By Ian Oland
The Seattle Kraken Expansion Draft will be held on Wednesday. Saturday at 5 PM, every NHL team, except for the Vegas Golden Knights (who are exempt), submitted their list of players they would protect in the draft. Sunday, at 10 AM, the league plans to release the master list.
Saturday night, several of the big-name players who will be eligible to be drafted by the Seattle Kraken leaked to the press.
Carey Price led the Montreal Canadiens to their first Stanley Cup Final appearance since 1993. Now he has reportedly waived his no-move clause so the Canadiens can protect Jake Allen in the Expansion Draft.
Hearing that Carey Price has waived his no-move for purpose of exposure in the expansion draft so that the Habs could protect Jake Allen in the expansion draft. The thought is that Seattle wouldn’t want to pick up the rest of Price’s hefty contract. But I guess we will see.
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) July 18, 2021
Selecting the Hart and Vezina Trophy winner will be costly if the Seattle Kraken choose to go that route. Price is going into the fourth season of an eight-year, $84 million contract. The superstar goaltender has a $10.5 million cap hit and is owed a staggering $11 million signing bonus in September and $15 million overall for the 2021-22 season.
Of note on the Carey Price situation: He's owed an $11M signing bonus in September — a big upfront payout if #seakraken claim him.
Price also only waived his NMC for expansion purposes. So he can't be claimed and flipped in a subsequent trade without his consent.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) July 18, 2021
But if the Kraken want a true superstar that would generate buzz, lead the team in the locker room, and drive revenue with jersey and merchandise sales, this could be an intriguing pick.
Five-time 30-goal scorer and 2019 Stanley Cup champion Vladimir Tarasenko will be left unprotected by the St. Louis Blues. Tarasenko, who made a formal trade request, is coming off three shoulder surgeries. Since the beginning of the 2019-20 season, the right wing has played in only 34 of a possible 127 games.
Word is at least four teams were interested in Tarasenko at full cap hit. Others involved with retained transactions.
Not sure why a deal didn’t get done, but the relationship is irretrievably broken. We’ll see if #SeaKraken take him – or where this goes next. https://t.co/kNw3oYyc7z
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) July 17, 2021
Tarasenko, 29, has two years remaining in an eight-year, $60 million deal he originally signed with the Blues in 2015. Tarasenko’s cap hit, per Cap Friendly, is $7.5 million. Next season he makes $9.5 million in base salary.
If Tarasenko can regain his past form, the pick would immediately give the Kraken one of the best goalscorers in the game. But that’s an unknown and at that salary, the risk is high.
The Columbus Blue Jackets are making young goalscorer Max Domi available. Domi, who is under contract for one more year with a $5.3 million cap hit, is out until November or December due to shoulder surgery. Domi has center experience and is two seasons removed from scoring 28 goals and tallying 72 points in 82 games for the Montreal Canadiens.
Teams are putting the finishing touches on their protected lists. Hearing CBJ are planning on leaving Max Domi unprotected. I would be surprised if Seattle doesn’t claim him.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) July 17, 2021
Other notable players available from the Blue Jackets reportedly include Kevin Stenlund and Dean Kukan.
Two-time Stanley Cup champion and three-time All Star, Jonathan Quick, is being made available by the Los Angeles Kings. The Kings will protect 26-year-old Cal Petersen, the team’s emerging starter in net. Meanwhile, Quick has two seasons remaining on a 10-year, $58 million contract that has a $5.8 million cap hit.
Hearing #LAKings have exposed goaltender Jonathan Quick in the Expansion Draft. #SeaKraken
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) July 17, 2021
The Kraken reportedly will sign talented Panthers backup Chris Driedger to be one of their two goaltenders so it’s unclear how much money they’d want to invest and what type of role they’re looking to fill in the second spot.
All four of these players are paid top dollar. Saturday, Kraken general manager Ron Francis observed that cap space is “extremely, extremely valuable in this environment.”
#SeaKraken GM Ron Francis: "The one thing we think is extremely, extremely valuable in this environment is cap space."
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) July 17, 2021
Does that mean the Kraken will focus more on value players than big superstars? Wednesday can’t come soon enough.
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