Free Agency Begins - Jones, Burakovsky, Schultz
Free Agency begins!
We have seen Seattle take to the ice for a full season now and GM Ron Francis now knows what the needs are for his team; in short, scoring. Francis did an excellent job at the draft, beginning with Shane Wright falling to him but now is the chance for him and the organization to bolster the roster with some real depth to insulate this young talent.
The biggest name tied to the Kraken right now is John Klingberg, a strong PP option who right now in his career is more suited to middle pairing minutes rather than an elite #1D. Paired with the right player like Oleksiak or even Soucy should give the team a solid blueline.
Yesterday I was writing a blog about the unqualified RFA's that could be of interest to the Kraken but that blog got deleted (thanks computer). Quickly I will say players like Sam Steel, Sonny Milano, Dylan Strome, and Dominik Kubalik should all be of interest to the Kraken. Seattle can offer these players term, salary, but most importantly an option to play top six minutes and proven they should get paid on their next contract. Strome in particular makes a ton of sense for this team.
I'll update later to hopefully talk about some signings!
MARTIN JONES SIGNS
Seattle was in need of a backup netminder with Chris Driedger expected to miss months, recovering from surgery. Today Francis addressed that need by signing Martin Jones as a free agent. No word yet on the term but I would assume it is simply a one year deal. The 32 year old netminder played in 32 games for the Flyers last season, posting a .900SV% and a GAA of 3.42. There were little options available to the Kraken and the team needed something in the short term so it's hard to fault Francis much for this pickup.
JUSTIN SCHULTZ SIGNS
For a few days we heard the Kraken linked to powerplay quarterbacks, most notably John Klingberg. Instead we saw Francis take a different approach by bringing in Justin Schultz on a two year deal worth close to 3 million a season.
Schultz, a 32 year old right shot defender just posted 4 goals and 23 points last season with the Capitals. Schultz is an offense first defender who is most suited for a third pairing role. It's a fine player to bring in but certainly not the homerun that many fans were hoping for on the blueline.
ANDRE BURAKOVSKY SIGNS
The best signing of the day for the Kraken was bringing in the 60+ point producer from last season's Cup winner in Andre Burakovsky. Burakovsky was signed to a 5 year deal worth 5.5 million a season. Burakovsky is a solid volume shooter who put up 22 goals and 61 points in 80 games last season. Burakovsky is a great player in his own right and wasn't just riding along with Kadri or MacKinnon. Excellent addition.
Add to this a few depth signings in guys like Brogan Rafferty, Magnus Hellberg, Jesper Froden, and Andrew Poturalski and Seattle had a decent day, picking up some needed additions while avoiding any huge misses. I do think there will be a few more moves and pickups in the next couple days to bolster the roster further.