Kraken guidebook will help players picked in NHL Expansion Draft

Sports

BlueJackets.com 15 July, 2021 - 08:45am 7 views

How many players can the Kraken take from each team?

How many players can each team protect? The 30 teams can each protect 7 forwards, 3 defensemen and 1 goalie, or 8 skaters (forwards/defensemen) and 1 goalie. DraftKings NationNHL Expansion Draft 2021: Rules for minimum players, contracts, protected lists as Seattle Kraken fill out ro…

Welcome to NHL.com, the official site of the National Hockey League

Bienvenue à LNH.com , le site officiel de la Ligue nationale de hockey

Добро пожаловать на NHL.com, официальный сайт Национальной хоккейной лиги

Välkommen till NHL.com, NHL:s officiella web-sida

Vítejte na NHL.com, oficiálních stránkách National Hockey League

Vitajte na NHL.com, oficiálnych stránkach National Hockey League

Willkommen auf NHL.com, der offiziellen Seite der National Hockey League

Bienvenido a NHL.com, el sitio oficial de la National Hockey League

The resource guide is 70 pages long. It encompasses just about everything someone new to Seattle could want to know about: child care and Chinese food, realtors and Rainier -- the ins and outs and how-tos for new members of the Seattle Kraken.

The guide is a bible that the Kraken have curated for players and families, to be distributed as soon as possible after the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft presented by Upper Deck on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; ESPN2, SN, SN NOW).

The guide is necessary because once the draft happens, the expansion team suddenly will have 30 new players and 30 new families, not including free agent signees and players acquired in trades (Seattle will select one player from each team, excluding the Vegas Golden Knights). And all of them will be scrambling to find places to live and places to send their kids to school, all of them will have questions and needs and, though the resource guide may not answer every one of them, it's a start.

"It's a really in-depth guide," executive assistant for hockey operations Sadie Klingman said. "It goes through everything from Seattle as a whole, talking about good hikes and the Pacific Northwest and the organization, and it also goes into specific neighborhoods, schools, restaurants, everything."

The logistics do not end with what Vegas director of hockey administration Katy Boettinger called the "good neighbor guide," which mimics one created by the Golden Knights ahead of the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft, which mimicked one created by the Washington Capitals ahead of the move of their practice facility to Arlington, Virginia, in 2006.

Need a work visa? Kraken executive assistant to the general manager Brooke Coyle has the details down. Need a nanny? Klingman has researched them. Need a hotel as an opposing team? Manager of team services Brennan Baxandall has been working on it.

"Those are kind of the heroes of the story, the unsung heroes," said Colorado Avalanche forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, who was selected by the Golden Knights in the 2017 expansion draft.

With aid from the Golden Knights -- especially from Boettinger, who worked for Vegas president of hockey operations George McPhee with Washington -- the Kraken are aiming to make sure it's as easy as possible for the players, using a four-year-old blueprint.

Still, as Coyle said, "There's going to be a lot of sleepless nights."

Defenseman Nate Schmidt knew in the week leading up to the 2017 expansion draft that either he or goalie Philipp Grubauer was likely to be chosen from the Capitals. Then, four hours before the draft, McPhee called while Schmidt was coaching a game at the Minnesota Hockey High Performance Summer Camp.

He slipped off the bench, learned his fate, and tried to figure out what to do next.

"My mind was in a blender," Schmidt said. "You kind of go into overdrive the next day. You start thinking: What's the next step? … Where am I going to go? Where am I going to live?"

Schmidt turned to a connection: Jason Zucker. Schmidt was close with forward Erik Haula, who had played on the Minnesota Wild with Zucker just prior to being selected by the Golden Knights. Zucker had grown up in Las Vegas. Schmidt and Haula ended up staying at Zucker's place while they searched for their own living arrangements. 

"But, by the time we got there, [Zucker] was out to Minnesota," Schmidt said. "The biggest resource that we had was Deryk Engelland."

Engelland, who had lived in Las Vegas for the previous 14 or so summers, was kept busy fielding calls and texts, questions and requests for advice. Not only was he joining the Golden Knights -- he signed as a free agent and counted as their selection from the Calgary Flames -- the defenseman had boots-on-the-ground knowledge of the city.

Bellemare texted him the day after the expansion draft after getting his number through his agent, wanting help finding a house that would feel like a home immediately, given that his wife, Hannah, was pregnant. He wasn't the only one.

It was so extensive that Engelland's wife, Melissa, created her own guide for new teammates, emailing out their personal likes, dislikes and recommendations.

"Guys come to camp and then find where they want to live, but girls like to plan everything out," Engelland said. "There were a lot of people with kids. [Melissa] put together a list of schools and doctors and pediatricians and then just sent it out to people. You tried to give as many guys as you could spots to live. … Just something to make it a little easier for everyone's transition."

Combined with the work the Golden Knights did, it all helped the players not feel so adrift, to eliminate stress and allow them to focus on hockey.

"The team did set up a whole lot of stuff for everybody," Schmidt said. "They gave you a packet -- this is where you get everything. If this is where you live, this is the grocery store you're going to want to go to. They really simplified it so much that you really didn't have to think. You just kind of got there.

"Here's your key card to get in the rink. Here's this, here's that. We're going to provide everything for you at the beginning, and then we'll let you find your own way after a couple of weeks, after you get a little more comfortable."

That's the side the Kraken are focused on now, given that there's no guarantee that they will select players who can fill the role of Engelland and Zucker, with few Washington natives as options. So they have made sure to find players from other Seattle teams -- the Mariners of MLB, the Seahawks of the NFL, and the Sounders of Major League Soccer -- who can connect with the Kraken.

And, as Baxandall said, welcome them to the family.

The Kraken have already begun distributing their resource guide, with coaches and assistants having been hired and Seattle acquiring its first player, center Luke Henman, who agreed to a three-year contract May 12. And after the expansion draft, Coyle, Klingman and Baxandall are likely to split up the list of contacts from general manager Ron Francis and begin the long process of getting to everyone.

They'll need to react to the selections: Does the team skew older or younger? Are there a lot of wives and girlfriends and families? How much stuff will the players have to move? And where will they want to move it?

They have answers now. But it started from nothing. At Page 1.

"At the early stages of it, Sadie and I didn't really know where to start on it," Coyle said. 

They set up meetings over Zoom, asking for the moving companies used by the other professional athletes in the city, inquiring about the florists they liked, the car services they called, the nannies who cared for their kids. They asked about negative experiences too, wanting to smooth the path to Seattle from their disparate home cities.

They know the younger players will likely want to rent condos near the rink, that the older, more veteran players will need houses and neighborhoods that are quieter, better for families. It's about finding schools, public and private, that have the knowledge and experience to handle the children of professional athletes, whether that's about celebrity or scheduling.

They also have to get the players there, to arrange visas or visa transfers, to work through immigration issues, with additional steps needed because of COVID-19. Even players already under contract in the United States need help, a new I-797 form for a new employer. Coyle has gotten a dry run on the paperwork for Baxandall, who is from Calgary, and some Kraken scouts who are eligible for P-1 support visas, paperwork which could only start after they signed Henman. And once those are finished, those players will need a Washington state driver's licenses, a new insurance plan, perhaps even a new cell phone number.

They count themselves lucky that Boettinger has been there to help.

"It's just been so reassuring just knowing that we have her to bounce ideas off of, to know ahead of time what to expect," Coyle said. "But we're also very aware that there are going to be new things that are going to be thrown at us that Vegas never experienced."

For the Golden Knights, the situation was even more hectic. The expansion draft was June 21, with a show to put on, with the selections being named during the 2017 NHL Awards at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. That was followed by flights to Chicago for the 2017 NHL Draft on June 23 and 24. This time there are no flights and fewer moving parts, given the coronavirus pandemic.

Boettinger was busy contacting the newly selected players, smuggling them to Vegas under assumed names and with secret identities, arranging car services and hotels. She was also trying to work around the conflicting feelings that she knew might come with the selection because being taken in an expansion draft can be uprooting and disorienting.

"It's a mixed bag," Boettinger said. "Some guys are going to be beyond excited to join the new club and some guys it's emotional, they're leaving what may have been their only home, where they've perhaps raised a family, where they've been for years. So navigating those personal waters were really critical."

Which is why the Kraken want to ensure that the new arrivals feel comfortable, and that their questions are answered, so they can concentrate on their jobs.

"I want to make sure that they can come to me for anything and try and take away any excuses on their end and let them focus on hockey," Baxandall said.

Because, ultimately, that's the best thing they'd like to take from the Golden Knights: the results. In its inaugural season, Vegas made it to the 2018 Stanley Cup Final, losing to Washington. But that's easier said than done.

"Talking to Katy, she said there's no perfect blueprint of how it's going to happen," Baxandall said. "It's different with every organization, different with the types of players you're going to get. We're just going to have to be adaptable, we're going to be patient as well."

Which is a good lesson for everyone.

"My advice to my previous self or even to anybody else is just, hey, you don't have to do it in one day," Schmidt said. "The team's going to reach out to you, you're going to get things done. You can just take a second.

"That would probably be my biggest thing: Be patient."

And, perhaps, before you ask, check the guide.

NHL.com is the official web site of the National Hockey League. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup, the Stanley Cup Playoffs logo, the Stanley Cup Final logo, Center Ice name and logo, NHL Conference logos, NHL Winter Classic name, and The Biggest Assist Happens Off The Ice are registered trademarks and Stanley Cup Qualifiers name and logo, NHL.TV, Vintage Hockey word mark and logo, The Game Lives Where You Do, NHL Winter Classic logo, NHL Heritage Classic name and logo, NHL Stadium Series name and logo, NHL All-Star logo, NHL Face-Off name and logo, NHL. TV, NHL Premium, NHL After Dark, NHL GameCenter, NHL GameCenter LIVE, NHL Network name and logo, NHL Tonight name and logo, On The Fly, NHL Network Showdown name and logo, NHL Awards name and logo, NHL Draft name and logo, NHL Mascots, Hockey Fights Cancer, Because It's The Cup, NHL Green name and logo, NHL Vault, Hockey Is For Everyone, NHL Thanksgiving Showdown name and logo, NHL Centennial Classic name and logo, NHL Centennial Season logo, NHL100 Classic name and logo, NHL Global Series name and logo, NHL China Games name and logo, NHL Power Players name and logo, NHL Outdoors at Lake Tahoe name and logo, and Don't Miss A Moment are trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. © NHL 2021. All Rights Reserved. All NHL team jerseys customized with NHL players' names and numbers are officially licensed by the NHL and the NHLPA. The Zamboni word mark and configuration of the Zamboni ice resurfacing machine are registered trademarks of Frank J. Zamboni & Co., Inc.© Frank J. Zamboni & Co., Inc. 2021. All Rights Reserved. Any other third party trademarks or copyrights are the property of their respective owners. All rights reserved.

Read full article at BlueJackets.com

2021 #NHLDraft Profile: Brett Harrison (Oshawa Generals)

OHL - Ontario Hockey League 15 July, 2021 - 02:00pm

How Winnipeg could use the expansion draft to find its next defenceman

The Athletic 15 July, 2021 - 12:56pm

How Winnipeg could use the expansion draft to find its next defenceman

Blackhawks’ No. 11 pick in 2021 NHL Draft: Making the case for Sebastian Cossa

Second City Hockey 15 July, 2021 - 11:27am

Another goaltender contending for a first-round pick in the 2021 draft, Cossa has sometimes been ranked higher than Wallstedt.

Eh, screw conventional wisdom. Five of the six goaltenders who played in the third round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 2021 — traditionally the Conference Final but with Vegas being the lone team from the Western Conference in the third round, let’s not say the Canadiens won the West — were drafted in the first round. The only one who wasn’t a first-round pick was Robin Lehner, a mid-second rounder (46th overall). Drafting a goaltender high is in now, so long as that goaltender is good enough to earn that spot. Here’s why Sebastian Cossa has earned it.

Cossa, besides sounding like a name straight out of a Guy Ritchie movie (Sebby Cossa? Come on, that’s literally a name in “RocknRolla”) is the best goaltender from North America in this draft. At least, that’s how NHL Central Scouting sees him. He dominated the WHL, posting a .921 save percentage in 2019-20 before bettering it with a .941 save percentage in 2021. Cossa had just one loss and 17 wins in his 19 games with the Oil Kings, and while wins are not everything, they do not hurt.

Cossa’s size is reminiscent of newly-retired Pekka Rinne, as Cossa stands at 6-6, although he somehow weighs less than Wallstedt, who is three inches shorter. Cossa is slightly more athletic than Wallstedt while still understanding a good angle and can also use his stick well to break up a play. Don’t get it wrong: Cossa will not be pulling any Marc-Andre Fleury-esque saves, but given Cossa’s size and his ability to use it, he doesn’t need to be. Corey Pronman of The Athletic — who ranked Cossa one spot higher than Wallstedt — said Cossa exhibits “selective aggressiveness” with his positioning.

Cossa has shown quick recovery ability on rebounds and can hold off multiple-shot sequences when needed, which, with the Blackhawks’ current system, would be a very important skill. Cossa, like Corey Crawford before him, is also very good at covering up a rebound near him as well before they turn into scoring chances. He’s also far more creative than the majority of goaltenders around his age range and can adapt to make saves quickly when he can’t get the same low stance as smaller, more nimble goaltenders.

Cossa’s earned rave reviews from a lot of places, including sibling sites All About the Jersey and Canes Country. According to Scouching, Cossa also outperformed his expected goals against number, which is not something the Blackhawks have seen since Crawford and Lehner. Cossa can be a starting goaltender in the league. The question is how soon.

I mean, we just did Wallstedt and Dave drafted him in the SB Nation Mock Draft. We at Second City Hockey clearly think the Blackhawks need a goaltender for the future, it’s a matter of whether the current Blackhawks administration agrees (they can be very dumb). They drafted Drew Commesso — now at Boston University, with a .915 save percentage in his Freshman season in the NCAA — early in the second round of the 2020 draft. They’ve also added Arvid Soderblom, 21, and also have three goaltenders at the NHL level around the age of 26, which is still younger than Crawford was when he took over the starter’s net in Chicago. Dominic Basse was drafted in the sixth round in 2019 but is a longer shot than Commesso. Still, looking at the fact that three of the four final teams in the NHL this year had pretty split nets in the regular season, having two goaltenders worth a starter’s role is not the worst thing in the world.

Laine wants to remain with Blue Jackets: report

NHL.com 15 July, 2021 - 09:18am

Welcome to NHL.com, the official site of the National Hockey League

Bienvenue à LNH.com , le site officiel de la Ligue nationale de hockey

Добро пожаловать на NHL.com, официальный сайт Национальной хоккейной лиги

Välkommen till NHL.com, NHL:s officiella web-sida

Vítejte na NHL.com, oficiálních stránkách National Hockey League

Vitajte na NHL.com, oficiálnych stránkach National Hockey League

Willkommen auf NHL.com, der offiziellen Seite der National Hockey League

Bienvenido a NHL.com, el sitio oficial de la National Hockey League

Patrik Laine said he would like to remain with the Columbus Blue Jackets and hopes he can flourish under new coach Brad Larsen.

The 23-year-old forward can become a restricted free agent July 28.

"I hope I can stay in Columbus," Laine said in remarks published by Aamulehti in Finland on Tuesday and translated by NHL.com. "This is the starting point, but you can never be sure what happens. I got traded once."

Laine was acquired by the Blue Jackets with forward Jack Roslovic from the Winnipeg Jets on Jan. 23 for forward Pierre-Luc Dubois and a third-round pick in the 2022 NHL Draft. Laine scored 21 points (10 goals, 11 assists) in 45 games after the trade.

"I really haven't thought about the contract negotiations," Laine said. "At some point they will let me know what the situation is, and they will ask what I think about this proposal. Do I want to take the contract? And then we continue (the negotiations)."

Larsen was named coach of the Blue Jackets on June 10. The 44-year-old replaced John Tortorella after the organization announced May 9 he would not return after six seasons. Larsen was an assistant under Tortorella and former Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards for seven seasons and coached Springfield of the American Hockey League from 2012-14.

"He knows what he's doing," Laine said. "It's hard to say what he will be as a head coach because he never has been a head coach in NHL. Let's hope he refreshes us."

Laine admitted he did not agree with Tortorella's philosophy about his role in Columbus. The No. 2 pick in the 2016 NHL Draft scored 0.46 goals per game with the Jets (140 goals in 306 games) and 0.22 with the Blue Jackets. He scored at least 28 goals in each of his first four NHL seasons, including a career-high 44 in 2017-18 finishing second in the NHL behind Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin (49). Laine was runner-up to Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews for the 2017 Calder Trophy award to the NHL rookie of the year.

"I scored lot of points in that span," Laine said. "It would be stupid not to use this potential. But what the coaches think, that's a totally different thing.

"Forwards wants to play an offensive style of hockey. If you want to score, you need to take some liberties. This is not possible if the coaches think a different way. I understand the tight strategy, but every player is different. I don't want to be same kind of player like everyone else. I am what I am, and I do things my own way. Everyone should be allowed to be what they are, but of course you have to stick with the team system."

The Blue Jackets were 18-26-12 this season and tied the Detroit Red Wings for last in the eight-team Discover Central Division. It was the first time they missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs since 2015-16, Tortorella's first season as coach.

"It wasn't easy season for me nor the team," Laine said. "The last weeks were rough when the playoff spot wasn't available anymore. I didn't think about hockey after the season, and still haven't. I was just happy that I didn't need to play anymore."

NHL.com is the official web site of the National Hockey League. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup, the Stanley Cup Playoffs logo, the Stanley Cup Final logo, Center Ice name and logo, NHL Conference logos, NHL Winter Classic name, and The Biggest Assist Happens Off The Ice are registered trademarks and Stanley Cup Qualifiers name and logo, NHL.TV, Vintage Hockey word mark and logo, The Game Lives Where You Do, NHL Winter Classic logo, NHL Heritage Classic name and logo, NHL Stadium Series name and logo, NHL All-Star logo, NHL Face-Off name and logo, NHL. TV, NHL Premium, NHL After Dark, NHL GameCenter, NHL GameCenter LIVE, NHL Network name and logo, NHL Tonight name and logo, On The Fly, NHL Network Showdown name and logo, NHL Awards name and logo, NHL Draft name and logo, NHL Mascots, Hockey Fights Cancer, Because It's The Cup, NHL Green name and logo, NHL Vault, Hockey Is For Everyone, NHL Thanksgiving Showdown name and logo, NHL Centennial Classic name and logo, NHL Centennial Season logo, NHL100 Classic name and logo, NHL Global Series name and logo, NHL China Games name and logo, NHL Power Players name and logo, NHL Outdoors at Lake Tahoe name and logo, and Don't Miss A Moment are trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. © NHL 2021. All Rights Reserved. All NHL team jerseys customized with NHL players' names and numbers are officially licensed by the NHL and the NHLPA. The Zamboni word mark and configuration of the Zamboni ice resurfacing machine are registered trademarks of Frank J. Zamboni & Co., Inc.© Frank J. Zamboni & Co., Inc. 2021. All Rights Reserved. Any other third party trademarks or copyrights are the property of their respective owners. All rights reserved.

4 Teams Under Most Pressure at 2021 NHL Draft

The Hockey Writers 15 July, 2021 - 08:15am

Red Wings Expansion Draft Preview: Kraken Bait & Trade Scenarios

The Hockey Writers 15 July, 2021 - 07:45am

NHL Expansion Draft

Sports Stories