Seattle Kraken, Philipp Grubauer

Kraken Reacquire Goalie, Club Creating Options-Depth

It’s been getting busy lately in the Seattle Kraken goalie department, what with Philipp Grubauer (above) going on injured reserve October 25th, Christopher Gibson being signed October 27th, and Magnus Hellberg being claimed off waivers today (Thursday) from the Ottawa Senators.

One could view it as organizational depth and one could view it long term as having a trade piece on hand to spice up any potential deal at some point. Teams can never have enough goaltending, a popular hockey cliché, one the Kraken are presently exercising.

28-year-old back-up from last season Chris Driedger is still around of course, sitting on injured reserve.

Seattle signed Hellberg this summer on July 13th and then waived him just before the start of the season. The 31-year-old Swede has played a grand total of six NHL games. He’s on a one-way NHL contract paying him $750,000 this season whether he plays in the big show or not.

Joey Daccord, also a former Ottawa Senator, claimed by the Kraken in the expansion draft in the summer of 2021, has played 15 career NHL games including one for Seattle this season on November 1st in Calgary. The team came from behind to win it for him 5-4.

27-year-old Gibson has 16 games of NHL experience and actually played part of last season with the Charlotte (North Carolina) Checkers of the American Hockey League. Daccord, age-26, also played with the Checkers last season, had outstanding numbers, and led the team to the playoffs.

Small (Kraken) Hockey World Indeed

For now it appears Hellberg will back-up Martin Jones. Soon to be sent down Daccord, on a two-way NHL/AHL contract, and Gibson, also on a two-way deal, will be between the pipes in Coachella Valley. Daccord is within a time window that allows him to be sent down without having to clear waivers, so why not.

Typically in a two-way contract, a player is paid substantially more when playing in the NHL than when playing in the AHL. Gibson makes $750,000 or $100,000. Daccord’s Kraken deal is a bit quirky. In it’s third year, the contract actually pays him a bit more to play in the minors than it does when he plays in the NHL. It’s an odd one he signed in Ottawa three seasons ago with an accelerator that substantially increased his minor league payments year to year.

When it all shakes out and Grubauer returns to the fold, it’ll be he and Jones manning the crease at the NHL level, with the club having to make a decision about what will become a sudden glut of goalies.

Yeah, we know. Always a good problem to have.

Rob Simpson

Rob Simpson has covered the NHL in five different decades. He’s authored 4 books on hockey and is a veteran TV and radio play-by-play man and reporter.