What time is the Kraken expansion draft?
The Kraken expansion draft is set for 5 p.m. PT at Seattle's Gas Works Park, which sits at the north end of Lake Union in the middle of the city. The AthleticNHL Expansion Draft: Live mocks, picks, predictions, start time, leaks as Seattle Kraken add to their roster
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22 July, 2021 - 01:47am
Losing a Jujhar Khaira or a Tyler Benson to the Seattle Kraken for nothing would sting a little, but it wouldn’t be anything that shook their foundation heading into next season.
In signing a four-year deal with the Seattle Kraken, Larsson left behind a serious hole that has now become a priority for general manager Ken Holland to fill.
Acquired five years ago in a one-for-one deal for Taylor Hall, Larsson emerged as a key ingredient in what the Oilers were trying to accomplish, providing leadership, toughness, experience and a steady, calming presence on the right side of a defence that lacked all of the above.
The six-foot-three, 208-pounder also anchored a penalty kill that was ninth-best in the NHL.
Larsson checked off a lot of boxes, and at 28 years old, he was expected to be part of the Oilers for years to come. At his end-of-the-year exit interview, he made it very clear he wanted to be in Edmonton for the long haul.
“This team has something really good going here, I think it’s a bright future here,” he said just two months ago. “I love it here. I love the guys, the city, the fans, everything. I love everything around this organization.”
Now, instead of locking into a deal that keeps him in Edmonton, he will be competing against them as a member of the expansion Kraken.
This wasn’t a case of the Oilers being outbid, either. Larsson, signed for a very reasonable $4 million a year, money the Oilers could willingly match and even exceed. They had multiple offers on the table of varying term and salary, and he passed.
It has to be a bit unnerving when a veteran player who was part of the leadership group, someone with intimate knowledge of the inner workings of the team and the organization, decides he wants to leave. But there is a certain appeal to being part of the expansion experience in a picturesque city like Seattle that might have been too good to resist.
Whatever the reasons, he’s gone. And it now stands as a very unflattering example of asset management that the Oilers turned Hall, a high-end first-overall draft pick, into nothing more than a gaping hole on their blue line.
The Oilers, who boasted a reasonably good back end last year, are now in a very difficult position with only Darnell Nurse, Ethan Bear, Kris Russell, Evan Bouchard, William Lagesson and newly acquired Duncan Keith signed for the upcoming season.
That isn’t a blue line that will take a team very deep in the playoffs. The Oilers have some good puck movers on staff, but need to find size and experience somewhere for a team that only has two defenceman (Lagesson and Nurse) who weigh more than 200 pounds, and only three who’ve played more than 132 games in the NHL.
Meanwhile, Tyson Barrie, another unrestricted free agent, could also be gone. And if he stays, it could be expensive now that his bargaining power over the Oilers has been bolstered significantly by Larsson’s departure. The Oilers will now push hard to retain his services, but even with him, the team is still lacking the kind of size and strength on the back end that we saw from teams that went deep in the playoffs this year.
Holland has plenty of money with which to try and fill the Larsson void, but he also has several other key areas that need addressing. Edmonton still needs a top-six scoring winger to supplement an offence that withered up very quickly once you got past Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, as well as a veteran third-line centre to help with their lack of bottom-sixth depth.
At the same time, they need to guard against a panic move, overpaying an older player out of fear of being left standing at the alter when all of the top UFAs have signed elsewhere. That’s where organizations can run into long-term trouble.
There is still plenty of summer left, ample opportunity for Holland to remedy the situation via trade or free-agent signing (Travis Hamonic and David Savard are still out there), but the clock is ticking. Nurse has one playoff series win to show for 427 games as an Oiler and is eligible for unrestricted free agency next summer.
If one core leader walked away, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that another one might. That could send the whole house of cards tumbling down, so it would be in Edmonton’s best interests to starting winning right now.
Losing Larsson for nothing doesn’t help with that.
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21 July, 2021 - 10:11pm
Dan Wetzel, Pat Forde, Pete Thamel
According to Frank Seravelli of Daily Faceoff, the league’s 32nd team will be selecting and signing pending free agent defensemen Adam Larsson from the Edmonton Oilers and Jamie Oleksiak from the Dallas Stars.
Selecting these two players might signal a certain philosophy for the Kraken’s first season: defense first. Larsson has been one of the league’s better defenders of the blue line for some time now and Oleksiak’s 6-foot-7 frame is able to put fear in any forechecker’s heart.
Losing Larsson is a tough pill to swallow for the Oilers, who brought in Duncan Keith last week in a questionable trade that looks much worse now that they weren't able to come to terms with Larsson. But it appears Larsson was looking for a fresh start, anyways, according to TSN's Ryan Rishaug.
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21 July, 2021 - 10:11pm
The pact carries an average annual value of $4 million, Dreger adds.
Larsson isn't technically a free agent until July 28, but the Kraken had an exclusive window from July 18-21 to negotiate with all pending free agents left exposed for the expansion draft. The window closed Wednesday morning, according to TSN's Pierre LeBrun.
The 28-year-old played the last five seasons with the Oilers after the team acquired him from the New Jersey Devils in exchange for Taylor Hall in 2016.
Adam Larsson, signed 4x$4M by SEA, is a second-pair defensive defenceman who finally put up the types of elite defensive results that the Oilers originally acquired him for this past season. #SeaKraken pic.twitter.com/qNFPWhhJD7
Larsson played his first five campaigns with the Devils, who drafted him fourth overall in 2011.
The Swedish blue-liner played all 56 games for Edmonton in 2021, ranking third among the club's rearguards in average ice time with 19:39.
21 July, 2021 - 10:11pm
The NHL expansion draft is finally here, and while we won't know the Seattle Kraken's full roster until Wednesday night, some of their picks are already being leaked.
According to TSN's Frank Seravalli, Seattle plans to select Edmonton Oilers defenseman Adam Larsson and Dallas Stars defenseman Jamie Oleksiak in Wednesday's draft.
Both defensemen are set to become unrestricted free agents later this month, but the Kraken are reportedly closing in on deals for both players. According to TSN's Darren Dreger, Seattle is signing Larsson to a four-year, $16 million deal.
Terms of a deal for Oleksiak aren't yet clear.
Larsson, 28, has spent the last five years of his career with the Oilers after beginning his career with the New Jersey Devils. The former fourth-overall pick notched four goals and six assists in 56 games last season.
The Swedish blueliner, considered a defensive defenseman, has tallied 25 goals and 112 assists in 603 games over his 10-year career.
It's no surprise Larsson plans to sign with Seattle. Oilers general manager Ken Holland told The Athletic last Friday that there was a "real possibility" Larsson wanted to explore the open market.
Erin Walsh is a Boston sports fan through and through. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Bridgewater State University and currently is in pursuit of her Master's Degree in Journalism from Northeastern University. Follow her on Twitter @ewalsh90.
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21 July, 2021 - 09:28pm
The Oilers must act fast to address their hole on defence after Adam Larsson signs with the Kraken
21 July, 2021 - 10:07am