whats wrong with the Seattle kraken

By: Harrson Dupree

The Seattle Kraken. The NHL’s newest franchise has had quite the year, but not
the way they expected. We are over halfway through the season and the Kraken
have not held up well in the standings. After 58 games played, their record
stands at 17-36-5 and 39 points, the third worst in the league. But why have they
been losing so much? What is the cause of all their troubles? Well… let’s look at a
few components that might’ve played a role in their disappointing inaugural

The Expansion Draft
The NHL expansion draft has been revised and tampered with multiple times
over the years. But today, we are focusing on the latest version from 2017 when
the Vegas Golden Knights entered the league. The current version is structured
as so: the new team must choose 14 forwards, 9 defensemen, and 3 goaltenders.
The other current NHL clubs have 2 options to protect the players they don’t
want to get snatched up. They can either protect 7 forwards, 3 defensemen, and 1
goaltender or protect 8 skaters (forward or defense) and 1 goaltender. This led to
a fiasco in 2017, with the Golden Knights fleecing a few teams by adding some
future and current stars to their lineup. A few years passed, and the 2021 NHL
Draft rolled along for Seattle, but this time teams knew what was up. Seattle still
managed to snag a few players that looked good in the long run such as: Mark
Giordano, Chris Dreidger, Jordan Eberle, and Yanni Gourde to name a few. But
the 2021 draft was definitely not as impactful as it’s 2017 counterpart.

Player & Goalie Troubles
Seattle’s bench has been an interesting case this year. Their offense hasn’t been
absolutely terrible, but not necessarily great either. For a lack of a better term, it’s
been dull. A few guys have been a surprise, particularly Jared McCann who leads
the team in scoring with 21 goals, and as of today just signed a 5-year deal with
the Kraken (so some good news). On the other hand, guys like Calle Jarnkrok,
Yanni Gourde, and Mark Giordano have been putting up okay numbers but not
solid, and some of them could be traded in the coming weeks at the trade
deadline. The major problem is goaltending. As said earlier, the Kraken brought
in Chris Dreidger but also signed Philipp Grubauer from the Avalanche. The duo
looked to be a great tandem, but later proved to be the team’s weakest point.
Grubauer has started 41 games with a 12-24-5 record, .888 save percentage, and
3.17 GAA. Bad numbers for a starting goalie, along with Dreidger who has a 5-9-0
record, a .888 save percentage and 3.33 GAA. The Kraken have allowed a total of
206 goals compared to their 147 goals for. Seems like the net isn’t well protected

Expectations and Coaching
My last point is coaching and expectations. I’ll start with coaching, the Kraken
hired their first franchise coach on June 24, 2021. They chose Dave Hakstol as
their candidate who many saw to be a surprising choice. Hakstol had an average
performance with the Flyers during his time from 2015-2018, so many criticized
the hire. Due to the Kraken’s struggles many fans have been blaming his
decisions on the team’s failure. My last point is expectations. Let’s talk about the
2017 Golden Knights again for a second. The team had a cinderella-esque
inaugural season with a run to the Stanley Cup Final setting the bar high for
expansion teams. The problem is expansion teams aren’t supposed to be good.
Expansion teams before Vegas usually struggled a few years before contending
for a playoff spot. The expectation for Seattle seems to be too high due to Vegas’s
success. So, maybe we should cut them some slack, it is only their first year. All in
all, Seattle has honestly been playing how they are supposed to even if it is
disappointing. The future does look bright though, the Kraken should get a high
first round pick and have had 100% fan attendance so far this season. Seattle is a
great hockey market and should trend upward soon enough, but for the
meantime they are trending downward.

What's Wrong with the Seattle Kraken

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