In this edition of Kraken News & Rumors, these are the latest updates in the Seattle Kraken hockey community.
Listen to The Hockey Writers Podcast on iHeartRadio and wherever you listen to podcasts, every weekday (Monday to Friday), for THW contributors discussing the hottest topics around the NHL and hockey world.
Click here to follow The Hockey Writers Podcast on your favourite audio streaming app.
Wednesday Marks the First Kraken Day in Team History
The first “Kraken Day” in team history is on Wednesday, with the organization announcing a variety of ways it will celebrate the NHL’s 32nd franchise on March 2. The choice for the date highlights the number 32 (third month, second day), which is raised to the rafters at Climate Pledge Arena in honour of Kraken fans. The city of Seattle will be filled with Kraken-themed giveaways, deals, and more before hosting the Nashville Predators later in the day at 7 p.m. PT.
“On March 2, 2022, fans and community members around Seattle will celebrate Kraken Day,” the Kraken said in a statement on its website. “The day will start with a presentation at Kraken Community Iceplex featuring Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell along with Council President Debora Juarez, announcing a signed proclamation making 3/2/22 officially ‘Kraken Day.’… Throughout the day, fans can take part in the celebration all around town through community partner offers, prize giveaways and fanfare at that night’s game vs. the Nashville Predators.”
GM Francis Discusses Free Agency Plans in Press Conference
After practice on Tuesday, Kraken general manager Ron Francis gave some insight into his plans for free agency this upcoming offseason. In the press conference, he said the Kraken plan “is to certainly be aggressive again in free agency this summer.” Some of the top NHL players set to become unrestricted free agents this offseason include Nazem Kadri of the Colorado Avalanche, Johnny Gaudreau of the Calgary Flames, Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang of the Pittsburgh Penguins, among many others.
“It’s obvious the way the season has gone, we’re not going to make the playoffs,” Francis said. “I think at this point, you look at the team and which pieces you want to keep that you believe are core pieces and then if teams are calling on other pieces, you have to have those discussions and see what the offers are and if there’s a move that makes sense, then, you go ahead and do it.”
Kraken Sign Kartye to Three-Year, Entry-Level Contract
The Kraken signed forward Tye Kartye to a three-year, entry-level contract on Tuesday. The undrafted 20-year-old is a member of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), where he has 58 points (33 goals, 25 assists) in 45 games this season. He was a participant at the Kraken’s development camp last summer.
Kartye is expected to be one of the first skaters to play for the Kraken-affiliated Coachella Valley Firebirds in the American Hockey League (AHL) next season. After missing last OHL season due to COVID-19 restrictions, he is putting together the best season of his major junior career with the Greyhounds and ultimately earned an NHL contract with the Kraken. General manager Francis himself is a former player of the Greyhounds and is likely very pleased to add a member of his former OHL organization to the new NHL franchise. Kartye is the newest name in Seattle’s small but growing list of prospects to watch for the future.
Tom Pepper is an NHL columnist at The Hockey Writers. He lives in Toronto and is a diehard fan of the St. Louis Blues.