Chillin’ with AC – JULY 14
By Andrew Cioffi
The NHL season has come to end, and we are entering the period where major decisions are taking place. With free agency, contracts and a new NHL team coming into existence next year, each team has many crucial decisions to make.
The NHL have added a new team, the Seattle Kraken, for the 2021 season. There will be again be an expansion draft mirroring the same guidelines as the Las Vegas Golden Knights. The Kraken will select 1 player from each team, excluding Vegas, of at least 14 forwards, 9 defensemen and 3 goalies.
Each team has two options for protecting their players from the expansion draft. They can either protect 7 forwards, 3 defensemen and 1 goalie or 8 total skaters (F/D) and 1 goalie. The idea of the expansion draft seems very interesting to me. I think that when Vegas had their expansion draft a few years ago, they walked away with one of the best teams in the league. This has proven to be true as they have been top 10 in the league ever since they entered.
There are so many players in the NHL that are really good players who are not in the top 10 on their teams. Being able to choose from all 30 seems a little much, but I do understand why this is. They want the new team to have an impact right away so they can win games and therefore gain a fan base.
Being in an already established sports town, I do not think growing a fan base will be an issue. Another angle to think about is the players who will be picked up in the draft. These players will be forced to leave their current cities where they might own houses, have families and other complications that come with moving cities. The Kraken put together a resource guide for each of the new players to help them with their move. It is 70 pages long and encompasses everything someone new to Seattle would need to know: child care, restaurants, realtors and the ins and outs for the Seattle Kraken. After the draft there will be 30+ new players and families looking for a place to live, schools etc., and this guide will help them out. Needless to say there has been a lot of preparation for this team.
Being in Seattle, the Kraken are very close to many of the teams in Canada including the Vancouver Canucks, Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames as they will be located only a few hundred miles from each. I believe this could create some great rivalries to be born. Some hockey fans from Seattle have reported that they have been Canucks fans their whole lives, but they are happy to have their own team in their own city. I am very excited to see what will happen and you can tune into the draft on July 21st.