The results of the Seattle Kraken's NHL expansion draft aren't supposed to be released until 8 ET tonight on ESPN2, but being the age of social media, some results are leaking out. Arguably the biggest-name player left unprotected for Seattle to take was Montreal goaltender Carey Price, who carried the Habs on a surprise run to the Stanley Cup Finals. According to multiple reports, Seattle has not taken Price -- the list already has been submitted to the NHL. The Kraken are +5000 to win the 2022 Stanley Cup at William Hill Sportsbook.
Why would the Canadiens have left the likely future Hall of Famer unprotected and yet protected backup Jake Allen? It was all about finances. The 33-year-old Price has five years remaining on a deal with a $10.5 million cap hit per season and might be nearing the downward trend of his career. He also could need offseason surgery because of a knee issue. Thus, the Habs asked Price to waive his no-movement clause on the assumption that Seattle wouldn't take such a big risk, and it appears Montreal officials guessed right.
Seattle must pick one unprotected player from each NHL team other than Golden Knights. The Kraken can also sign pending unrestricted free agents, but it they do sign one it counts as a pick for the player's previous team. Thus, it makes logical sense in some cases to wait and sign a free agent, although Seattle does have an exclusive window currently. The Kraken must pick/sign at least three goalies, 14 forwards and nine defensemen.
The Kraken have made one confirmed free-agent signing today: Oilers defenseman Adam Larsson (10 points in 2021) to a four-year deal with an annual value of $4 million. Thus, Edmonton won't lose another player.
Next season's NHL schedule will be released Thursday, but reportedly the Kraken's first game will be at Pacific Division rival Vegas. Seattle will open on the road with likely the first few games away so the billion-dollar Climate Pledge Arena in the city is fully completed. The 2021-22 season is expected to start Oct. 12, although not every team will open that night.
Other Kraken expansion draft reports:
- Will sign Florida Panthers goaltender Chris Driedger, who was 14-6-3 with a 2.07 GAA last year.
- Will sign defenseman Jamie Oleksiak from the Dallas Stars. He had 14 points in 2021.
- Will select center Jared McCann from the Maple Leafs. McCann had 14 goals and 18 assists last season with Pittsburgh and had been acquired in trade by Toronto.
- Will select Flames defenseman Mark Giordano.
- Will not sign/select Avalanche winger Gabriel Landeskog
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