Article at a glance:
from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,
The Seattle Kraken looked at Carey Price, Vladimir Tarasenko, James van Riemsdyk, Ryan Johansen, Matt Duchene and others during the expansion draft process and said ‘No thanks, I’m good.”
In doing so, the NHL’s newest franchise put itself in pole position to race towards a new epoch of roster construction. The easy takeaway from Friday’s made-for-TV event was that Ron Francis left talent on the table. But the most significant thing he did was avoid putting a bad contract on the books.
“We think that's a valuable thing to have right now, especially in a COVID environment with the flat cap,” said Francis, the Kraken's general manager. “We went through our choices and there were some good players that were out there; maybe we weren’t comfortable with the cap hit on some of them, so we tried to draft the best team possible we could and still keeping our cap space available just to hopefully do some things as we move forward.”
In the very near term that will mean spending some money when the free-agent market opens next Wednesday. They staked claim to defencemen Jamie Oleksiak and Adam Larsson, plus goaltender Chris Driedger, during this week’s UFA interview period and are expected to take a run at Jaden Schwartz, among others, on the open market.
But Seattle showed patience during the 72-hour period where the rest of the NHL sat and waited on the sidelines while it selected 30 players.