It’s official! This morning, the Kraken announced that they have completed the final installment of their $650 million expansion fee payment to the National Hockey League, officially making them the 32nd NHL franchise.
As present as they had been in all the league’s affairs leading up to today, the Kraken weren’t an official NHL franchise just yet. They had a GM, a logo, a soon to be finished arena, and employees, but didn’t officially join the league until the last payment closed.
Now that the Kraken are a full member of the NHL, they have all the same rights and abilities as the other 31 teams, including the ability to sign free agents, attend league meetings, and vote on league issues.
Today’s announcement is a precursor for a number of exciting developments in the lead up to the Kraken starting play October. Expect the Kraken to announce their first free agent signing in the coming weeks. If you’re curious about who it might be, we explore here when we can expect that announcement and what type of player the Kraken may sign. The Kraken will also need to hire their first ever head coach. We look at some of the candidates and discuss their hiring timeline here.