate blades, and will join the NHL in 2021-22.

continued

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The Seattle Kraken Prepared To Spend Money

from Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times,

“We have to spend money and we’re looking to spend money,” Francis said.

That means contracts ordinarily considered “risky’’ or “bad’’ because of high salary won’t necessarily generate such fears for the Kraken.

“It’s certainly one possibility that you could take on what some teams determine to be bad contracts,” Francis said. “But that’s not necessarily the case.”

Francis said the Kraken still must spend “wisely” to avoid backloading too much salary for years they’ll need cap space to pay young entry draft picks and other prospects. They have ample space now, but that can quickly evaporate if Francis behaves like the kid in the proverbial candy store armed with Bonderman’s credit card.

“Certainly, in today’s world, cap space is extremely valuable, so we’ve got to be careful as we build things.”

Nevertheless, the NHL freezing its cap this coming season means teams previously expecting more room are scrambling to fit players within tighter confines. Which leaves the Kraken sitting pretty; the only team with 100% cap space available.

“We were looking at that $85 million, $86 million cap when we started,” Francis said. “So, there are some teams in that situation where the cap staying flat kind of affects their planning and they may have to do different things.”

more

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the Story Of Dr. Joel Boyd And His Family

via Sportsnet's YouTube page,

Dr. Joel Boyd is the lead physician for the Minnesota Wild and his family has followed in his footsteps with various roles across the league. Here is their story as they show in many ways that hockey is for everyone.

 

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Everett Fitzhugh Named Broadcaster For The Seattle Kraken

from William Douglas of NHL.com,

The Seattle Kraken named Everett Fitzhugh as their team broadcaster Friday, positioning him to become the NHL's first Black full-time team play-by-play announcer when the League's 32nd team begins play in the 2021-22 season.

"As someone who's worked in hockey for over a decade and who has a long-held passion for broadcast hockey, to be named team broadcaster for a brand-new NHL franchise -- particularly one with an organization as strong as the Kraken -- is a dream come true," said Fitzhugh, a 31-year-old Detroit native. "Getting to the NHL has always been my goal. I look forward to serving as the voice for this incredible team and its fans as well as representing the Kraken organization throughout the greater Seattle community."

The Kraken is striving to become a leader in sports when it comes to diversity and inclusion in hiring at all levels. CEO Tod Leiweke said Fitzhugh "has established himself as a unique and leading voice for hockey and was high on the list of many folks we consulted with.

continued

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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.

continued

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Video- Welcome The Seattle Kraken

 

 

 

Sweater rendition below. more added at 12:17pm...

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