NHL GMs learned from Vegas

4 years after the Vegas Golden Knights burst into the NHL by making 10 trades at their growth draft, the Seattle Kraken left with none.

That implies no additional potential customers, lineup gamers or draft choices stocked since another group wished to quit a specific gamer or avoid losing somebody left unguarded by guidelines created to make contemporary growth groups competitive. Seattle is anticipated to turn a few of the 30 gamers picked when the trade freeze raises Thursday afternoon, however this was a much various growth draft experience than Vegas had in 2017.

“Vegas did a good job taking advantage of the rules and sort of everyone’s lack of experience in that environment,” Kraken basic supervisor Ron Francis stated throughout a video call Wednesday night. “Last time where GMs were more willing to, in a sense, overpay to protect certain assets, this time they learned from that and they weren’t willing to make the mistakes that they made last time.”

Back-to-back Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay did not give up anything to keep from losing valuable center Yanni Gourde, who will miss the start of Seattle’s inaugural season rehabbing from the shoulder surgery he had Monday. Cup finalist Montreal didn’t need to convince the Kraken not to take star goaltender Carey Price. And Calgary didn’t pay up to keep captain Mark Giordano.

That doesn’t mean Francis didn’t try. Flames GM Brad Treliving called it “a price that we couldn’t pay.”

“You look around the league, there wasn’t a lot of deals,” Treliving stated. “If there was a way that we could have done it within reason — those conversations should be kept behind closed doors — if there was a way within means that made sense for this not to happen, we certainly would have pursued it.”

Since it wasn’t “within reason,” some teams didn’t even pursue a trade, anticipating Seattle would choose between a couple of obvious options.

Minnesota’s Bill Guerin, who bought out franchise pillars Ryan Suter and Zach Parise in part to prepare for expansion, said the Wild knew they would lose one player and didn’t want to make it worse.

“We would lose more assets than we already have, so this was kind of the way we approached it all along,” Guerin said after Seattle took defenseman Carson Soucy over goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen. “It’s about being prepared and about having a plan for either circumstance.”

Being prepared for a few years benefitted the league’s other 31 teams. Seattle was awarded a franchise late in 2018 and the long runway to begin play in 2021 allowed GMs to plan ahead.

The salary cap remaining flat because of pandemic revenue losses added a curveball, but rivals used every last second to protect themselves and each other from the Kraken. And Francis pointed out that Vegas not losing a player in this expansion draft — the Golden Knights don’t get a cut of Seattle’s $650 million entry fee — allowed the league’s 31st team to have an impact.

“You look at Vegas’ expansion draft, they had nobody sitting on the outside that could affect their protection list of the other teams,” he stated. “We had Vegas resting on the outdoors, and in reality they had the ability to make a number of trades that impacted numerous security lists for us.”

The Golden Knights on Saturday obtained center Brett Howden from the Rangers and became part of a three-team trade that landed them 2017 No. 2 choice Nolan Patrick and permitted Philadelphia and Nashville to shuffle their safeguarded lists.

Asked the number of trades Seattle had actually accepted that would end up being main Thursday, Francis stated: “Probably a lot less than you guys are thinking might be.” He laughed, however he’s refrained from doing.

Luckily for the Kraken, the puck does not drop today and there’s lots of time and wage cap area to prepare yourself for training school and opening night. They own the 2nd choice in the draft Friday night and might be active in totally free firm when it opens July 28.

“A lot of opportunity to sort of tweak our lineup over the next four or five months,” Francis stated. “We’ll look to try and take advantage of that if we can.”


Follow AP Hockey Author Stephen Whyno on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SWhyno


More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.