Seattle Kraken, Colorado Avalanche

Kraken Daily: Game-7 Next, Absent Av’s Player To Return

The Seattle Kraken organization has a lot to look forward to in the next 36 hours. It’s Coachella Valley Firebirds farm team is playing in the American Hockey League’s Calder Cup Final and the Acrisure Arena will be sold out.

Great for hockey, great for business. Here’s how Monday night’s Game-6 against the Hershey Bears turned into Wednesday night’s Game-7.

Kraken Conference News

It didn’t help matters for the Colorado Avalanche in the opening round of the 2023 Stanley Cup playoffs when top-6 forward Valeri Nichuskin disappeared from series action following Game-2, after heading to the airport in Seattle on the day of Game-3.

He was involved in an “incident” with a drunken woman in a Seattle hotel room. After examining the police records and videos and hearing the various stories and perspectives, there were no charges filed by authorities and no further investigation warranted by the National Hockey League.

Kyle Fredrickson’s story in the Denver Gazette

With that in mind, not unexpectedly, it was announced that Nichushkin will return for the Avalanche’s 2023 training camp. Other than a potential initial press conference and questions, it’s very likely the player and team will announce at that time that the matter is closed and no further questions will be welcome.

Something along the lines of “it’s time to think about the team and the season ahead and put any distractions behind us.” Naturally I’m paraphrasing, but it’ll go something like that, which is fine.

If he didn’t do anything wrong, there’s no need to continue dwelling on it. Period.

Kraken Division News

I recall Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs saying after his club won the Stanley Cup in 2011, something along the lines of, or exactly like, “Let’s do it again next year!”

A delightful sentiment and goal. That Bruins core actually did get two more kicks at it, losing in the Final in 2013 to the Chicago Blackhawks and again in 2019 to the St. Louis Blues.

Who knows, maybe it’s getting easier lately. The Tampa Bay Lightning won back-to-back in 2020 and 2021, just three years after the Pittsburgh Penguins pulled off the feat in 2016 and 2017. Prior to that the last club to win two Stanley Cups in a row was the Detroit Red Wings in 1997 and 1998.

The Blackhawks had a mini-dynasty with Cups in 2010, 2013 and 2015, but no back-to-backers.

Does it still make the suggestion of “let’s do it again” tough to swallow or naive, given all of the intangibles, luck, and health factors that go into the two month battle of attrition? Yep, to some extent.

If only it were that easy.

While Vegas Golden Knights ownership and management are very confident in those possibilities moving forward, which is fine, Sportsnet’s Ken Wiebe points out some of the major reasons why it won’t necessarily be so easy for those dwellers of “The Fortress”.

Kraken Neighbors

More on the 5th largest contract buy-out in NHL history.

April: The Vancouver Canucks needed some salary cap room, but they wouldn’t be buying out any fat contracts would they … ?

“I just think that this group is just touching the surface of becoming a good team, so I don’t want to use buyouts if we don’t have to,” Canucks General Manager Patrik Allvin said while meeting the press after his team failed to make the playoffs. “I don’t want to use buyouts that (are) going to affect us in a couple of years when this group is actually, hopefully, taking off. The intention is not using buyouts at this point.”

On Friday the Canucks pulled off a whopper buy-out with Swedish D-man Oliver Ekman-Larsson‘s contract and our pal Iain MacIntyre at Sportsnet provided a delightful response.

Your Kraken:

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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.