When Seattle Kraken defenseman Carson Soucy’s agent cut-off updates and conversations with us a few days ago, the writing was on the wall. His earlier “up in the air” comment meant “Carson’s going bye bye”, but we couldn’t make that assumption when reports of his impending departure weren’t confirmed.
It appears Saturday morning at 9 am pacific Soucy will officially be leaving “the deep” and heading to the open waters of free agency.
It makes sense really, the big lefty had a good year. He’s 28-years-old with 250 games of NHL experience. This is his opportunity to sign his one big NHL contract, maybe even get overpaid. There are teams that will do it and it’s a chance to cash in.
$2.75-million a year for three seasons is nothing to sneeze at, but after 16 points in 78 games for a stay-at-homer with decent 3rd-pair analytics, why not step into the market.
Soucy also has to feel as though he deserves more time on ice, a bigger role somewhere else. He had the smallest share of ice time among the Kraken’s six regular defensemen, yet he had the third most hits and the third most blocked shots amongst the group and his giveaway to takeaway ratio was almost even.
From the team’s perspective, they’ll be looking for more offensive bang for their buck in a replacement. Prospect and fellow lefty Ryker Evans was impressive with the AHL Coachella Valley Firebirds this season and is making strides. On the depth chart they’d be losing about six inches and 20 pounds, but they’d be gaining an angry, fierce competitor with a lot more offensive upside. If he’s not ready, they’ll be looking elsewhere.
Jayson Megna is even bigger than Soucy, but he’s mostly been a minor leaguer. A small step backwards, a tough term to use when dealing with these behemoths, if he’s the answer on the back-end.
Will we miss talking about Soucy’s hometown of Irma, Alberta? Not for long if prospect forward Jagger Firkus eventually works his way to the Kraken. He’s also from the town, population 520. By the way, so is Scott Ratzlaff, Soucy’s cousin and the Seattle Thunderbirds goalie drafted Thursday by the Buffalo Sabres.
Pretty remarkable citizen to NHL ratio.
No No Donato
Ryan Donato kind of reminds us of a forward version of defenseman Kyle Burroughs up the road in Vancouver, who learned Friday the Canucks wouldn’t be bringing him back. They’re similar in that they’ll go to the wall for their teammates, drop the mitts, take a glove punch, do whatever is necessary. Might the latter end up as a 7th or 8th defenseman in Seattle? Probably not.
While his tenacity is admirable, Donato’s talent profile is replaceable, interchangeable with others, and upgrade-able from an offensive standpoint. They need more to get over the next hump. That has to be what the Kraken are thinking about these days as they look to continue improving and progressing forward as a whole.
Donato had a respectable 13 goal, 27 point season in 71 games. He’s played 325 NHL matches between his hometown Boston Bruins, the Minnesota Wild, San Jose Sharks and then the Kraken.
They’re are obviously elements to his game NHL teams like having around, and he’s a delight to be around. Plus, it’s hard to teach dedication.
The Kraken announced Friday that they signed pending unrestricted free agent (UFA) goalie Joey Daccord, the hero of Coachella Valley’s long run to Game-7 of the Calder Cup Final. He signed for two seasons, earning $1.2-million in each.
The 26-year-old has 19 games of NHL experience, ten of them with the Kraken. The first nine came with the team that drafted him in the 7th-round in 2015, the Ottawa Senators.
At that price and given his recent success, there’s a chance he’s the Kraken’s back-up to Philipp Grubauer. If so, now what to do with Chris Driedger?
Last season’s back-up Martin Jones, who stepped in admirably on a one-year deal that paid him $2-million, also hits free agency.