Welcome to Emerald City Hockey’s Offseason Update. Throughout the offseason, I’ll post updates examining what’s happening around the NHL and how it affects the Kraken. Make sure to keep checking in as the page will be updated as more news breaks.
Last update: October 9th, 11:42AM
Tyler Johnson Waived
The effects of the salary cap crunch have started already for the Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning. Unable to find a trade partner and desperate to move salary out, the Lightning placed Tyler Johnson on waivers.
Last month, the Spokane native became just the third Washington-born player to win the Stanley Cup. Johnson has been connected to the Kraken for a while and many in the media were pointing out that Johnson’s next team might only be a one year landing spot before Seattle.
Whoever claims him, it looks like the prospect of Johnson to Seattle next year is still very possible.
Minnesota Signs Talbot
The Minnesota Wild signed goalie Cam Talbot to a three year, $11 million contract, attempting to shore up their goaltending after trading Devan Dubnyk to the San Jose Sharks last week.
Talbot will probably be exposed to Seattle in the upcoming Expansion Draft. While Talbot and Alex Stalock will likely share the crease next season, I still project that the Wild will protect promising goalie prospect Kaapo Kahkonen, leaving both Talbot and Stalock exposed.
Canucks Sign Holtby
The Vancouver Canucks signed goaltender Braden Holtby to a two year, $8.6 million contract. Holtby will replace Jacob Markstrom as the older half of a two-headed goalie tandem in Vancouver. By letting Markstrom walk, the Canucks have decided that Thatcher Demko is their goalie of the future.
Demko will almost certainly be protected by the Canucks in next year’s Expansion Draft. That would leave Holtby as an interesting option for Seattle. He had a subpar season last year but had clear #1 goalie production for several seasons prior. If Holtby bounces back, he could make a lot of sense for the Kraken. With one year left on his contract and a $4.3m cap hit, the price and term would be near ideal.
Senators Sign New Acquisition Murray
The Ottawa Senators signed goalie Matt Murray to a four year, $25 million contract. Ottawa acquired Murray’s RFA rights from the Pittsburgh Penguins two days ago.
This seems like an overpay for the two time Stanley Cup winner. Murray had a great deal of success early on in his career but looked lost last season, as he ceded the Penguins starting goalie job to Tristan Jarry. With this contract, the Senators are banking on a bounce-back season from Murray.
The contract does not include a NMC, which means that the Senators will have the option of exposing Murray in the Expansion Draft. Either way, one of Murray and Marcus Hogberg will be exposed to Seattle. They would both be potentially good options given their age. This is a goalie situation for Kraken fans to monitor next season.