Clubs in the league scrambled to protect their assets with last-minute moves on Saturday. The flurry of activity didn’t surprise Kraken CEO Ron Francis. “The teams knew we were coming and they had four years to prepare,” he said as the lists were frozen ahead of the expansion draft.
Despite the deals, Seattle has plenty of options for stocking its locker room. Here’s a look at some of the talent the Kraken could poach from Canadian teams:
Flames de Calgary
The biggest name on the Flames’ unprotected roster is captain Mark Giordano. The 37-year-old defenseman played his entire 15-season career for Calgary and won the Norris Trophy for best defenseman in the league in 2019. However, his offensive production fell with 26 points (nine goals, 17 assists) in 56 games la last season. Giordano still has one year left on his contract with a cap of US $ 6.75 million.
The Oilers have left their two starting goalies exposed, although the fate of Mike Smith is already in doubt, with the 39-year-old set to become an unrestricted free agent next week. Smith was brilliant for Edmonton last season, posting a 21-6-2 record with a 2.31 goals-against average and .923 save percentage in the regular season. Mikko Koskinen, meanwhile, has one year left on his contract with a cap of $ 4.5 million. The six-foot-seven Finn has had mixed success with the Oilers, including going 13-13-0 with a 3.17 goals-against average and 0.899 save percentage last year.
Carey Price is one of the biggest names available in Seattle. The 33-year-old has waived his no-trade clause in order to land on the unprotected roster, but it comes at a steep price. The star goalie still has five years on his contract with an average annual value of $ 10.5 million. Price proved his worth in the playoffs last season, guiding the Habs to the Stanley Cup final with a 13-9-0 record with a 2.28 goals-against average and .924 save percentage. . Recent reports on his health, however, could raise questions as to whether the keeper will be fit to play next season.
Montreal has left other top players unprotected, including forwards unrestricted free agents Phillip Danault and Corey Perry, and left winger Paul Byron, who has two more years on his $ 3.4 million contract. per year. Captain Shea Weber is on the list, but the 35-year-old’s future remains bleak due to several reported injuries.
The Sens chose to keep several of their young stars safe and, in the process, had to expose Evgenii Dadonov. The 32-year-old Russian right-winger had 20 points (13 goals, seven assists) last season, and has two years to go with an average annual value of $ 5 million. Goalkeeper Matt Murray is also on Ottawa’s unprotected list after battling for a 10-13-1 record with a 3.38 goals-against average and 0.893 save percentage last year. .
Maple Leafs de Toronto
Toronto was one of the clubs to take advantage of roster tightening in other markets on Saturday, picking up forward Jared McCann from the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for forward Filip Hallander and a seventh-round pick in 2023. The 25-year-old had 32 points (14 goals, 18 assists) last season, but the Leafs left McCann at Seattle’s disposal.
Also on Toronto’s list of unprotected players are Alex Kerfoot – a 26-year-old center who scored 23 points (eight goals and 15 assists) last season – and veteran forward Jason Spezza, who had 30 points ( 10 goals, 20 assists) in the regular season last year and has a tantalizing one-year contract left with a minimum of $ 750,000 in the league.
Vancouver also did some business ahead of Saturday’s roster freeze, acquiring forward Jason Dickinson from the Dallas Stars in exchange for a third-round draft pick in this week’s draft. Unlike the Leafs, the Canucks have chosen to protect their new asset.
Goalkeeper Braden Holtby was among the players exposed by the club. The 31-year-old has had a tough season with the Canucks, finishing with a 7-11-3 record, a 3.67 goals-against average and a 0.889 save percentage. But Holtby has already reached hockey’s greatest heights, winning the Vézina Trophy as the NHL’s top goaltender in 2016 and winning the Stanley Cup with the Washington Capitals in 2018, a cap of $ 4.3 million. reached, but Holtby still owes $ 5.7 million in salary.
In addition to uncompensated free agents Paul Stastny, Derek Forbort and Mathieu Perrault, the Jets have left 25-year-old forward Mason Appleton exposed. The six-foot-two, 193-pound center tallied 25 points (12 goals, 13 assists) in 56 regular season games last year and added three more (one goal, two assists) in eight playoff games . Appleton still has a year on his contract at an affordable cap of $ 900,000.
Winnipeg defenseman Dylan DeMelo is also available. The 28-year-old isn’t the most offensive defenseman with nine assists in 52 regular-season games last year, but he also suffered a 20-minute penalty and averaged 16:58 in ice time.