Seattle Kraken past and present

Kraken NHL Wednesday: Grooby Gear, New Rules, Soucy


There’s not a whole lot of them at this point, but there were two Kraken alumni seen skating this week in Richmond, British Columbia. Ex-Kraken turned Vancouver Canucks D-man Carson Soucy and former Seattle goalie Martin Jones, recently signed by the Toronto Maple Leafs, are part of a large group of NHL’ers informally playing for charity.

Former Canucks blueliner and Richmond native Troy Stecher is raising money for Diabetes Canada. He lost his father to complications of the disease three years ago.

Current Canucks goalie Thatcher Demko and forward J.T. Miller are among the two dozen NHL players taking part through Thursday.

Traditional Grooby

Kraken goalie Philipp Grubauer geared up in traditional wear back home in Germany for a festival in his hometown of Rosenheim, as seen on his instragram feed.

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‘Tis the season in that country, or at least the start of it. Most of the less touristy versions of Oktoberfest actually get started a bit later in September and roll into the following month.

Rosenheim gets the party started on the last Saturday of August with ‘Herbstfest’, that lasts 16 days. The Rosenheim Fall Festival, referred to as “Wiesn” to the locals, welcomes over a million visitors each year. It’s held at a massive public space in the city called Loretowiese.

Grubauer and his pals are wearing the traditional leather Lederhosen shorts.

Keefe Extension

After arriving to his new gig this summer, Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brad Treliving didn’t just keep head coach Sheldon Keefe, he extended him. Here’s the verbiage from the press release sent out Wednesday.

Keefe, 42, was named the 31st Head Coach in Maple Leafs history on November 20, 2019. Through parts of four seasons with the club (267 regular season games), Keefe has coached the team to a 166-71-30 record to rank him sixth in wins in the franchise’s 105-year history. Under Keefe, Toronto has set franchise records for most wins (54) and points (115) during a single season (2021-22) while also recording consecutive 50-win campaigns over their two most recent seasons. Since joining the Maple Leafs, Toronto has posted a .622 winning percentage under Keefe, ranking them only behind the Boston Bruins, Colorado Avalanche and Carolina Hurricanes in that span.

The big drawback: He’s won a grand total of ONE playoff series.

New Rules Adopted

The Champions League, a competition among the top 24 teams in Europe that is played out in periodic gaps during the regular seasons of the continent’s top national leagues, is adopting new power play rules this season. The Kraken and the NHL will keep a close eye as to how it works out.

Some NHL managers, media, and fans have been calling for this type of change in North America for quite awhile.

Minor penalties will be handled the same as major penalties, in that the team which caused the minor will remain shorthanded even if the opposing team scores a goal.

A minor penalty will be served even if a goal is scored while the delayed penalty is pending.

If the shorthanded team scores, the minor penalty against them will end at that point and the player will come out of the box.

Initially I’m against item one and okiedokie with items two and three.

Item one is a bit dangerous when you’re dealing with the Edmonton Oilers power play and it’s clicking at 35%. Games could get out of hand quickly. It would seem to put too much emphasis on the man advantage and less on five-on-five hockey. That would be bad news for a team like the Seattle Kraken.

By the way, this isn’t new, it used to be the way of the world in the NHL into the 1950’s, but the Montreal Canadiens power play was so good and scored so often on the man advantage, the league managers decided to go with the one-and-done goal allowed on a power play. The change was made in 1956. Curious to see if the NHL is tempted and fails to learn from its past.

And what’s the point; to increase scoring? The NHL is not struggling in that area these days, there’s plenty of offense. This seems like a great solution for the way the game was being played 20 years ago.

Earlier Kraken Wednesday:

— Kraken Column: Arguing For The Right Seattle Captain

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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9 months ago

Oh, I absolutely detest those rules. They are just asking for close, hard-fought games to turn radically on ticky-tack penalties. Then there is the problem of the officials occasionally deciding to not call anything that doesn’t involve gloves strewn across the ice for fear of calling one of those penalties that ruins an otherwise good game.

The officials should not be more important than they already are. Just look at what officiating having an outsized impact on the game has done to the NFL. Yeah, I get that the NFL is most profitable league on planet Earth, and every other sports league wants to be like it. But the product that the NFL puts on TV is awful, and its allmighty officiating is a big reason why that is the case. Of course, I am not saying that NHL officiating should be a complete joke like NBA officiating is. Where the NHL is right now is kind of a Goldilocks position. If the league were to get a proper training program for official–along with good salaries–it could rightly just sit where it is, as far as I’m concerned.

Then again, I hadn’t wanted to get rid of the prohibition on two-line passes, so take my advise for what it’s worth.