It’s a travel day today for Seattle Hockey Insider, arriving a couple hours ahead of the NHL Awards to see if the aforementioned Seattle Kraken nominees bring home any hardware.
At that point we’ll also start to get a feel for whether or not the club is considering any moves and what’s happening with their free agents. If the Kraken stay put they’ll have the 20th-overall pick in the 1st-round of the NHL Draft on Wednesday.
Not So Kraken
Other NHL teams are already getting busy and a few are feeling some pressure.
The Kraken’s Pacific Division rival down the coast, the San Jose Sharks, are hearing from veteran defenseman and Norris Trophy nominee Erik Karlsson that it’s time for him to move along.
“I’ve played with too many guys throughout my career that are amazing players and should be winners and should have won that never did,” Karlsson said in Nashville on Sunday. “I don’t want to be that guy. I want to win. That’s not to say that I’m going to win. I want an opportunity to win. If that opportunity is not in San Jose right now within my timeline, then that’s just the unfortunate part of business. That’s not to say that I don’t like it there or they don’t want me there or we don’t want this to work. It’s just that’s the way it is.”
That’s a mouthful.
The 33-year-old righty is coming off a 101-point season and is the favorite to win the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s best defenseman. He has four seasons remaining on a contract that pays him an average of $11.5-million per year. That’s a lot of money to move and/or take on. Salary retention for San Jose in a deal appears to be a must.
Karlsson indicated he’s had chats with Sharks GM Mike Grier about a potential move and that there’s no animosity whatsoever.
No Stall, Yes to Staal
As Chip Alexander reports in The (Raleigh) News and Observer, the Carolina Hurricanes beat the free agency period by a week in signing captain Jordan Staal to a 4-year, $2.9-million per season contract. It keeps the 34-year-old center in Raleigh through what could be the end of his career.
Staal helped win a Stanley Cup in 2009 with the Pittsburgh Penguins before moving on to Carolina in the summer of 2012 in a cost cutting deal that saw forward Brandon Sutter, defenseman Brian Dumoulin and a 1st-round pick head the other way.
He had been the 3rd-line center behind Sidney Crosby and Geno Malkin up north, and now he’s the 3rd-line center behind Sebastian Aho and Jesperi Kotkaniemi in Dixie.
The Penguins have since won two more Cups, the Canes not so much. They’ve twice reached the Eastern Conference Final during Staal’s time there, including this spring. The Thunder Bay, Ontario native finished the regular season with 17 goals and 17 assists.
Via NHL.com, here’s a few, not all, of the other NHL Awards up for grabs on Monday night.
Hart Trophy: Given annually to the NHL player voted most valuable to his team by the Professional Hockey Writers Association (PHWA).
Connor McDavid – Edmonton Oilers
David Pastrnak – Boston Bruins
Matthew Tkachuk – Florida Panthers
Vezina Trophy: Given annually to the goalie voted the best at his position by NHL general managers.
Connor Hellebuyck – Winnipeg Jets
Ilya Sorokin – New York Islanders
Linus Ullmark – Boston Bruins
Frank J. Selke Trophy: Given annually to the forward voted best to excel in the defensive aspects of the game as voted on by the PHWA.
Patrice Bergeron – Boston Bruins
Nico Hischier – New Jersey Devils
MItch Marner – Toronto Maple Leafs
Lady Byng Trophy: Given annually to the player voted best to combine sportsmanship, gentlemanly conduct and ability as voted on by the Professional Hockey Writers Association.
Jack Hughes – New Jersey Devils
Anze Kopitar – Los Angeles Kings
Brayden Point – Tampa Bay Lightning