In the interview, we discuss the various teams currently playing in the Premier League, the possible players that could potentially move to Arsenal this summer, and the conclusion of whether or not they could be a viable option to replace the likes of Mesut Özil.
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The NHL will expand to 32 teams starting with the 2021-22 season, and the Seattle Cracks will join the Pacific Division. He created a natural regional rivalry with the Vancouver Canucks and brought the sport back to a city whose Metropolitans were the first team to win the Stanley Cup in 1917.
While the recruitment of managers and coaches continues and the construction of the Climate Pledge Arena, which is scheduled to open in mid-October, the final touches must also be made to the team. The next step in this process is the Expansion Draft.
If you’re not quite up to speed yet, we’ll help you understand how the franchise came to be, explaining the expansion draft itself, the rules and restrictions placed on the Krakens and other NHL teams, and which players can make it to Seattle in their first season.
Who are the Seattle Kraken?
Vyshinsky: After more than two decades of failed attempts to bring an NHL team to Seattle, things started to move forward around 2012, with the construction of a new arena as a key component.
In the summer of 2013, the Phoenix Coyotes nearly moved to Seattle before the City Council of Glendale, Arizona, approved the lease for a new arena. In 2015, three ownership groups discussed the possibility of applying to expand an NHL team, but none did, with Las Vegas becoming the only franchise approved by the league.
Then, in 2017, the NHL announced it was considering an offer from Seattle with an expansion fee of $650 million, $150 million more than Vegas paid. Instead of building a new arena – which was torpedoed by other proposals – an ownership group led by majority shareholder David Bonderman and minority shareholders Jerry Bruckheimer and David Wright worked with Oak View Group on a privately funded proposal to renovate Key Arena, the former home of the NBA’s Seattle SuperSonics, to house an NHL team.
In December 2018, the NHL Board of Governors unanimously approved Seattle as the 32nd franchise. League franchise, giving them a spot in the Pacific Division starting in the 2021-22 season. Former Carolina Hurricanes general manager Ron Francis was hired in 2019 to lead the hockey operations department, which quickly became known for its diverse hiring practices and emphasis on analytics.
In the summer of 2020, the team announced its nickname, Kraken, which was chosen from a list that included the Steelheads, Sockeyes and Metropolitans. In June 2021, Kraken announced former Philadelphia Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol as its first head coach.
When and where will the draw take place?
Chaplain: The expansion will take place on July 21 at 5 p.m. PDT/8pm. EDT in Seattle and will be broadcast on ESPN2. The lists of protected teams must be submitted on Saturday, and those lists will be announced on Sunday.
Did the rules change after the Vegas Golden Knights eviction game?
Vyshinsky: Kraken is running the draft under the same rules as the Vegas Golden Knights did in 2017. They have the same position requirements and salary caps; the other 30 teams in the draft have the same defensive limitations, which could give the Kraken the eighth-best forward, the fourth-best defenseman or the second-best goalie.
In particular, there is a provision that could help the Kraken get a major player offering a maximum contract. For the Vegas draft, the NHLPA agreed to a clause that would allow players included in the expansion draft or acquired via a trade prior to the conclusion of the expansion draft to sign a contract for up to eight years with the Golden Knights before free agency begins. The same rule, with slightly different dates due to the late end of the 2021 season, applies to the Kraken in this expansion draft.
Why is Vegas exempt from the expansion round?
Chaplain: The Golden Knights won’t have to give up a player in the expansion draft that owner Bill Foley negotiated with the NHL as part of the franchise’s original deal in 2016. The only downside to Vegas? Foley will receive no part of Seattle’s $650 million contribution, which amounts to a $21.67 million check for the other 30 teams.
This was a typical NHL practice during the feverish 1990s, when the league added nine teams in a decade. For example, when the Minnesota Wild and Columbus Blue Jackets held a joint founding game in 2000, they did not select players from the Atlanta Thrashers (who joined in 1999) or the Nashville Predators (1998) because both were rookies still trying to find their way.
From left to right: Marc-Andre Fleury, Derick Engelland, Brayden McNabb and Jason Garrison were selected by the Vegas Golden Knights in the 2017 expansion draft. Jeff Winnick/NHLI via Getty Images
What are the rules for teams defending players?
Wyszynski: The 30 teams participating in the draft can protect seven attackers, three defenders and one goalie; or they can protect eight skaters and one goalie. All first- and second-year NHL players, as well as all non-committed draft picks, do not participate in the expansion draft and do not count towards the team’s overall defense.
There are minimum requirements for players to be used in the expansion draft. The list must include at least two attackers and one defender who are under contract for the 2021-22 season and who played in at least 40 games last season or 70 games in the past two seasons, as well as a goalkeeper who is under contract for the 2021-22 season or who will be a restricted free agent this season – assuming the RFA standby received his qualifying offer this summer.
It is important to keep these requirements in mind: Players with a potentially career-threatening injury who have missed more than 60 consecutive games – or who have a confirmed career-threatening injury – cannot be used to add to the team’s roster until they are approved by the NHL.
What is the impact of the trade and travel ban provisions?
Chaplain: If a player has a no-trade clause, he can be put up for sale. If a player has a non-moving clause, he should be protected – unless he agrees to give up that clause to be sold. There is already an example of at least one player who has done this: Milan Lucic, the veteran of the Calgary Flames.
The 32-year-old, who has two years left on his seven-year contract, said he loves Calgary and wants to stay with the Flames, but agreed to waive a breakaway clause so the team can prioritize protecting other players.
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On Tuesday, teams had to ask players to waive their no-movement clause to get them into the draft (like Lucic). Players are up to 16 years old. It’s time to make that decision in July.
Some teams were cornered by too many no-movement clauses in the Golden Knights’ expansion draft. A good example is that the Blue Jackets have to defend Sergei Bobrovsky, Brandon Dubinsky, Nick Foligno and Scott Hartnell because of their NMC. That means Columbus will have to rely on players like Josh Anderson, Ryan Murray and Joonas Korpisalo, and general manager Jarmo Kekalainen didn’t want to get rid of any of them.
So Kekalainen made a deal with Vegas general manager George McPhee. The Golden Knights agreed to pick William Karlsson in exchange for a first-round pick, a second-round pick and an expensive contract for David Clarkson. Karlsson shined in Vegas, where he went from 6 to 43 goals, thanks in part to a more active role. Since then, the Blue Jackets have not included a relocation clause.
Do Krakens have to fill a certain number of each position?
Vyshinsky: Seattle picks one player from each team – excluding Vegas – as long as they take at least 14 attackers, nine defenders and three goalies. He must select at least 20 players under contract for the 2021-22 regular season whose combined draft value is between 60% and 100% of the $81.5 million salary cap.
The Kraken will not be able to buy out players from the expansion draft until the summer of 2022.
What are the rules if Seattle signs a free agent before the game?
Chaplain: Kraken has an exclusive window from Sunday through July 21 to negotiate with any potential free agent not protected by the other 30 teams. If Seattle signs one of these players, he will be considered their choice in this club. And if Seattle can get this player before free agency begins on the 28th. By signing in July, the Kraken could offer him an extension of up to eight years. After that, Seattle can’t draft seven-year contracts until this summer.
Which players should Kraken fans see on the team after the draft?
Vyshinsky: Following the same selection rules, the Golden Knights selected seven centers, six left wingers, two right wingers, 13 defensive players and three goalies. The imbalance is not surprising, as each team has theoretically given up its fourth defender. All six defensemen who were on the roster at the start of the 2017-18 season were selected in the expansion draft, as was their leading goalie, Marc-Andre Fleury. It would be surprising if the Kraken didn’t select an experienced goalie in the draft, given the number of great options available.
The players selected by Kraken are determined by three factors: Who is available in the player pool; the mandatory requirements for its composition; and the philosophy of the front office. Seattle shows its commitment to data analysis. So expect several analysts to join the team through the draft.
But head coach Hakstol told ESPN that Kraken also drafts players who fit GM Ron Francis’ mold as a player. He appreciates players who can think on their feet. Smart players. The pace of the game is a very important aspect. But the most important thing is competitiveness, Hakstol said.
The Kraken get the #2 pick in the draft – and maybe a few more if they make extra arrangements to not select certain players from other teams in the draft. Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images
Are there any NHL players associated with this region?
Chaplain: Two of Washington’s best-known residents in the NHL are veteran T.J. Oshie (born in nearby Mount Vernon) and veteran Tampa Bay Lightning forward Tyler Johnson (born in Spokane).
There has long been speculation that Oshie would be the face of the Kraken in its first year, but the 34-year-old wants to stay in Washington.
I signed an eight-year contract here because I wanted to spend the rest of my career here and retire, Oshie said in his post-season media interview. The striker is still under contract with Washington until 2024-25. Capitals general manager Brian McLellan may have put an end to speculation in May when he called Oshie a key member of our organization.
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It would hurt our team and our organization if we lost him in the expansion draft, McLellan said. I don’t know if we’ve made a decision on that yet, but ideally we’d like him to stay.
It’s likely the Lightning will use Johnson, who they announced twice last season. But no team was willing to help Tampa Bay shake off Johnson’s $5 million salary, and it’s unclear if the Octics will.
Seattle has two local major junior teams that play in the WHL. The Seattle Thunderbirds have a good team of former NHL players: Matthew Barzal, Ethan Bear, Brenden Dillon, Keegan Kolesar, Shea Theodore, Patrick Marlo and Nate Thompson. The Everett Silvertips team is the former team of Radko Gudas, Carter Hart, Jujar Hair and Ryan Murray.
Did other teams learn from the 2017 expansion draft?
Vyshinsky: Yes, they learned that the NHL was stacking the cards against them because a group of comprehensive league owners spent hundreds of millions of dollars to join the league. So they did their best to get their roster in order for this draft. They opened lines of communication with GM Francis long before the expansion roster was presented to try and make trades.
As Nashville Predators general manager David Poyle said recently, there’s no guarantee we’ll do anything with him, but … If I could make a deal with him that I liked, I’d probably rather do it.
If these teams have learned anything, it’s that they shouldn’t overreact to the potential loss of players. Among the treasures Vegas acquired after it agreed not to draft certain unprotected players from teams: Defender Shea Theodore, attackers Reilly Smith and Alex Tuch, and three first-round picks.
How good will Kraken be in its first season?
Chaplain: The Golden Knights opened their first season with a one-in-five chance of winning the Stanley Cup and reached the Stanley Cup finals, rewriting expectations for franchise expansion in all sports. Before Vegas, of the 64 teams that have expanded in the four major American sports leagues since 1960, none had a positive record in its first season.
The coefficients have learned their lesson. Seattle opens the tournament with 100-1 odds, tied with the other five teams and above the Buffalo Sabres and Detroit Red Wings.
Kraken’s management is careful to define a timetable for success. As Francis told me shortly after he was hired two years ago: I think if you go back and listen to the comments Vegas made before the practice game, their plan was to get through the game, develop well and be patient in the process. I think George [McPhee] and Kelly [McCrimmon] did a fantastic job. They had an incredible first season, and the franchise has continued to go strong ever since. So hopefully we can get some good players in the draft and the amateur draft and take the time to develop those guys.
It sounds like someone who doesn’t want to over-promise, but wants to over-deliver.
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