The Seattle Kraken will submit their expansion picks to the NHL today around 10 AM, along with any standard player contracts for any free agents they signed. Once all the paperwork is reviewed, ESPN2 in the U.S. and Sportsnet in Canada will broadcast the selections at 8PM ET.
Seattle Kraken ready to select their team
The excitement is palpable around the hockey world with the enthusiasm generated out of Seattle. “We’ve been preparing for this for a long time,” Ron Francis, the Kraken’s GM said over the weekend. “We’re excited that it’s finally here.”
A bit of a stir was caused yesterday when leaked footage of players being selected made its way to social media platforms. Apparently it was just rehearsals for the big show tonight. People figured it out once they realized it was several takes with different Maple Leafs being selected.
According to Elliotte Friedman, he says that the chatter with Seattle and other teams is much less than it was with the Vegas Golden Knights. That could mean nothing because Francis is notorious for being tight-lipped.
One thing Francis has going for him is a recent roadmap to early expansion success provided by George McPhee and the Golden Knights.
“I think they can take a lot from what we did and will,” McPhee said. “I do believe the pandemic is going to help them a lot. There are GMs that have been through this once on the other side and may be a little more shrewd. On the other hand, the flat cap is going to be hard on some teams and they’re going to be looking for a way out. It’s something Seattle can take advantage of.”NHL.com
Seattle may select Carey Price
The Kraken must select one player from every team. Vegas is exempt as they are still considered a new franchise themselves. Francis can also sign other team’s unprotected free agents and it is expected that Florida Panthers goalie Chris Driedger will be one of those type of selections. There’s also some rumblings Francis may sign Gabriel Landeskog but I don’t see it happening.
When it is all said and done, Francis must choose at least 14 forwards, 9 defenseman, and 3 goalies. The combined salaries of those selections must be no less than 60% of the $81.5 million cap limit.
A large chunk of that could come from one player.
Carey Price is 33 years-old and has 5 years remaining on a deal with a hefty $10.5 million cap hit. Furthermore, if the Kraken opt to take Price, they will have to pay him an $11 million signing bonus with the way his contract is structured. It is also reported he is dealing injuries that may require surgery.
According to multiple reports Seattle is seriously considering taking Price and making him their version of Marc-Andre Fleury. This interest which has found its way out of Ron Francis’ circle of trust and cone of silence could be just a tactic.
Some think Seattle just wants Montreal to give up an asset in order to not select him. Others believe that Francis may not be buying the knee and hip injuries to dissuade him from selecting Price. The intrigue here is fantastic and really presents a great mystery heading into today.
Let me add this, Carey Price’s wife posted on her Instagram that their home in Kelowna, BC is coming along nicely. She then added, “We’re now headed south to see our family and friends. Here’s hoping the 6 hour road trip goes smoothly.”
By the way, the travel time from Kelowna and Seattle is just about 6 hours.