As the NHL’s 2021–22 season approaches, the Seattle Kraken and General Manager Ron Francis have been busy building the NHL’s 32nd franchise. Since the free agency period opened up, the Kraken have not been shy about filling their roster.
Following the start of the free agency period, where goaltender Philipp Grubauer fell into his lap, Francis felt there were too many cooks in the kitchen. As a result, he traded goaltender Vitek Vanecek back to the Washington Capitals for a second-round draft pick in the 2023 NHL Entry Draft.
It was clear that Grubauer and expansion draft selection Chris Driedger were going to be the NHL duo and Joey Daccord would be Seattle’s AHL netminder, which left nowhere for Vitek Vanecek. Vanecek had a breakthrough season in Washington, and you can bet the Capitals were happy to get him back relatively cheap.
The Kraken announced several player signings in the month of August:
– On Aug. 4, the Kraken announced the signing of 27-year-old defenseman Connor Carrick to a one-year deal worth $800,000. Carrick spent the previous two seasons with the New Jersey Devils.
– On Aug. 5, the Kraken announced the signing of 24-year-old defenseman Will Borgen to a two-year deal. Borgen was the Kraken’s selection from the Buffalo Sabres in the expansion draft earlier this summer. His deal holds an AAV of $900,000.
– On Aug. 13, the Kraken announced the signing of 23-year-old defenseman Carsen Twarynski to a one-year deal. Twarynski was selected from the Philadelphia Flyers in the expansion draft. His deal carries a value of $750,000.
– On Aug. 20, the Kraken announced the signing of 27-year-old goaltender Antoine Bibeau to a one-year deal. Bibeau played last season for the Carolina Hurricanes organization, with their AHL affiliate, the Chicago Wolves, and his deal carries a price of $750,000. He also previously played for the Toronto Maple Leafs, San Jose Sharks and Colorado Avalanche.
– On Aug. 25, the Kraken announced the signing of 26-year-old defenseman Gustav Olofsson to a one-year deal. Olofsson spent the previous three seasons with the Montreal Canadiens organization serving as the assistant captain with their AHL affiliate, the Laval Rocket, in 2020–21. His deal is worth $750,000.
– On Sept. 1, the Kraken announced the signing of 29-year-old center Riley Sheahan to a one-year deal. Sheahan spent the previous season with the Buffalo Sabres organization. His deal is worth $850,000.
Most of these signings, outside of Dunn and Johansson, will only be drops in the pond and depth moves. Dunn should be able to blossom in Seattle while Johansson tries to revive his career. Carrick, Borgen, Twarynski, Bibeau, and Olofsson will probably spend most of their time with the Charlotte Checkers even though most have to pass through waivers.