What is the expansion project?
The Seattle Kraken officially joined the NHL on April 30, when the new organization closed Pay for Expansion Rights. In turn, the league gives the Kraken the opportunity to select players who are already active in the ring in order to build a team worthy of that name from the first season.
The Kraken will have to choose one player from each team, with the exception of the Vegas Golden Knights, who are exempt from the process.
The Knights, who entered the Bateman Tour in 2017, had the opportunity to make an expansion draft as well. This is how the team is made It has surprised many observers, since then Reached the Stanley Cup Final From his first season, but lost Against Washington Capitals.
Prior to 2017, the NHL submitted several other expansion drafts with different bases, including 1991 (San José Sharks), 1992 (Tampa Bay Lightning and Ottawa Senators), 1993 (Anaheim Ducks and Panthers of Florida), 1998 (Nashville Predators), 1999 (Atlanta Thrashers) and 2000 (Columbus Blue Jackets and Minnesota Wild).
How does the expansion project work?
The rules of the Kraken game will be the same as those of the Golden Knights. Here are the highlights:
- Seattle will have to select at least 20 players under contract for the 2021-2022 season;
- The combined salary of players must represent between 60% and 100% of the maximum applicable salary, which has been set at $81.5 million;
- Kraken cannot buy back the players contract next season and won’t be able to do so until summer 2022 at the earliest;
- Players who are long-term injured players or who have missed the last 60 NHL games due to injury cannot be selected by Kraken or disclosed by the team that holds their rights.
To make his selection, the Kraken will have to indulge in players that 30 teams have left free. Each team can protect 9 or 11 players to make them unavailable to Ron Francis, the general manager and main contractor for the expansion team.
These 30 teams have a choice between two options as to which players to protect:
- 7 attackers, 3 defenders and 1 goalkeeper,
- 8 players regardless of their position and 1 goalkeeper.
Any player whose contract contains a no-trade or no-move clause must be on his team’s protection roll, unless the player in question agrees to lift that clause.
It is in particular this What goalkeeper Marc-Andre Fleury did in 2017, selected by the Vegas Golden Knights of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
What are the exceptions?
It should be noted that all players with two years or less of experience in the Pro ranks as well as all players selected in the draft, but without a contract, are exempt from the expansion draft and do not need protection.
For Canadians, this means that young players like Nick Suzuki, Cole Caufield, Alexander Romanov or Kayden Primo don’t have to protect, but Gisbury Kotkanyemi should. The latter has already played three seasons in the NHL.
In 2017, CH lost defender Alexei Emelin in the expansion draft.
Is the exchange possible?
However, some teams wishing to force the Kraken may come to an agreement with Ron Francis to force him to choose certain players over other players.
In 2017, the Golden Knights used trade to significantly improve their team. One of those was with leopards. Team Florida agreed to release Quebec’s Jonathan Marchesault and send forward Riley Smith to Nevada for a fourth-round pick and the Las Vegas team promised to take Marchesault.
At the time, the Panthers would have preferred to protect four defenders rather than Smith and Marquesault. Since their first season in Vegas, the two have quickly established themselves as a mainstay, racking up 22 goals, 38 assists, 27 goals, and 48 assists, respectively.
This summer, the Kraken may be tempted to strike deals with 30 teams to take advantage of salary cap restrictions and target players with undervalued potential, as was the case with Marchessault and Smith.
The salary cap, which won’t increase next season, should allow Kraken to do some good work.
He could draw inspiration from one of George McPhee’s best shots of 2017. GM agreed to demand defender Clayton Stoner of the Anaheim Ducks, a salary of $3.25 million, in exchange for that of young defender Shea Theodore, who was 22 years old.
Since then, Theodore has established himself as one of the best linebackers in the National Hockey League and just finished a season in which he earned 42 points in 53 games.
Who runs the Seattle Kraken?
The leading trio is made of the gray eminence of hockey. Ron Francis previously served as the general manager with the Carolina Hurricanes and Dave Huxtol as head coach for the Philadelphia Flyers. On the other hand, the Seattle team includes many women in its organizational chart.
Among them is Alexandra Mandriki, director of hockey strategy and research, who is one of the few women to hold a strong position in the NHL.
Cammy Granato, former captain of the US Olympic team, works as a professional scout. She is the first woman to hold this position in the NHL.
Added to Mandrycky and Granato: Kendall Tyson, Vice President of Strategy and Analysis; Stephanie Kelly, Vice President of Finance; April West, Vice President of Human Resources, and Katie Townsend, Vice President of Communications. They were all appointed in July 2019.
In addition to the 20 players selected in the expansion draft, Team Kraken will also be able to get one of the nicest prospects in the amateur draft on July 23.
The Holds the second option in total. Among the possibilities likely to be drafted by Seattle are Owen Power, Matthew Berniers, Luke Hughes, Dylan Guinter, William Ecklund and Simon Edvinson.
At the moment, the calendar for the 2021-2022 season has not been released yet. One thing’s for sure, the first time Seattle fans can watch their new hockey team skate will be September 26, the date of the NHL’s first game of the 32nd season.