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Kraken Officially Join NHL, Can Start Making Trades and Signing Players

On Friday, the NHL officially welcomed the Seattle Kraken as the 32nd franchise. They can now start making deals.

On Friday, the NHL officially welcomed the Seattle Kraken as the 32nd franchise. The team has made its final installment franchise fee of $650 million and been granted official NHL standing. They now have the ability to sign free agents, make trades and vote on league proposals.

The Kraken thanked their fans after the league made the official announcement and then proceeded to suggest the first thing they’ll do is “celly hard.” They noted, “Today marks a HUGE moment in our club’s history: we have officially completed the process of joining the National Hockey League. To our fans, ownership group, partners and the @NHL – thank you. We couldn’t have done it with out you.”

Commissioner Gary Bettman released a short statement:

On behalf of the Board of Governors, I am delighted to officially welcome the Seattle Kraken to the NHL as our 32nd Member Club. Congratulations to David Bonderman, the Bonderman Family, their partners, the entire Seattle Kraken organization, the city of Seattle and Kraken fans as the Club continues on its exciting journey towards puck drop in October.

With $81.5mil to spend….it will be interesting to see what their first order of business will really be.

Ryan S, Clark of The Athletic reports that the Kraken and the NHL are seeking to finalize their plans about what the expansion draft will look like. He writes, “The belief is they are looking at holding the live event in Seattle on July 21 with a made-for-TV production that could be staged at multiple locations around the Pacific Northwest involving celebrities with regional ties in the broadcast.” It’s unclear whether or not fans will be allowed to attend the event.

The Kraken Will Be a Popular Club for Other NHL GMs

Because the Kraken can start signing undrafted free agents who play in college, major junior or anywhere in Europe, all eyes will be on who they target. The Kraken can now also start making side deals with other NHL clubs. And, this will likely happen.

The Pittsburgh Penguins and Golden Knights made a move before Vegas played their first game. Marc-Andre Fleury was part of that trade and it’s been arguably the Golden Knights biggest acquisition in club history. Teams will look at Seattle a lot this offseason because the Kraken can help in a tight salary cap economy where some teams will be desperate to offload salary.

Next: Ilya Kovalchuk Eyeing a Return to the NHL

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