Things Have Been Happening In Krakenland

There’s a lot I don’t know about hockey, so I don’t find it super helpful to write an update when every little thing happens. Here’s a recap of a bunch of those little things that have happened since the end of the season.

The loathesome Vegas Golden Knights won the Stanley Cup, coming as no surprise. Just by eye test, they looked like the best team this year (even though Boston had an amazing regular season run). One more reason why I’ll be rooting like mad against them for the foreseeable future!

The NHL Draft happened. The Kraken didn’t pick until 20, and went with forward Eduard Sale. The sense I get from reading on the subject, we probably won’t see him for 2-3 years, depending on how he develops. I thought it was interesting that the Kraken had double digit draft picks this year, but didn’t really do much in trade. I wondered if they might package some and move up in the first round – where it’s less of a blind dart throw – but the Kraken were content to continue bolstering their minor leagues. We’ll see how this strategy pays off in the coming years.

Free agency has started, and one of the first bits of news was a little sad. One of my favorite lower line guys, Morgan Geekie, as well as Daniel Sprong, were non-tendered, and therefore released. I’m not sure of the rationale behind it, but I imagine the cost of bringing them back wasn’t something the organization felt comfortable with.

There’s been a flurry of smaller free agent signings – too soon to tell what their roles will be, but it sounds like a lot of them will go to the minors – but one semi-interesting one is a 2-year deal with defenseman Brian Dumoulin, who is a 10-year vet out of Pittsburgh. We’re not talking huge money here, so I don’t know what kind of difference-maker he’s going to be on this team. But, hopefully he’s good where it counts (on defense) because this team needs a lot of help on that side of the ice.

Then, the Kraken signed a young winger in Kailer Yamamoto, who has 6 seasons of experience with Edmonton. He seems like an under-the-radar solid signing, who should fit in nicely with the collection we’ve got at the NHL level. We’ll see where he has room to grow, because he’ll only be 25 in September.

Probably the biggest news so far involves the re-signing of Will Borgen and Cale Fleury, as well as Kole Lind (all three were tendered, and signed contracts to avoid arbitration). Borgen was the most important of the three; he really showed out in the playoffs this year.

The biggest one we’re waiting on is Vince Dunn, who was the fourth player we tendered an offer to. He was pretty damn important to our success last year, and it’ll be great to have him back in the fold.

To my knowledge, the Kraken still have a good amount of money to play around with. And they can also still work in trade to make some improvements, but I dunno. We’ll see. They seem to be content with this slow build. Have a deep team, consistent throughout their four lines, and develop through the draft in hopes that those players pop into superstars.

We clearly need more if we want to compete in 2024, but by all accounts this isn’t the best free agent class ever. So we’ll see.

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