The Kraken finally is set to fill out its roster in the NHL expansion draft. Will it include Carey Price?

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The Seattle Times 20 July, 2021 - 05:54pm 7 views

When is Seattle Kraken draft?

The Seattle Kraken are officially on the clock. On Sunday, the NHL released the available and protected lists for the 30 other teams ahead of the Kraken's expansion draft, which will take place July 21 (8 p.m. ET on ESPN2). USA TODAYNHL expansion draft: Protected lists ahead of Seattle Kraken's roster selection

Who is eligible for NHL expansion draft?

Players who meet the eligibility requirements — North American players 18-20 years old and European/international players 18-21 years old — will be selected by NHL teams in seven rounds. No-Movement Clause: A contract stipulation that means a player can't be traded or sent to the minors. Tacoma News TribuneWho’s going to play for the Seattle Kraken? Here’s how the NHL expansion draft works

How many players can Seattle Kraken take from each team?

Seattle will select one player from each team, excluding the Golden Knights, for a maximum of 30 and a required minimum of 14 forwards, nine defensemen and three goalies. The Washington PostAnalysis | NHL expansion mock draft: The optimal picks for the Seattle Kraken

Who will Blackhawks protect in expansion draft?

Blackhawks leave Nikita Zadorov unprotected for Kraken expansion draft. The Hawks protected Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Alex DeBrincat, Dylan Strome, Brandon Hagel, Henrik Borgstrom, David Kampf, Connor Murphy, Riley Stillman, Caleb Jones and Kevin Lankinen from the Kraken. Chicago Sun-TimesBlackhawks leave Nikita Zadorov unprotected for Kraken expansion draft

LeBrun: Kraken’s Carey Price decision? Gabriel Landeskog’s contract demands? Kirill Kaprizov’s KHL offer?

Read full article at The Seattle Times

Analysis: Who Would Seahawks Protect For NFL Expansion Draft?

SeahawkMaven 21 July, 2021 - 01:01am

Per NHL rules, all 30 NHL teams were granted the ability to protect up to 11 players on their current roster prior to Wednesday's draft. Those selections were submitted to the league office on July 17. The vast majority of unprotected players will be eligible to be selected by Seattle, who can pick one player off of each team except for the Las Vegas Knights, who entered the league as an expansion franchise in 2016.

The NFL hasn't expanded since the Texans were awarded a franchise before the 2002 season, but the NHL's current plans create quite the hypothetical to consider. Which 11 players would the Seahawks protect if an expansion franchise was entering the league before the 2021 season?

In the past, the NFL has used a far different expansion draft than the format the NHL currently uses. For this fictional exercise, each NFL team would be allowed to protect up to five offensive players, five defensive players, and one specialist. They would also be required to keep two offensive players and two defensive players with two or more accrued seasons and 20-plus starts available and unprotected.

As far as other players who would be off limits, going with similar rules to the NHL, no first or second year players on their respective rookie contracts will be eligible to be drafted. This means players such as Seahawks linebacker Jordyn Brooks and guard Damien Lewis would be off limits with just one NFL season under their belts. Players with no-trade clauses built into their contracts also cannot be drafted unless they reach an agreement with their team to waive the clause.

With a fictional 33rd NFL franchise set to go on the clock, here are the 11 players on Seattle's current roster I would protect in an expansion draft:

Though trade rumors swirled around Wilson throughout the offseason, the eight-time Pro Bowler has reiterated several times recently he wants to remain with the Seahawks. Since he has a no-trade clause, he would have to agree to waive the clause to even be considered by an expansion team and Seattle wouldn't have interest in doing that with one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL while getting nothing back in return. There's absolutely no chance he would be left unprotected.

Entering his third NFL season, the 23-year old Metcalf has two accrued seasons under his belt and would thus be eligible for an expansion team to select if available. But aside from Wilson, Metcalf would be the most important player for the Seahawks to keep under this scenario after a record-setting sophomore season. A freakish athlete at 6-foot-3, 228 pounds who creates matchup problems against every cornerback he faces week in and week out, he would be one of the franchise's true untouchables.

If the Seahawks were forced to choose between protecting Metcalf or Lockett, while the latter has had an outstanding career to this point and has surpassed 1,000 yards each of the past two seasons, they would go with the former every single time due to his younger age, rare blend of size and athleticism, and impressive production. But thankfully in this exercise, Seattle doesn't have to worry about making such a difficult decision. They can keep both dynamic All-Pro talents without a hitch, allowing Wilson to continue throwing to arguably the best receiving duo in the NFC in 2021 and beyond.

Jackson turned 30 years old earlier in July, but the Seahawks clearly remain confident in his ability to continue playing at a high level for several more seasons. After acquiring the former Mississippi State standout from the Raiders in exchange for a fifth-round pick in March, the organization promptly gave him a three-year extension worth up to $22.75 million that lasts through the 2023 season. With keeping Wilson upright the top priority for Seattle moving forward and Jackson viewed as a foundational piece of the front line, it would be wise to prevent an expansion team from swooping in to steal him.

Set to turn 36 years old in August and entering the final year of his contract, Brown may not be the most appealing of assets for an expansion team. Nonetheless, he's still one of the best left tackles in football and hasn't shown any signs of slowing down as a pass protector or run blocker. With Damien Lewis not eligible for the expansion draft and Jackson already protected, it would be logical for the Seahawks to use their fifth and final exemption on offense to keep Wilson's blind side security blanket off limits and work to lock him up on a new deal to finish his career in the Pacific Northwest.

The Seahawks have yet to sign Adams to a new contract, but all signs point towards the two sides eventually striking a deal before the start of the 2021 season and negotiations remain ongoing. Boasting a skill set unlike any other safety in the league, he broke an NFL record for sacks by a defensive back in just 12 games in his first year in Seattle and after giving up multiple first-round picks to acquire him last July, there's no way the organization would risk potentially losing him. As one of the team's foundational building blocks, he would surely be the first defensive player granted protection.

Like Brown and Jackson, Wagner now finds himself on the wrong side of 30 and recently turned 31 years old. Entering his 10th NFL season, he could start showing signs of decline at any time. But the future Hall of Fame linebacker still earned First-Team All-Pro in 2020 after stuffing the stat sheet by producing 138 tackles, 3.0 sacks, and eight passes defensed. Even considering his hefty contract and advancing age, given his immense value on and off the field, the Seahawks wouldn't think twice about ensuring he remains on the team as a protected asset.

Ford may not have an All-Pro or Pro Bowl selection on his resume like Adams and Wagner do, but he's arguably Seattle's third-most important defensive player heading into the 2021 season. Only 25 years old, the Seahawks rewarded him with a two-year extension after he generated a career-high 28 quarterback pressures along with 40 tackles and eight tackles for loss in 2020. Known for his elite quickness, the former undrafted signee out of Texas has quietly evolved into one of the NFC's best young interior defenders and with Jarran Reed now in Kansas City, protecting him would be an absolute must.

Similar to Brown and Adams, Diggs will report to training camp later this month with only one year left on his current contract and wants a new deal. The Seahawks may have a difficult time paying both of their Pro Bowl safeties with other expensive contracts already on the books, but coming off the best season of his career with five interceptions, the 28-year old Diggs has proven himself invaluable manning center field in coach Pete Carroll's defense due to his instincts, ball skills, and propensity for creating turnovers. Fans have seen what Seattle's scheme looks like without a standout free safety and for that reason alone, protecting him should be a priority in this simulation.

In terms of a surprise selection, some may scoff at the idea of protecting a cornerback with only 10 NFL starts under his belt as Reed does. But even if it was a small sample size, the ex-Kansas State star provided the Seahawks a major lift when he stepped into the lineup, generating 62 tackles, two interceptions, and seven passes defensed after a remarkable return from a torn pectoral muscle. While he lacks the height and arm length Seattle typically covets at the position, he checks off every other box, offering toughness, physicality, tackling ability, and ball skills. In addition, he's also a capable return threat on special teams, which makes protecting him all the more enticing.

Seattle would have a very difficult choice to make between Dickson and kicker Jason Myers, who both played at All-Pro levels in 2020. But while Myers didn't miss a single field goal last season, Dickson has been one of the NFL's premier punters since entering the league as a fifth-round pick in 2018. He's an expert at the coffin corner kick and when he launches punts downfield, he turns into a special teams sorcerer, making the ball do things no one else in the game can. His ability to influence field position and the fact he just signed a four-year extension make him the right choice for the Seahawks to protect.

Best Players Unprotected: Will Dissly, Gerald Everett, Ethan Pocic, Brandon Shell, Jamarco Jones, Carlos Dunlap, L.J. Collier, Kerry Hyder, Cody Barton, Ahkello Witherspoon, Tre Flowers, Marquise Blair, Ugo Amadi, Ryan Neal

Out of the players who weren't protected, Dunlap would offer the most star power, but he recently turned 32 years old and expansion teams tend to stay away from aging veterans. Under 30 years old, Shell turned in a strong 2020 season and might be viewed as a better long-term alternative than other tackle options, while Pocic remains only 25 years old and has enough upside to warrant an expansion selection. If not for his injury history, Dissly might be an intriguing alternative at tight end, while Everett's athletic upside could justify a selection. Young defenders such as Barton, Blair, and Amadi would become immediate starters for an expansion team and could be long-term building blocks for the future. If starting experience is valued, the 26-year old Flowers has started more than 30 games in the NFL and could help out in the secondary right away.

For the Seattle Kraken, the more important draft might be next year

Toronto Star 21 July, 2021 - 01:01am

Good thing this isn’t the first rodeo for Ron Francis.

Otherwise, he might be fooled into believing he’s being handed a menu of spectacular choices to populate the first roster of the expansion Seattle Kraken.

But Francis, who played more than 1,700 NHL regular-season games with four clubs and managed the Carolina Hurricanes for four years, has seen a thing or two in his time, both good and bad, before the NHL instituted a salary cap and after.

He understands that while some well-known hockey players were left available when 30 NHL teams submitted their protected lists on Sunday (Vegas is exempt), all of those players come with warts and flaws. They are on their downside, or have never realized their upside. Many are the proud owners of contracts they no longer deserve.

Finally, Francis knows that while the Golden Knights were able to go from zero to Stanley Cup finalists in a year, armed with many players acquired directly or indirectly through the expansion draft process, that was in many ways a spectacular fluke unlikely to be repeated by the Kraken no matter how clever Seattle’s front office turns out to be.

His job isn’t to take Seattle to the 2022 Cup final. It’s to build a sustainable winner that will help Seattle’s ownership group attract customers and make the expenditure of $650 million (U.S.) during a pandemic turn out to be a good investment.

Here’s betting Francis won’t copy George McPhee and Kelly McCrimmon and after four years have very little in the cupboard in terms of high-end prospects. Seattle will pick second overall in this month’s draft of eligible 18-year-olds, and that player may well play in the NHL this season. The Kraken also have the 35th pick.

Next year, it’s already believed that Shane Wright of the Kingston Frontenacs will be the first pick overall. He’d probably go first this year if he was eligible. Seattle should do everything possible to position itself to get him. Getting the best players out of Wednesday’s NHL expansion draft and making the playoffs right away won’t help the Kraken realize that objective.

For now, Francis needs to avoid the usual expansion draft landmines. If he tries to match the immediate success of the Golden Knights, he will fail. If he takes the Kraken on a different path in a very different market, one that knows hockey and has popular franchises in Major League Baseball and the NFL, he’ll have a much better chance to succeed.

In a perfect Kraken world, at this time next year Francis will have the No. 2 pick from this year’s draft, the opportunity to draft Wright, some memorable moments from the first season of building a rivalry with the Vancouver Canucks, and perhaps eight players left from the expansion draft, none with particularly problematic contracts. That would represent success.

So, who might be helpful to get on Wednesday?

Max Domi, with only one year left on his contract, looks like a perfect one-year Kraken crowd pleaser. Same for P.K. Subban, who also has one year left on his deal. If you want to sell the NHL in Seattle, Subban can certainly help.

If Francis is looking to develop a winning atmosphere, two years of Alex Killorn at $4.25 million seems sensible. Former first-round picks Jake Bean, Jonathan Drouin, Haydn Fleury, Nick Ritchie, Evgeny Svechnikov and Adam Larsson might still have upside. Vladimir Tarasenko, after three shoulder operations, looks like dead weight at $7.5 million for the next two seasons. Vince Dunn might be a better pick from the Blues.

Which brings us to Carey Price.

On one hand, having the 33-year-old Price in Seattle might be the equivalent of having 36-year-old Glenn Hall land in St. Louis 55 years ago. On the other hand, Hall didn’t have five years left on his contract at $10.5 million per season. That said, in a salary-cap world, there is a limit ($81.5 million) and there is also a floor ($60.2 million). In other words, the Kraken must spend at least $60 million on players, and Price would be an easy way to spend a big chunk of that.

He’s got mileage left on him. He proved that in three rounds against the Leafs, Jets and Knights. He’s also a valuable asset, albeit not as valuable as he would be without $52.5 million and a no-movement clause attached. Price is also an athlete who would give Seattle immediate credibility in the market, just like Marc-André Fleury did in Vegas.

Price is probably the toughest choice for Francis. A much safer path, clearly, would be to grab Brett Kulak and let the Habs deal with the Price albatross contract. Otherwise, the Seattle GM knows 80 per cent of the players left unprotected are not players he really wants, and that he’s probably going to get stuck with one or two he would prefer not to employ at all.

The reality is that the existing teams are still able to protect all the players they view as irreplaceable, elite or good investments. As we saw with Colorado and Ryan Graves, teams still have ways to get value for assets they don’t want to lose for nothing. Seattle then gets its pick of the rest.

Some things never change. Francis has been around long enough to know that.

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Chaos erupts online as NHL fans debate 'leaked' Kraken expansion draft video

Yahoo Sports 20 July, 2021 - 03:30pm

Dan Wetzel, Pat Forde, Pete Thamel

Hours before the Seattle Kraken unveil their first roster in franchise history made up of unprotected parts from across the league, one selection might have slipped through the cracks via an ESPN video shoot.

Deeper in the thread, the account posts messages and more with the person that filmed the video, and while others were guessing that it was just one single take, and they were going to film a roll of more players’ names being announced, the filmer said it was just Kerfoot.

In reply, the Kraken tried to clear up the situation.

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