CHILLIN’ WITH AC
By Andrew Cioffi
AND THE KRAKEN ARISES
Seattle’s expansion draft was last night and man was it cool! Broadcasted on ESPN 2 from a really cool outdoor area in Seattle, on a bright sunny day with the ocean and boats crossing in the background. There was actually a ton of fans and most of them already sporting Seattle Kraken team apparel.
I think that the NHL does a really good job with expansion drafts as they have added 2 new teams in the past 5 years. I believe that now the NHL is at 32 teams, no new teams will be added. That being said, the team that the Kraken walked away with, is completely fair and I do not think they will have as big as an impact as Vegas did, right away.
They sure did have a lot of options though. Each team was only able to protect 10 skaters and 1 goalie leaving a lot of talent for the Kraken to pick up.
The one drawback is that they still have to remain under their $88 million salary cap. The Kraken’s draft featured selections that were made by Seattle’s past and present athletes including players from the Sonics, Storm, Seahawks and Mariners.
hThe most entertaining selections were by Sean Kemp and Marshawn Lynch, Seattle’s most storied athletes. There were thousands of fans at on the shore of Lake Union, wearing all kinds of Kraken gear, like they have had a team for a long time.
The Kraken have very high expectations as they have seen what Vegas did since entering the league in 2017, and they had the same rules for their draft. They definitely approached this draft a lot different than Vegas though. “We went through our choices, and there were some good players that were out there, but maybe we weren’t comfortable with the cap hit on some of them, so we tried to draft the best team that we could.” (Francis, Kraken GM) Their goal is not necessarily to build the best team possible for the first season, but to find guys that can help build there organization and be there for a long time.
Seattle is a very huge sport city, filled with many hockey fans and they couldn’t seem to be more excited for a team of their own. Climate Pledge Arena is already sold out, with a long waiting list for tickets. That goes shows the people of Seattle have been waiting for this.