Relax, Montreal Canadiens fans. Star goaltender Carey Price isn’t headed to Seattle.
Multiple outlets reported that the Kraken, who will debut this fall, did not select Price to join their first roster. The results of the expansion draft will be unveiled Wednesday night during the 8 p.m. ET draft show to be televised by ESPN2.
Other names began to leak Wednesday morning, including reports that Canadiens defenseman Cale Fleury was selected by the Kraken. Both Price and Fleury were left unprotected by Montreal.
The Kraken had until 10 a.m. ET on Wednesday to submit their draft selections to the NHL, with the list including 30 players — 20 of whom are under contract for the upcoming season. The positional requirements are at least 14 forwards, nine defensemen and three goaltenders. The Kraken had to choose one player from each of the teams in the league, except the Vegas Golden Knights, who were exempt.
A former Hart and Vezina Trophy recipient, Price is the face of the modern-day Canadiens. The soon-to-be 34-year-old just led the club to the Stanley Cup Final against the Tampa Bay Lightning. But the team left him unprotected, gambling the Kraken wouldn’t want to take on his contract, which has five years remaining with an average annual value $10.5 million.
While Canadiens fans likely are breathing a sigh of relief, Calgary Flames fans might be entertaining different feelings. Reports circled that the Kraken have selected Flames captain Mark Giordano, a former Norris Trophy recipient as the best defenseman in the NHL.
“Good morning to everyone except the Seattle Kraken,” the Flames’ official Twitter account posted on Wednesday.
Good morning to everyone except the @SeattleKraken.
— Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) July 21, 2021
Giordano, who will turn 38 in October, has one season remaining on his six-year, $40.5 million contract. His base salary for 2021-22 will be $6.75 million.
Giordano collected 26 points (nine goals, 17 assists) in 56 games last season. He has 509 points (143 goals, 366 assists) in 949 career games with the Flames.
Price posted a 12-7-5 record with a 2.64 goals-against average this past season. He owns a 360-257-79 record in 707 career games (695 starts) since being selected by the Canadiens with the fifth overall pick of the 2005 NHL Draft.
Fleury, 22, notched six assists in 22 games last season with the Laval Rocket of the American Hockey League. He has one goal in 41 career games with the Canadiens.
Other reported names selected by the Kraken include: forwards Yanni Gourde (Tampa Bay Lightning), Joonas Donskoi (Colorado Avalanche), Morgan Geekie (Carolina Hurricanes), Jared McCann (Toronto Maple Leafs), Mason Appleton (Winnipeg Jets), Carsen Twarynski (Philadelphia Flyers), Alexander True (San Jose Sharks) and Kole Lind (Vancouver Canucks); defensemen Adam Larsson (Edmonton Oilers), Jamie Oleksiak (Dallas Stars), Vince Dunn (St. Louis Blues) and Gavin Bayreuther (Columbus Blue Jackets); goaltenders Chris Driedger (Florida Panthers), Joey Daccord (Ottawa Senators) and Vitek Vanecek (Washington Capitals).
Kraken general manager Ron Francis will hope to repeat the success of the most recent expansion draft — that of the Golden Knights in 2017. Vegas was able to acquire draft picks and other assets by working with teams to select a player they coveted and then execute a trade.
The strategy worked for the Golden Knights, who played in the Stanley Cup Finals in their first season, losing in five games to the Capitals.
–Field Level Media
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