2021 is the year of the Seattle Kraken.
While the 2020-21 season is still roughly two weeks away and will take up considerable space in the minds of any hockey fan worth their skates, all eyes will eventually turn to Washington’s Emerald City, where the Seattle Kraken will one day rise out of the Pacific to forever change the power structure of the NHL as we know it today.
Like the Vegas Golden Knights before them, the Kraken will steal your fanbase’s favorite players – a fact they gleefully joke about on Twitter – re-arrange the divisions to accommodate a finally balanced 32 team league, and probably compete for a Stanley Cup right out the gate with a collection of misfit players good enough to contend with meticulously built franchises.
Is it a tad unfair, especially for the teams that shall not be named who have been toiling away in the bottom of the NHL for years now with no hope? Totally, but that’s just the nature of expansion drafts, folks; everyone has to accommodate to have nice things.
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Now that the calendar has officially turned over from 2020 to 2021, the Kraken have to get to work. They not only have to scout potential entry draftees, but they also need to evaluate hundreds of NHL players across the 30 franchises eligible for the expansion draft to see who will fill out the first-ever Kraken depth chart.
Could they land a player like their version of Marc-Andre Fleury in current Devils goaltender Corey Crawford? And what about Patrik Laine? Could the Kraken somehow secure the disgruntled 22-year-old from the Jets using their well of assets? You just know someone from the Tampa Bay Lightning will end up on the Kraken before the draft is done. Tyler Johnson maybe?
And what about free agency? As we saw with the Golden Knights, the Kraken will get a jumpstart at free agency, and with literally $81.5 million to spend, they can pretty much land any player they’d like before the expansion draft goes down. Could they be the team to finally give Taylor Hall a long-term home after playing for the Devils, Coyotes, and Sabres over the last two seasons? Landing the 6-foot-1, 205-pound left winger would surely make a splash and give the Kraken a firm face of their burgeoning franchise.
Needless to say, but I’ll do it anyway; 2021 is the Year of the Seattle Kraken, even if we still have to wait through the entire 2020-21 NHL season for the fun festivities to get underway.