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NHL Expansion Debate: Subban or Burns to Be New Face of Seattle Kraken?

The Seattle Kraken might have the opportunity to select both P.K. Subban and Brent Burns, who should the team take?

Eric Duhatschek and Ryan S. Clark of The Athletic recently conducted a mock expansion draft that would see the Seattle Kraken select their players from each of the 30 NHL teams and in a well-written and thought-provoking piece, came up with some interesting items worth discussing. Among the most intriguing was that both PK Subban and Brent Burns were going to wind up being selected.

Related: Maple Leafs Could Trade Asset to Kraken to Protect Player During Expansion

While there were some interesting names taken at the forward position, it’s the selections on the blue line that were really worth talking about.

Seattle Takes Swing with P.K. Subban

The scribes write, “Seattle has a chance to take an expensive swing here by selecting P.K. Subban..” They suggest the 31-year old will have one year remaining on a contract that carries a $9 million AAV, but in actual dollars will cost the Kraken only $8 million.

P.K. Subban Devils NHL
P.K. Subban Devils NHL

While expensive, this is a former Norris Trophy winner (2013) with a “big personality that would make an off-ice splash in a new market.” They note that if it doesn’t work out, Subban could be traded at the 2022 deadline. Suggesting this move is high risk, it could also be high reward.

Related: What the Maple Leafs Prospect Pipeline Tells Us About the Future

The Sharks Loss is Seattle’s Gain

Suggesting that the San Jose Sharks have way too much money tied up in aging veterans — Erik Karlsson, Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Brent Burns — the belief is that the Sharks will be forced to let the player without a no-move clause go. As such, Burns — the 2017 Norris Trophy winner — is available.

San Jose Sharks
San Jose Sharks

The scribes note that:

“Burns has an outsized, almost cartoonish, personality and Vegas proved, through its original Golden Misfits incarnation, that players with big personalities can help steer an expansion team through its formative years.”

Someone like Burns could be important to the core of a team like Seattle and his on-ice talents lend to him also being an effective player who can run an even more effective power play.

The downside is that Burns is older at the age of 35. He’s still got plenty of time left on an eight-year, $64 million contract he signed in November 2016 and it’s not an inexpensive one. At $8 million per season, the Kraken would be making a hefty investment in a player who will undoubtedly slow down.

The good news is that his contract get significantly less expensive in the latter years so he’s not as expensive player, more a bigger cap hit.

Is There Room For Both Subban and Burns?

If the Kraken are looking for a new face for their franchise and one that will help sell tickets, both Subban and Burns are excellent candidates. The question is, should Seattle be tempted to take both?

Are these personalities too big to have both on the roster?

Next: HC Davos Has Message For Thornton As He’s Recalled By Maple Leafs

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