Kraken make big splash; sign Philipp Grubauer to six-year contract and Jaden Schwartz for five years

The expansion Seattle Kraken gave GM Ron Francis the green light to spend to the cap limit. While he’s unlikely to go that far, he is certainly strengthing his lineup.

Today he signed goaltender Philipp Grubauer to a six-year, $35.4 million contract.

The deal represents a significant raise for Grubauer, who just completed a three-year, $10 million deal with the Colorado Avalanche.

Although the Avs would have liked to retain their starting goalie; cap space is at a premium after extending Cale Makar and Gabriel Landeskog to big deals.

Seattle Kraken active in free agency

kraken sign schwartz
May 17, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; St. Louis Blues left wing Jaden Schwartz (17) skates during warmups in game one of the first round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Colorado Avalanche at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Kraken also agreed to terms with forwards Jaden Schwartz and Alexander Wennberg. Schwartz’s deal is five years for $27.5 million, while Wennberg will receive a three-year, $13.5 million pact.

Grubauer, 29, was named as a Vezina Trophy finalist last season after posting a 30-9-1 record with seven shutouts, a 1.95 goals-against average and .922 save percentage in 40 games with the Avalanche.

A Stanley Cup champion with the Capitals, Grubauer owns a 109-61-21 record with 18 shutouts, a 2.34 GAA and .920 save percentage in 214 career games with Washington and Colorado.

Schwartz, 29, had 21 points (eight goals, 13 assists) in 40 games with the St. Louis Blues last season. He has 385 points (154 goals, 231 assists) in 560 career games since being selected by the Blues with the 14th overall pick of the 2010 NHL Draft.

“Jaden plays a responsible two-way game and knows how to put the puck in the net,” said Seattle Kraken GM Ron Francis. “He brings veteran leadership to our group. 

Wennberg, 26, recorded a career-high 17 goals to go along with 12 assists in 56 games last season with the Florida Panthers. He has 230 points (57 goals, 173 assists) in 471 career games with the Columbus Blue Jackets and Panthers.

“Alexander is coming off of his best goal-scoring season to date and gives us an offensive-minded center down the middle,” said Francis. “He’s still young. We think he has room to grow even further as he has taken large strides in each of his last few seasons. We like his combination of size and skill and think he will fit well with our group.” 

The Kraken selected three goalies in the expansion draft, including Chris Driedger, who they signed to a three-year, $10.5 million contract.

–Field Level Media contributed to this article.