I, for one, enjoyed the ESPN2 broadcast of the Seattle Kraken Expansion Draft last night, even though we already knew every pick beforehand. The combination of the Seattle tie-ins and the banter of Chris Fowler and Dominic Moore made for an entertaining night that lacked suspense. Now the Seattle Kraken are a real team with real players, for real.
• Here’s the full list, in case you didn’t believe every report from yesterday morning prior to the actual draft happening.
— SiriusXM NHL Network Radio (@SiriusXMNHL) July 22, 2021
• Yup, it’s true, the Kraken took John Quenneville from the Blackhawks. We’ll still see if there is some sort of side deal in the works between the teams, but all reports say there is not.
It’s Official: The Kraken Have Taken John Quenneville from the Blackhawks in the Expansion Drafthttps://t.co/We7nTnkR8G
— Bleacher Nation Blackhawks (@BN_Blackhawks) July 22, 2021
• Quenneville is a pending free agent and it’s entirely possible that Seattle saw what the Blackhawks had to offer and just punted the pick. They may not sign Quenneville and just essentially skip the pick altogether.
• One of the best moments of the night involved former Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch giving his best effort to pronounce Calle Järnkrok as the pick by Seattle from the Nashville Predators.
Beast Mode almost dropped an F-Bomb when he saw Jankrok's name LOL pic.twitter.com/XGfgZ1o0c9
— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) July 22, 2021
• If the Kraken aren’t printing, “The boy boy Calle” T-shirts, they are missing out on a great opportunity.
• Another incredible moment from last night’s broadcast was the Carolina Hurricanes being called the Carolina Panthers. Naturally, both social media teams for the Panthers and Hurricanes leaned into it perfectly.
— Mario Tirabassi (@Mario_Tirabassi) July 22, 2021
• You can bet those are going to become T-shirts.
• Now we move on to the ending of the NHL roster freeze today at noon CT. When Vegas had their Expansion Draft, they had ten side deals and trades lined up. We will see how things shake-out for the Kraken, but it appears the amount of side deals will be less.
It doesn't sound like #SeaKraken have too much in the drawer for when the NHL's roster freeze lifts at 1 p.m. ET tomorrow.
They'll be busy in the days/weeks ahead, but only one or two moves expected right out of the gate.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) July 22, 2021
• Feels like teams learned their lessons from the Golden Knights Expansion Draft and are going to avoid handing the Kraken a contender right out of the gate.
• With the roster freeze lifting, teams can announce their own deals as well. Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet has the jump on a number of deals to expect to be announced this afternoon.
and then there’s Zach Hyman. If TOR desires a draft pick, could be done today at 8 years. If not, 7 years when free agency opens. Either way, should come in around $40M….
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) July 22, 2021
• Hyman was a player that I think would have been perfect for the Blackhawks, but that is apparently not going to happen.
• Not only does the roster freeze end at noon CT today, the 2021-22 NHL season schedule is set to be released at 5:00 p.m. CT.
A shadow 2021-22 schedule has been completed that doesn't feature an Olympic break. It has been distributed to NHL teams, just in case the Olympic agreement doesn't materialize.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) July 22, 2021
• Another ESPN broadcast tonight will reveal the NHL schedule, barring anyone leaking the information first.
• Speaking of schedule releases, the AHL announced all the home openers for the league next season. The Rockford IceHogs will have their first game in the renovated BMO Harris Bank Center on November 6th.
— Mario Tirabassi (@Mario_Tirabassi) July 21, 2021
• The IceHogs will also be part of the Chicago Wolves’ home opener, taking on their Illinois Lottery Cup rivals at the Allstate Arena on October 16th.
• Speaking of the AHL, it appears players who played in the league last season that otherwise would not have been eligible due to the NHL-CHL age agreement, will be allowed to return to those AHL teams next season.
CHL sources say final details are being worked out with the NHL that will allow junior eligible players who played 20 or more AHL games last season to return to the AHL next season, rather than back to their major junior club. Bit more complicated, but thats the gist of it.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) July 22, 2021
• The NHL Draft is this weekend. The Chicago Blackhawks announced yesterday that their picks will be announced by members of the organization that are working to advance women in hockey and includes Kendall Coyne-Schofield, Meghan Hunter, and Karilyn Pilch to name a few.
— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) July 21, 2021
• Two things can be true at the same time: This is a great move by the Blackhawks to help advance women within the sport. This is also a move to keep Stan Bowman from being front and center during the Draft.
• By the way, Stan Bowman is set to make his first media availability since the lawsuits and allegations have come out against the Blackhawks and have implicated him in allegedly being involved in a possible cover-up of sexual abuse and harassment. So that is going to be interesting and probably a train wreck.
• In Blackhawks media news, Joe Brand will be taking over for Chris Boden as the pre and post-game host for WGN Radio broadcasts.
— Robert Feder (@RobertFeder) July 22, 2021
• Congratulations to Joe, can’t wait to hear him in his new role.
• Finally, the Blackhawks are still one of the leading teams when it comes to potentially landing Seth Jones in a trade. The Athletic’s Scott Powers and Aaron Portzline put together what it might take for Chicago to land the coveted defenseman.
— Scott Powers (@ByScottPowers) July 22, 2021
• Both agree that The Blackhawks are going to do everything they can to land Jones without giving up Kirby Dach and Alex DeBrincat. But from that perspective, it’s going to force the Blackhawks to get creative.
• Ultimately, names like Philipp Kurashev, Ian Mitchell, Nicolas Beaudin, Lukas Reichel, and possibly a handful of top-tier future draft picks could be all Chicago has to offer. And at that, Reichel may be a stretch. Chicago needs help defensively, but not at the price of sacrificing so much of their young talent.
• That’ll do it for today. Going to be a busy Thursday ahead of us!