You can imagine there are former Atlanta Thrashers fans or current Columbus Blue Jackets fans out there thinking to themselves: "Let me get this straight: The Kraken had Carey Price and Vladimir Tarasenko available to them and they passed."
Expansion teams of yesterday were not offered the prime-cut athletes that are made available to today's expansion teams.
But the Kraken resisted the urge to take big names, big salary players. As GM Ron Francis says, we are going to take advantage of our favorable salary cap situation.
How did the Kraken do in their expansion draft. Here are my five takeaways:
1. The team's strength is defense: Mark Giordano is true No. 1 defenseman, still plays at a reasonably high level at 37. Adam Larsson and Jamie Oleksiak are shutdown guys who can play against skilled players. Vince Dunn boasts offensive flair. Like Will Borgen, Haydn Fleury and Carson Soucy as depth guys.
2. The Kraken are short on goals It just doesn't seem like they have enough proven top-six forwards. It's way too early to consider this a fatal flaw. This roster isn't what it will look like in October.There's always a player or two who rise up and surprise everyone. Think William Karlsson or Reilly Smith or Jonathan Marchessault in Vegas. Maybe Colin Blackwell or Calle Jarnkrok scores 20 this season. Plus, GM Ron Francis probably has a trade or two up his sleeve. Let's see where we are in September. But the list of forwards as it stands now is unspectacular.
3. Quality goalie decision: The lure of Price was strong, but the Kraken ended up with three young goalies who will earn roughly half of what Price is earning. Driedger projects to be the No. 1. He has a career .926 save percentage in 35 games. But don't rule out Vitek Vanecek making a run at being the starter. The third goalie Joey Daccord has considerable promise. The trio could be quite good. But none of these fellows have a lengthy NHL track record.
4.Kraken jerseys sit nicely on the players: The logo is striking, but those jerseys pop when you see players wearing them.
5. It's too early to be discussing Seattle playoff potential: Predictions are out there about the Kraken's playoff potential. But it's senseless to project until we see what kind of moves Francis make over the next couple of weeks. All that we can say at this point is that the Pacific Division does afford the Kraken a greater shot at the playoffs than they would have if they were in other divisions. The Pacific is more forgiving than the other three divisions.