Christopher Hanewinckel/USA TODAY Sports

Breaking down the Seattle Kraken's slow start

Following the Seattle Kraken's expansion draft on July 21, I joined fellow EP writers Dimitri Filipovic and Ryan Lambert on the Hockey PDOcast to discuss the team’s selections and overall direction. 

The three of us were not overly excited with the team’s performance, and while we agreed with many of their picks, the team’s approach to roster-building surprised us. They had put together a middle-of-the-road team and failed to collect any assets through trades, putting them in the torturous purgatory between rebuilders and contenders. Their free agent additions of Jaden Schwartz and Philipp Grubauer to multi-year deals days later only exacerbated this. 

Clearly, general manager Ron Francis and his staff believed they had assembled a team that could compete right away, even though on paper they didn’t inspire a lot of confidence.

But hold on a minute. Francis wasn’t completely alone in his faith that the Kraken could win right away, even if the vast majority of fans saw a team doomed to miss the playoffs. United in their optimism was analytics-based predictive models, which universally suggested that Seattle’s dreams of replicating the instant success of the Vegas Golden Knights were not far off.

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This article is about:
NHL Seattle Kraken NHL Philipp Grubauer Jaden Schwartz Ron Francis Dave Hakstol
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