Kraken News & Rumors: Tanev, McCann & Giordano

In this edition of Seattle Kraken News & Rumors, Brandon Tanev and Jared McCann prepare to take on their former team, and captain Mark Giordano nears a return as he remains in COVID-19 protocols in Florida.

Tanev to Play Penguins for First Time Since Being Exposed in Expansion Draft

Tanev is finding success in Seattle after being exposed by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft. On Monday, he gets his first chance to take on the team that made him available to the Kraken, where he now ranks third on the team with eight goals in 24 games. Already surpassing his seven goals with Pittsburgh last year in eight less games played, Tanev is surely excited to take on his former team.

Brandon Tanev, Seattle Kraken
Brandon Tanev, Seattle Kraken (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Although Tanev remains friends with former Penguins teammates, he tells DK Pittsburgh Sports that “during the game, there are no friends on the ice.” With his hard-hitting and never-quit play style, it will be interesting to see how he plays against the team that left him exposed. Seattle has given new life to Tanev’s career, and he is already making his name as one of the Kraken’s most popular fan favorites. A strong night against his former team could potentially leave the Penguins with some feelings of regret after giving up the speedy forward to Seattle this past offseason.

McCann Set to Face Penguins, Who Traded Him Ahead of Expansion Draft

McCann is also set to play his first game against his former team from last season. McCann was traded from the Penguins to the Toronto Maple Leafs in the offseason, just ahead of the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft, before being selected to the first-ever Kraken roster. He tallied 32 points (14 goals, 18 assists) in 43 games with Pittsburgh last season, the highest production rate of his career so far.

Jared McCann, Seattle Kraken
Jared McCann, Seattle Kraken (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

When asked about McCann’s reaction to his trade out of Pittsburgh, he told DK Pittsburgh Sports, “there was a little bit of surprise. I’d had a career year there… But it’s a business.” He isn’t taking it personally that the Penguins shipped him out in fear he would be taken by the Kraken for nothing in return. The 25-year-old forward is finding immense success as a sniper in Seattle, tallying 10 goals in 19 games, the highest goal production rate on the Kraken. Expect a big game from McCann on Monday as he looks to show Pittsburgh what they are missing out on.

Giordano Expected to Return Soon, Remains in COVID-19 Protocols in Florida

Seattle is still without its captain, Mark Giordano, who last played in the team’s 2-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Nov. 24. He travelled with the Kraken on its Florida road trip against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Nov. 26 and Florida Panthers on Nov. 27 but did not play in either game due to COVID-19 protocols. He has remained in Florida ever since, but head coach Dave Hakstol says his time in protocols is coming to an end soon, meaning he could potentially slot back into Seattle’s lineup in the near future.

Mark Giordano, Seattle Kraken
Mark Giordano, Seattle Kraken (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

The Kraken carry a strong 3-1-1 record in Giordano’s absence but will benefit from his return when he is ready to go. In 19 games this season, the 33-year-old veteran has tallied seven points (three goals, four assists) and remains as the top-shooting defenseman on the roster with 39 shots on net. Seattle will welcome him back on the blue line with open arms as the team continues its fight for playoff position, seven points out of a wild card spot.

Related: Kraken News & Rumors: Lind, Oleksiak & Donskoi

Seattle hosts the Penguins for the first time on Monday at 7 p.m. PT. It should be a highly entertaining game as Climate Pledge Arena welcomes Sidney Crosby, another generational talent, into the building after taking down Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and the Edmonton Oilers, 4-3 on Friday. The Kraken face another tough test as it continues to battle with injuries and illness.

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