Kraken tidbits, Bedard and Legg

Kraken Friday: Bedard’s Lookalike, 15 Tantalizing Tidbits

Chasing Kraken

In honor of the 15 goals scored during the Seattle Kraken’s Development Camp scrimmage on Wednesday, here’s 15 tantalizing tidbits from “chasing Seattle” over the last five weeks. That’s after the Kraken’s Stanley Cup playoff run, which also offered up a lot of running around. Thank goodness I’m not honoring 2023 Kraken 1st-round draft pick Eduard Sale’s jersey number.

In no particular order …

1) Alrightee then, after running into the kid in Kamloops at the CHL Awards ceremony, then at the NHL Combine in Buffalo, then a couple times at the NHL Draft itself, I finally realized of whom 2023 1st-overall pick Connor Bedard reminds me.

It’s none other than Mike Legg, he of the famous “Michigan goal”.

Unprecedented at the time; that would be his lacrosse style effort in the NCAA national semi-final for the Wolverines against Minnesota in 1996. Why it’s not named after Legg I don’t know, maybe because he never made it to the big show, but it would be cool recognition for a great guy who’s now a fireman in British Columbia.

We spent a season travelling around with the same team in the minor leagues 20-odd years ago, he as a player, me as a broadcaster. Always a cheerful, fun guy to be around.

Anyway, here’s another set of pic’s. Legg next to Bedard.

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2) As a long-time TV reporter/host and play-by-play guy turned “beat writer” over the last couple years, the material isn’t new at all, but the jargon can be enlightening. And I’m not talking about reporter jargon, I’m talking about certain terms NHL GM’s use and what they mean.

A guy I’ve crossed paths with many times, on and off the air – at one point we were ice levels reporters about the same time – Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet north of the border, is now one of the preeminent story breakers. I wonder if he could someday put together of glossary of terms used by hockey managers that sound like one thing but really mean something else. He calls or texts dozens of people a day year-after-year, so by now he must know all the subtleties.

I used to occasionally break stories based on what someone flat out told me; I’ve recently missed breaking three or four because I didn’t realize what I was being told. Interesting. I’ve been around the game for decades but you can always learn new things simply by changing your perspective. I imagine it applies to any business.

3) Nashville is music heaven, and it doesn’t matter if you don’t like country music, because it’s not all country music. Walk down Broadway there and you’re bombarded with sound sensations from all directions. And with all of those sounds comes a pretty good party at each and every stop. It’s a cavalcade of joy joy.

I also found some pretty good Mexican food. (Tambien encontré algo de comida mexicana bastante buena. – Been working on it).

I think I’ve been to “Smashville” three or four times, but this was my longest exposure to “Music City”. Truly delightful.

4) What a crowd at the Kraken Community Iceplex (KCI) for the two days of the Development Camp made available to the public. That would be the opening day on-ice on July 2nd and the scrimmage on Wednesday. Enthusiastic fans of all ages. Slowly but surely, inch by inch, step by step, this will be turning into a full blooded hockey town.

It’s nice to have that major junior base in the state from which to build. The Western League’s Seattle Thunderbirds, Everett Silvertips, Tri-City Americans, Spokane Chiefs and the very soon to be Wenatchee Wild. Huge factor in the overall build and mentality.

By the way, Wenatchee fans will be quick to point out that the club has been there since 2008 playing in two different tier-2 junior leagues.

5) On June 15th, the NHL offered me a part-time side gig. Dude was initially concerned that the assignment was “below” me. I said I’m not too good for anything hockey, I’m a rink rat, and really don’t view myself that way. All good.

The next day they rescinded the offer. Still waiting on an explanation.

6) Seattle Kraken Director of Player Development Jeff Tambellini chatted with us after the Development Camp scrimmage on Wednesday. The conversation with media went up on the club’s youtube page, and then came down.

Turns out it was an audio glitch. Thank goodness myself and others recorded the interview. Great infor. We’ll share more of it down the road.

7) If you’d like to learn a bit more about the two newest Kraken, we posted stories about defenseman Brian Dumoulin and forward Kailer Yamamoto on Thursday.

8) Happy to see Jim Nill win the NHL’s General Manager of the Year award presented last week during the NHL Draft. Great guy who obviously did a solid job rounding out the Dallas Stars’ line-up last season. The award is named after another great man in “Uncle” Jim Gregory, the late, long-time hockey executive.

Both would be in the people hall-of-fame if there were such a place.

9) One of the first impressions I got from the interview opportunities with the new Kraken draftees last week in Nashville was the intelligence and articulate nature of Seattle’s 52nd-overall pick Oscar Fisker Molgaard. The Danish forward was one of three 2nd-round picks made by the Kraken, and clearly this young man is well spoken.

As Kraken GM Ron Francis alluded during our immediate post-draft conversation, the club has “cornered the market on Danes”. That’s in reference to Oliver Bjorkstrand. There are only three other regulars from Denmark presently playing in the big show; Nik Ehlers of the Winnipeg Jets, Lars Eller, now of the Pittsburgh Penguins, and goalie Freddie Andersen of the Carolina Hurricanes.

I didn’t notice Fisker-Molgaard a ton during the Development Camp proceedings until he scored the game-tying goal in the scrimmage, but that’s likely more just a function of not having enough time and eyeballs to keep track of everyone.

10) Speaking of Mexican food, this is an unsolicited recommendation. Often after Kraken game day morning skates at KCI I’ll hustle down to Climate Pledge Arena (CPA) to speak with personnel from the visiting NHL teams after their morning skates. After that it’s lunch time, and I found a dandy just about three blocks away.

It’s called Plaza Garibaldi on 1st Ave. Muy bueno! And actually, I didn’t find it, CPA security man “Shaner” tipped me off.

11) Jani Nyman, the Kraken’s Finnish forward prospect who scored the winning goal for Team Blue in the Development Camp scrimmage, has an absolute rocket of a shot. More on him momentarily.

12) “It’s a great legacy” I insisted to James Stucky, the reluctant namesake of the Development Camp scrimmage game trophy, the “Stucky Cup”. He’s an assistant equipment manager with the Kraken. Quite an honor for a popular member of the team staff.

Once a stick boy for the Seattle Thunderbirds, Stucky was the original equipment guy with the Everett Silvertips when they started up in 2003.


13) Yesterday, someone posted a photo of Vladi Tarasenko on an airplane and said the free agent Russian forward was en route to Seattle with his hockey equipment. If he really was visiting Seattle, and even if he was meeting with the team, why would he have his gear? And if for some bizarre reason he had his gear, he surely wouldn’t be fitting it in the overhead compartment.


Of course, unrelated to this but not unrelated to Tarasenko looking for a new team; he did win a Stanley Cup with Kraken defenseman Vince Dunn with the St. Louis Blues in 2019.

Vladi recently dumped his previous agent and joined forces with Pat Brisson at CAA. In an e-mail to me Friday, the man some call “Breeze” simply said, “we’re still exploring options.”

14) Kudos to the NHL’s events department. Even though I’ve seen many of the operations up close and personal when I worked for the league as a host/reporter in New York a while back, I’m always amazed at the scope and efficiency of the event operations. Sometimes there’s a glitch here or there, but the crew or crews that work behind the scenes are unsung heroes.

15) Eduard Sale’s jersey number at Development Camp was 82. Phew!!

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.