Seattle Kraken Set to Join NHL
There will be a 32nd team in the National Hockey League to begin the 2021-22 season as the Seattle Kraken have made their final payment to the league.
The expansion fee was $650 million, and the final installment was submitted to the league on Friday, the league announced.
David Bonderman is the majority owner of the Kraken, and the entire Bonderman family played a role in bringing this team to Seattle. The league has been looking to expand since adding the Vegas Golden Knights as the 31st team.
This is a perfect match for the league and city of Seattle, one of the best sporting markets in the United States. Seattle has been hoping to bring an additional professional team to the state of Washington since losing the SuperSonics to Oklahoma City.
There is still plenty of work left to be done, but the team is on track to begin play in October with the start of the season. Now that the final payment has been made, the Kraken are able to sign free agents and complete trades.
The 2021 NHL Expansion Draft is set to begin on July 21, and that is when most of the roster will start to take shape. The Kraken will be able to choose from a pool of players that have been left unprotected by their current teams.
The Kraken can begin negotiating deals with college players on April 13, and this might be the first step into building a roster. Most college players will be looking to sign with an established franchise, but the Kraken do have the allure of playing in Seattle and plenty of money to spend.
In the expansion draft, Seattle will be required to select at least one player from all 30 teams in the league.
Ron Francis has been named general manager of the Kraken, but he has not been able to get to work until the final payment was made. One of the first jobs for Francis will be naming a head coach, and that search is currently underway.
Hoping to Follow Golden Knights Path
The Seattle Kraken are hoping for similar success as the last expansion team in the NHL. The Vegas Golden Knights put together an impressive roster through trades and the expansion draft, and that team found success quickly.
Vegas advanced to the Stanley Cup Final in its first season as a franchise, and that team has not slowed down since. The Golden Knights have made the playoffs in all four seasons since joining the league.
The Seattle Kraken will be a member of the Pacific Division in the National Hockey League. This places them in the Western Conference, and the Golden Knights are also in the same division.
This season, Vegas has the best record in the National Hockey League and is a betting favorite to win the Stanley Cup. Seattle can learn from the past experiences of Vegas and can construct a roster in a similar fashion.
It’s an exciting time in the NHL. A lot of sportsbook operators are seeing the huge potential in the league and many are signing marketing and partnership agreements with teams, including Ballys. Sportsbook operator PointsBet also inked a deal that saw them become “Official Sports Betting Partner” of the NHL. In exchange, the deal saw the NHL gain equity in PointsBet.
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