The Seattle Kraken have signed veteran goaltender Martin Jones to a one-year contract worth $2 million.
Jones Returns to West Coast After a Year on Eastern Seaboard
Jones, 32, spent last season with the Philadelphia Flyers. In 35 appearances and 33 starts, he went 12-18-3 with a .900 SV% and 3.42 GAA for a Flyers’ team that finished last in the Metropolitan Division. He will not join them in the John Tortorella era that’s just begun.
The Flyers acquired Jones on the opening day of free agency last summer, inking him to a one-year deal that’s now expired. Jones is far better known for his long tenure as the San Jose Sharks’ number-one goaltender, spending from 2015-16 through 2020-21 with the squad. In that time, he made 325 regular-season starts and 60 playoff starts and notably, backstopped them to a Stanley Cup Final appearance in 2015-16, where the Sharks fell to the Pittsburgh Penguins in six games.
An undrafted goaltender, the British Columbia-born Jones began his NHL career with the Los Angeles Kings organization in 2013-14 as a 24-year-old and was part of their Stanley Cup winning squad that same season as a backup.
In 396 appearances and 387-career starts over nine seasons between the three teams, Jones owns an all-time record of 198-150-32, .907 SV%, 2.68 GAA, and 25 shutouts.
Jones Joins Kraken Team Searching For Relevance and Requiring a Backup
Philipp Grubauer started the bulk of the games for the Kraken last season (55 of them), but backup Chris Driedger just had surgery to repair a torn ACL last month, and will be out at least seven months. Driedger suffered the injury while playing for Canada in the gold medal game of the 2022 World Championships. Third-string goaltender Joey Daccord is inexperienced, having only appeared in 14 NHL games over three seasons.
In heading back west and joining the Kraken, Jones trades one struggling team for another.
Unlike the Vegas Golden Knights, who were instant contenders upon joining the NHL in 2017-18, the Kraken did not enjoy much success in their inaugural campaign. They finished last in the Pacific Division with a 27-49-6 record, and by the Trade Deadline, GM Ron Francis had embraced a seller’s mentality and sold off many of the players he’d plucked less than a year before in last summer’s Expansion Draft.
Related: 2022 NHL Free Agent Signing Tracker
Look for Grubauer and Jones to form a 1A/1B tandem in 2022-23, such as many teams employ these days, as the Kraken attempt to be a bit more relevant in their sophomore season. At the NHL Entry Draft last week, they snagged a potential top-line centre of the future Shane Wright, the consensus number-one pick who fell to fourth overall, among 11 total selections.
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Declan Schroeder is a 27-year-old communications specialist and freelance journalist in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He holds a diploma in Creative Communications with a major in journalism from Red River College and a bachelors in Rhetoric and Communications from the University of Winnipeg.
Deeply rooted in the city’s hockey culture, the original Jets skipped town when he was two and the 2.0 version came onto the scene when he was 17.