| July 21, 2021 at 12:49 a.m. M.
Welcome to 2021, where a fish tells us who Kraken is. (It was a rehearsal, but it may also have been one of the best promotional ideas of recent times.) We’re less than 24 hours away from unveiling Seattle’s expansion picks, and here’s what’s out there:
• It is surprisingly quiet. Those who worked on the Las Vegas expansion in 2017 say the process was “much louder” than this. There has been much less communication with other Seattle teams than with the Golden Knights. Does that mean Seattle has fewer trades planned? We’ll see. But they definitely haven’t been that active across the league.
• They have targeted some free agents. What will be interesting is whether that means those players will be Seattle’s pick from other NHL teams, or whether the Kraken will know they have a deal “in the drawer” and will take a second player from certain clubs. Two teams to watch for Florida and St. Louis. The Kraken is focused on Panthers goalie Chris Driedger. Do they also add someone like Frank Vatrano, or is Driedger the choice? They are also interested in Jaden Schwartz. If they’re convinced they have something, do they add Schwartz now or do they take Vince Dunn and add the winger later? There’s no confirmation on this, but a couple of teams think the Kraken likes Blake Coleman too.
• At Carey Price: boy, this is very close to calling. They have done their deep dive and know everything there is to know. The Canadians seem to think they might lose a defender (Cale Fleury, Brett Kulak) instead. What a crazy story this turned into. At the very least, the Kraken wanted Montreal to sweat and if they would pay to keep Price.
• An NHL player offered to bet Monday night that Mark Giordano would be Seattle’s first captain. Do not take it.
• Momentum is building with Boston and Taylor Hall. It is said that Hall wants to stay and the Bruins want to keep him. Nothing is done until it is done, but there is a way.
• You mentioned the other day about the possibility of Patrik Laine playing for his $ 7.5 million qualifying offer in 2021-22. That process has begun. The only hurdle might be if there is any chance the Blue Jackets will move him.
• Looking forward to tomorrow. It should be fun.