How A Shortened 2020-2021 Season Hurts the Seattle Kraken

The Team Store for the Seattle Kraken. (Photo by Jim Bennett/Getty Images)
The Team Store for the Seattle Kraken. (Photo by Jim Bennett/Getty Images) /

Will a truncated 2020-21 NHL season impact the Seattle Kraken?

We are still waiting on news regarding the 2020-21 NHL season but we know it won’t be a full schedule, so that will hurt the Seattle Kraken or not?

While Thanksgiving, well at least the American one, usually marks the quarter point in the NHL regular season, this year came and went without NHL hockey. Even though league sources say they are still shooting for that January 1st starting date nothing seems certain. Even if we ring in the New Year with a new season it will be a shortened schedule of between 45-60 games.

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Shortened seasons are nothing new to hockey fans. The NHL had lockout shortened 48 game seasons in both 1995 and 2013. However, neither of those years was followed by a new expansion team joining the league. The Quebec Nordiques moving to Colorado to become the Colorado Avalanche after the lockout shortened 1995 season was the closest thing to it.

That’s the situation the Seattle Kraken might find themselves in, though. With the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft scheduled to take place after this upcoming season, will Seattle scouts have a smaller body of work to work with when putting together their roster? Will they have less time to scout than the Expansion teams of the past?

This was an interesting argument in the past NBA Draft. Sports pundits kept speculating that the lack of a March Madness Tournament last year made scouting more difficult as players hadn’t had a chance to shine on their largest stage. The Seattle Kraken will be choosing from established professional players yet they still have the challenge of games and seasons cut short.

By now the Seattle Kraken should have a good idea of players they are targeting. This 2020-2021 season should convince them to finalize their choices as certain players see their Expansion Draft stock either rise or fall.

In all the wackiness that is a shortened season, Kraken scouts will be left asking themselves questions such as, “is this player having a down year, or is it just the shortened season?”

It will be much harder to gauge the trajectory of a prospect to build a future team.

The Vegas Golden Knights set the gold standard for putting together an Expansion team, and the Expansion Draft format will have the same rules for the Seattle Kraken.

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The long layoff in between seasons is something Vegas, and no NHL team before it, has ever had to experience. That will make it harder for Seattle to find their diamond in the rough type of players for their first season.