Whelp. We were pretty sure the Kraken were going to take Yanni Gourde and they sure did. I’m sure we all held out hope right up until Macklemore read his name off of a card that Julien BriseBois had worked out some sort of side deal to keep the popular forward in Tampa. Unfortunately, there was no side deal between Tampa Bay and Seattle (or, apparently with any team) and Gourde will head west this fall.
There weren’t many surprises in the selections and the overall reaction by most folks is that it was a decidedly average draft for the Kraken. Here are the selections:
Unleash the @SeattleKraken... #SeattleDraft— NHL (@NHL) July 22, 2021
(via @PR_NHL) pic.twitter.com/H9CqwEOcF9
We have to remember that this is far from the version of the team that will take to the ice in October. The expansion draft was basically phase one of their roster construction. While they didn’t have any side deals with teams, it does appear that they have some post-expansion deals worked out with some teams that will be announced today at 1:00pm EST. So, some of those names you see above could be on their way to a new destination.
They also have the regular draft coming up and could add a NHL-ready talent with the second overall pick (most mock drafts have them picking center Matthew Beniers). After that, they have free agency to deal with it. While this year’s Unrestricted Free Agent crop isn’t exactly overwhelming, they have the cap flexibility to add some help. So, don’t be so quick to mock this roster just yet. Let’s wait until at least October to do that.
NHL and Lightning Links
Two-thirds of the Best Third Line in the NHL are officially gone and Blake Coleman will probably follow soon. While losing Gourde hurts the depth of the Lightning, they do get the benefit of some cap relief. Time for the next player to step up (looking at you Mitchell Stephens).
It appears Yanni won’t debut with the Kraken until November as he had shoulder surgery this week and will need about four month to recover.
Sonya Bryson-Kirksey hospitalized
Our favorite anthem singer was hospitalized on Wednesday due to a reported bout of coronavirus. We’re all sending positive vibes her way.
NHL Schedule to be announced on ESPN Sportscenter
Get ready to start circling dates on your calendar for games next year. Instead of just announcing the season-opening games, the league will announce the entire schedule today. Personally, I’ll be looking for a nice Seattle/Vancouver back-to-back weekend to knock those two arenas off of the list. Oh, and of course whenever the Lightning visit Las Vegas.
It’ll be expansion vs. expansion to open Seattle’s existence. The league announced that they will play in Vegas on October 12th. The Kraken will open the home portion of the schedule on October 23rd.
Zach Hyman in Edmonton talking contract
Could we actually see a trade-and-sign in the NHL? Toronto has given pending free agent forward Zach Hyman permission to chat with other teams about a possible contract for next season. It appears that the Oilers might be the team he ends up agreeing to a deal with. It might be official as soon as today. Since Toronto technically still owns his rights, they could theoretically sign him to an eight-year deal and then trade him to Edmonton for some sort of compensation.