Seattle Kraken, Vince Dunn

Kraken D-Man Vince Dunn Gets A 4-Year Deal

As expected, the Seattle Kraken on Friday announced a contract extension for defenseman Vince Dunn that spans four years and will pay him $7.35-million per season.

“I’m happy with where I am right now and I want to be a part of this organization for many years to come,” Dunn said in a statement.

Every single player presently in the Kraken organization that is expected to dress, or could dress for the big club this season, is now under contract.

Dunn, one year from unrestricted free agency (UFA), is now locked up for three years into that status. No-move or modified no-move clauses are not part of the deal for the 26-year-old, not a surprise for a bridge contract.

Kraken Highs

The top-pair lefty D-man averaged 23:40 per game last season, putting up career highs with 14 goals, 50 assists, 64 points, while finishing the season a plus-28.

Dunn, along with righty partner Adam Larsson, set the tone for the D-corps, playing steady minutes and delivering strong numbers across the board, whether one is reviewing more archaic statistics or modern analytics. Larsson averaged just two seconds less per game than Dunn, as the pair ate up 39% of the positional ice time.

During the playoffs, Dunn’s overall ice time was slightly more reasonable, averaging 23:10 per game. The one exception was Game-1 of the 2nd-round series with the Dallas Stars that went more than twelve minutes into overtime before Yanni Gourde scored the game winner. Dunn played 32:18 that night.

The native of Mississauga, Ontario enters his 7th NHL season with 421 regular season games under his belt. He’s also played in 43 Stanley Cup playoff games, the most memorable being his championship run with the St. Louis Blues in 2019. Dunn and his mates, including current Kraken forward Jaden Schwartz, defeated the Boston Bruins in a Final that went seven games.

As a second year pro, Dunn played 3rd-pair minutes in twenty postseason games in 2019, including the last four games of the final series.

“Ever since I stepped foot in here,” Dunn added. “It’s been a new chapter in my career. They’ve let me develop not just as a person but as a player. And I’m really fortunate for all the opportunities that I’ve been given. It was a big, big jump for me to do what I did this year. I got a lot of opportunity and tried to make the most of it. I know it’s only up from here and the demand is just going to keep growing on me so I’m ready for that. I’m really excited for what’s ahead.”

Ching Ching

Four years later, now one of the alpha males on the blueline, Dunn becomes the Seattle Kraken’s highest paid player by a pretty comfortable margin. Goalie Philipp Grubauer is next at $5.9-million per year.

The next highest paid D-man at the moment is Jamie Oleksiak at $4.6-million per season with Larsson making $4-million. The highest paid forwards are Jordan Eberle, Andre Burakovsky, and Schwartz, all at $5.5-million per season.

Oliver Bjorkstrand, Yanni Gourde and Jared McCann are all within $500,000 of that mark.

The contracts of Eberle, two other significant forwards and one regular D-man, Justin Schultz, expire after next season, when Francis and the Kraken will be confronted with many more skaters wanting that much more money.

A handful of underlings will also be seeking new deals.

That’s the challenge often referred to while talking about building and hanging on to an NHL roster … when you win, things become more expensive.

Dunn is the first major step for the third-year franchise in that process. As the challenges grow, this is when Kraken management really starts to earn its dough moving forward.

For now, everyone is on-board, with the Kraken heading to “the deep” for another run at the Stanley Cup playoffs beginning in mid-October.

Wednesday’s Signing:

— Kraken Head Coach Hakstol Gets 2-Year Extension

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.
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7 months ago

My jaw is on the floor. It blows my mind that, in this market, a young defenseman who just had a break-out season would sign for only four years at less than eight-million AAV–one that eats three year of unrestricted status. I never dreamed that the club would get a deal this favorable to it. This is like an EA Sports “franchise mode” bargain. Why would Dunn agree to this? All I can think of is that he wanted the term to end when he hits thirty and will be in line for one last good contract. Or maybe the contract is full of incentive bonuses; he could have decided to gamble on himself. I could see that.