In the NHL, we usually call July “cottage season”. After the July 1st Free Agency madness, players and executives get lost for a few weeks and retreat to summer homes and resorts around the world (although this home is almost always called a Cottage in Canada).
Nothing is typical of 2021. The Tampa Bay Lightning won the Stanley Cup on July 7th. The buyout window opened on July 8th. Protection lists for the Seattle Kraken expansion draft were due over the weekend. On Wednesday we have the extension draft and the entry draft is Friday and Saturday. The free agency will start on July 28th.
“The craziest three-week circuit I can remember in my time in the league,” a front office manager told me last week. He has almost two decades of experience.
I’ve been working on the phones for the past few days to learn a little about what to expect in the week ahead and beyond.
Kraken is working on a netminder?
The Kraken are going to need at least two goalkeepers, and it seems they have settled on one: the Florida Panthers’ Chris Driedger. In fact, it is said that Driedger should sign a multi-year contract after he was chosen by the Panthers. I heard it’s in the range of three years.
There are some great, young, budget-conscious options for Seattle when Driedger is a 1A goalkeeper. I texted an NHL goalkeeping coach on Sunday to find out who he would choose to replace Driedger. His answer: Kaapo Kahkonen of the Minnesota Wild or Vitek Vanecek of the Washington Capitals.