During the lead-up to this year’s expansion draft, the rumor mill was in high gear. Speculation surfaced that Mark Giordano, the Calgary Flames captain who would be selected by the Seattle Kraken, may not be on the expansion roster very long. When the Kraken brought him out to the stage during the event itself, it seemed to confirm that wouldn’t be the case. Now, speaking with TSN’s Salim Valji, Giordano explained that not only is he looking forward to playing for the Kraken, but intends on taking a leadership role in the team’s inaugural season:
Yeah, I think myself, obviously being the oldest guy on the team, you go in and you want to embrace those leadership qualities. You want to help out the young guys as much as you can, but with the NHL today, most of the superstars are anywhere from low- to mid-twenties, to be honest. So I’m looking forward to being around the young guys on our team and having good leaders, guys like Jordan Eberle are there, and a bunch of different guys I should mention but will leave it for later. I’m just looking forward to being around a good, solid, young core group who’s going to provide a lot of energy for me. I’m looking forward to that, just as much as hopefully guys are looking forward to playing with me.
Giordano, 37, will likely be looked at as the team’s de facto captain this season, even if he isn’t given the letter. It is also unclear how long the veteran defenseman will actually be there. His contract expires after the 2021-22 season and he will be 39 before the 2022-23 season starts, likely with more than 1,000 games played.
- The Kraken have said goodbye to one of their pro scouts, as Stu Barnes leaves the organization to take the head coaching role with the Tri-City Americans. Barnes is a co-owner of the WHL team and played there for two seasons before his long NHL career. In fact, Barnes holds the second and third-best offensive seasons in Tri-City history. A veteran of more than 1,100 NHL games, he served as an assistant coach with the Dallas Stars for two different periods since his retirement and was hired by the Kraken last summer.
- Speaking of hirings, the Kraken are expected to make a decision on a goaltending coach within a week according to Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times. Baker assumed that Andrew Allen, currently working as a pro scout, would take that role given he held it with the Buffalo Sabres previously, but also notes there are few other prominent names like Mike Buckley—recently fired by the Pittsburgh Penguins–out there right now.