Mocking the Seattle Kraken expansion draft

Today is the day of the 2021 Seattle Kraken expansion draft. There are lots of big names and talented veterans available to General Manager Ron Francis, as well as underrated role players who have the chance to breakout with an increased role.

With the help of Cap Friendly’s terrific expansion draft simulator, I put together my own Seattle Kraken roster. Below are my 30 selections, including one player from every team except exempt Vegas.

(Note: I picked Adam Larsson from Edmonton, Jamie Oleksiak from Dallas, and goaltender Chris Driedger from Florida, who all are confirmed free agent players signed by Seattle.)

Forwards (15)

Jakub Voráček (Philadelphia)
Yanni Gourde (Tampa Bay)
Joonas Donskoi (Colorado)
Alexander Kerfoot (Toronto)
Andreas Johnsson (New Jersey)
Calle Jarnkrok (Nashville)
Vladislav Namestnikov (Detroit)
Christian Fischer (Arizona)
Zach MacEwen (Vancouver)
Blake Lizotte (Los Angeles)
Julien Gauthier (New York Rangers)
Andrew Oglevie (Buffalo)
Kieffer Bellows (New York Islanders)
Ryan Donato (San Jose)
Adam Gaudette (Chicago)

Defensemen (10)

Mark Giordano (Calgary)
Marcus Pettersson (Pittsburgh)
Dylan DeMelo (Winnipeg)
Haydn Fleury (Anaheim)
Jeremy Lauzon (Boston)
Gabriel Carlsson (Columbus)
Jamie Oleksiak (Dallas)
Adam Larsson (Edmonton)
Jake Bean (Carolina)
Vince Dunn (St. Louis)

Goaltenders (5)

Carey Price (Montreal)
Joey Daccord (Ottawa)
Kaapo Kähkönen (Minnesota)
Vítek Vaněček (Washington)
Chris Driedger (Florida)

Current Salary

Approximately $70 million as it stands now, pending the signing of the RFAs. I would expect a few players flipped for future draft picks to cut some costs, and leave my team with plenty of 2021-22 salary cap wiggle room.

Quick thoughts

This team, at least on paper, is really solid on defense and in goal. Goal-scoring may be a problem, but I like the possible combination of Gourde and Voráček up front. My Seattle squad does have decent depth up front, and quite a few younger forwards with upside.

My Seattle roster certainly has a logjam in net, with four potential starters headlined by Price. I think the best-case scenario is that one of the these guys gets flipped to a team needing a goaltender (likely Vaněček), leaving a Driedger/ Kähkönen combination to start the season until Price is healthy. I think this team could compete for a playoff spot in the Pacific Division, and has enough depth to acquire some additional help for the future.

Will this team be a repeat of the 2017-18 Vegas Golden Knights? I have my doubts.

NHL Expansion: Ranking the nine cities most likely to get a team.

Secret Season rink

The NHL expansion rumor mill has been heating up in recent weeks with a pair of reports connecting the NHL to Las Vegas as a done deal (Tony Gallagher’s column in the Vancouver Province and Howard Bloom’s Sports Business News tweet:

The NHL was quick to shoot down these reports, but perhaps this is a situation where when there is smoke, there is fire, as the NHL has a least looked a few places for future teams in the past calendar year.

Maybe the NHL doesn’t really need expansion and 30 teams are enough, but considering the potential windfall to the league’s ownership by adding teams, and you can almost bet on the NHL expanding in the not-so distant future. Thirty-two or 34 teams would make sense as the next logical step, and if you believe the reports that are out there, it might happen as soon as 2016-2017, the NHL’s centennial season.

Here is a quick evaluation of nine potential NHL expansion or relocation cities in order from most likely to get a team by 2025 to least likely:

Continue reading “NHL Expansion: Ranking the nine cities most likely to get a team.”

So the NHL is coming to Seattle? Think again.

NHL Seattle
Images courtesy of

So Seattle is building a new arena, the SuperSonics are on the way back, and the NHL is sure to follow?

Unless you live in Seattle or enjoy the occasional lockout, you’d better hope not.

Continue reading “So the NHL is coming to Seattle? Think again.”

Blue Jackets fans get e-mails and hot liquids; Coyotes fans not as lucky

Clumsy Blue Jackets
Photo by Dan Hickling

Two weeks ago I wrote a column about the worst team to cheer for in the NHL, and apparently things have gotten worse for one of the franchises on the list.

Things have hit rock bottom in Columbus, where the Blue Jackets still have the worst record in the league at 13-31. They are last in goals scored with 115 and are currently on a three-game slide. Tuesday, the Jackets were shelled by San Jose, 6-0.

Continue reading “Blue Jackets fans get e-mails and hot liquids; Coyotes fans not as lucky”