It’s a very exciting time of year in the N.H.L, the Seattle Expansion Draft. There are 669 players that General Manager Ron Francis could pick. The Sault native and his team must pick the best 30 players that they can to set this team up for success. The owners want to start winning now so they have given Ron Francis the green light to max the salary cap. Although the goal is to win now, it is critical to also obtain players for the future. Players who will help your team stay strong for years to come. So, as I have said, let’s break it down and take a look at how I would build this team.
The first option I am going to show you is almost maxing the cap. This is if the Kraken do not care about picking up new players, whatsoever, once they are free agents.
The Forwards Mr. Francis picks will create the style of team he wants going forward. Whether it’s speed and skill or physical and hard, the forwards he picks will provide the outlook of his team. With Option 1, I would spend big money on forwards who can score, looking to spark my team early in games. These are the forwards I would pick.
The saying goes, offense wins you games, but defense wins you championships. This is where I would want to pick up big strong players that will make other teams never want to play against you. The defense also needs to work well with your breakout plays so, picking at least two good puck moving defensemen is a must. With Option 1, I will spend a lot of money on my top 4 defensemen. With all that being said, this is defensive core I would pick.
We already know Seattle is about to sign goaltender Chris Driedger as 1 of their 3 goalies so that leaves 2 more. As we have seen during the playoffs, without goaltending, you can’t win the big games. This is where I would want to be stacked. Have goalies that I know can play right now and make a huge impact to this team. Goalies that will make the big save when needed, while this team finds its feet. With Option 1, yet again, I am going to spend a lot of money on my numbers and with that being said, this is why I would pick these other 2 goalies.
The Final Roster With Option 1
With all this said and done, this Kraken team I have built will be sitting at around 79.9 million dollars towards the cap. This does not leave much room when it comes to free agents however you can always trade players you drafted to get cap space back. There are many different routes you could go with this team. Having said this, let’s now go into my second option.
My 2nd option is trying to save roughly 8-10 million bucks to put towards towards free agents and trades for the rest of the off season. This team will still be good and very deep however you will not be able to afford as many star players. So once again, let’s break down this roster
With the second option you are losing a bit of star power and power play specialist(s) but you still have some players who really can score and make a big impact. This group is still a group that would give you 3-4 solid lines that you could roll throughout any game.
With the my second option, defense is an area that would take a hit. It’s still a solid defensive core however, it is not as strong as Option 1. Besides of Mark Giordano, this core is mostly filled with the bottom 6 defense pairing players. This is an area I would try to improve via trade of free agent signings.
The last but biggest change with this option would be goaltending. If you are going to be more worried about your cap, you can’t afford Mr. Price in the pipes. His 10.5 million dollar contract is just too much to handle. So, you go with 3 very young goaltenders and hope they can develop and help this team long term.
The Final Roster With Option 2
With this second option you still have a very strong team with some legit star power. This option does lack the depth in the defense and the goaltending however, with the extra cap space you can make moves in the off season to fix this issue. And, worst case scenario, this team could still go out, opening night, and be a good team that will compete in every ongoing match.
Option 1 Or option 2… That Is The Question?
If I was Ron Francis I would go with a option two. Although the 2nd option is lacking the depth that Option 1 gives you, Option 2 gives you the flexibility that you need during the off-season to get the right players. Ron Francis would have the cap space to pick up players that will make an impact to his team now, and in the future. We can play guessing games all we want however, we will not know what the Seattle Kraken will do until tomorrow night at 8 P.M