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Release the (Seattle) kraken!!!

globaleagle

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Kraken officially join NHL, can sign free agents, make trades

Seattle makes final payment of $650 million expansion fee, to begin play as 32nd team next season

The Seattle Kraken officially joined the NHL on Friday when they made the final payment of their $650 million expansion fee, allowing them to make trades ahead of the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft on July 21 and sign free agents ahead of their debut next season.

"On behalf of the Board of Governors, I am delighted to officially welcome the Seattle Kraken to the NHL as our 32nd Member Club," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. "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."

The Vegas Golden Knights were the last expansion team to join the NHL, debuting in 2017-18.
"You're always talking to your counterparts and having discussions with them," Kraken general manager Ron Francis said April 13, the day after the NHL Trade Deadline. "Obviously we're not an official team within the League until we make our last payment, so you can't make any trades, and you don't have a season going on this year, so we're not really involved on that front. But [the Kraken are] certainly talking to a lot of the guys and having discussions, and we'll continue to do that as we move forward towards the expansion draft in July."

Francis said April 13 that signing college free agents would be challenging, because college free agents often want to play in the NHL and burn the first year of their entry-level contracts.

"We can't burn this year," Francis said. "We would have to start next year, so that takes us out of a lot of those negotiations, anyways. But certainly, we're looking at that. We're looking at Ontario Hockey League or Western Hockey League or Quebec Major Junior Hockey League players as well as in Europe to see if there's any free agents there we would have an interest in signing."
 

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