The Seattle Kraken have completed a bit of offseason work, signing Max McCormick to a two-year contract extension. The two-way deal carries an average annual value of $762.5K and keeps McCormick from hitting the open market this summer as an unrestricted free agent. Kraken general manager Ron Francis released the following statement:
Max is a valuable part of the leadership group in Charlotte as the Checkers begin their playoff run. He impressed us with his play in Seattle. We are excited that he is returning to our organization for the next two years.
Interestingly enough, McCormick actually returned to an old stomping ground when he joined the Kraken organization this season. Because the team did not yet have their own AHL affiliate up and running, Seattle sent players to the Charlotte Checkers, where McCormick spent most of the year. He’d already spent a season with the Checkers in 2019-200, when he scored 35 points in 56 games while also racking up 120 penalty minutes. While his penalty numbers may have dropped, McCormick was once again a solid player for Charlotte this season, scoring 13 goals and 29 points in 46 games.
Meanwhile, his NHL career is still a big scattershot. Since signing with the Ottawa Senators out of Ohio State University in 2014, McCormick has played 93 games at the highest level, but never more than 30 in a single season. He suited up ten times for Seattle this year but failed to register a single point.
With the Coachella Valley Firebirds set to start play next season as the Kraken affiliate, players like McCormick are the perfect foundation for the AHL roster. He poses little risk of claim on waivers but can serve a role as an injury replacement at the NHL level if needed. There’s even a chance that he ends up as the Firebirds’ first captain, given he wore an “A” as an alternate for the Checkers this year and Zac Dalpe–who has the “C” this year in Charlotte–is signed with the Florida Panthers.