The Seattle Kraken begin play during the 2021-22 season, but the NHL’s 32nd franchise needs a team first.
Seattle will begin adding players during Wednesday’s expansion draft, and several of the NHL’s biggest stars are available for the taking. According to The Athletic’s Ryan S. Clark, Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price, St. Louis Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko and Colorado Avalanche forward Gabriel Landeskog are among the players who were left unprotected for the expansion draft.
Price’s availability is surprising. He just led Montreal to the Stanley Cup Final and has been a staple in goal for the franchise for more than a decade. However, the Habs believe the Kraken won’t be willing to take on the remainder of his eight-year, $84 million contract. Price has a $10.5 million cap hit each year through the 2025-26 season.
Tarasenko, meanwhile, requested a trade from the Blues because he’s reportedly upset with how St. Louis handled his multiple shoulder surgeries. The 29-year-old has two more seasons on his contract at $7.5 million per year.
As for Landeskog, he’s set to become an unrestricted free agent. So, even if the Kraken do select him, the 28-year-old could still opt to re-sign with the Avalanche. However, it’s unclear if Colorado is willing to give him the $9 million to $10 million per season he’s seeking on his next contract.
Things will undoubtedly get interesting for the Kraken in the coming days, and only time will tell which stars they select to be the face of their new franchise.