New Expansion Rules Allow Seattle To Take Any Player
In a surprise move that is shocking the NHL, Gary Bettman and the NHL have announced that they will be forgoing the old expansion rules and instead allowing the Seattle Kraken to select any one player they want from each NHL team. That means no protected players and yes that does include NMC's. Everyone is up for grabs.
In addition the League has also announced that Vegas will be included in the Expansion process which makes complete sense to me. This is a team that had some highly favorable expansion rules in the first place and has been a playoff team since it's inception. Time to pay the piper.
This does not however include players that are exempt so breathe a sigh of relief. If the league allowed Seattle to select from those players too that would simply be unfair.
Honestly this is quite the smart move by the League during a time of economic uncertainty. Teams around the league are struggling to make ends meet and are pressed right against the cap ceiling. This will ultimately provide each team with some much needed relief. The Oilers will have so much more cap space with Connor McDavid (who I fully expect to be Seattle's choice) now off the books.
The one additional note that will likely anger some people is the fact that the NHL is giving the Kraken a 3 year period with no cap meaning this will easily be the most expensive NHL lineup in the history of the league. To make matters even more controversial, it sounds like it will be the league themselves footing the bill. "I mean we have been blowing millions of dollars to house a team in the desert for over a decade so this isn't the worst use of our funds," said one official close to the league.
It's a preliminary look, but here is my first guess at what the Seattle Kraken will look like on opening night.
Ovechkin - McDavid - Pastrnak
Connor- Matthews - Kane
Svechnikov - MacKinnon - Stone
Panarin - Crosby - Gallagher
Josi - Jones
Heiskanen - Ekblad
Dahlin - Parayko
Chabot - Karlsson
It's clear that the NHL wasn't happy with Vegas only being in the Stanley Cup Finals in it's first season and instead wants to boost revenue by ensuring it's new team wins the Cup three times in a row after it's inauguration. It's a bold move by the NHL but you cannot deny that this will be a fun team to watch.
Thanks for reading.