Saturday: The Kraken announced that Driedger has been sent back to the Firebirds, suggesting that Grubauer will be able to suit up for Seattle’s next game against Chicago on Tuesday.
Tuesday: The Seattle Kraken have announced that they’ve recalled veteran goaltender Chris Driedger from their AHL affiliate the Coachella Valley Firebirds. The 29-year-old is likely to serve as the backup to Joey Daccord as starter Philipp Grubauer is dealing with an undisclosed injury and is likely to miss tomorrow night’s game. No word on whether Grubauer will be out longer term.
Driedger spent all last season in the AHL and to this point has yet to dress in an NHL game since the 2021-22 season. He was just okay in the AHL last season but has put up solid numbers with the Firebirds this season going 6-4 with a .915 save percentage and a 2.20 goals-against average.
Driedger was drafted by the Kraken in the 2021 NHL expansion draft and signed to a three-year $10.5MM contract despite having just 38 games of NHL experience at the time. The gamble did not pay off for Seattle as Driedger struggled in his first season with the club going 9-14-1 with a .899 save percentage and a 2.96 goals-against average.
Driedger’s struggles prompted the Kraken to shop the Winnipeg, Manitoba native this past summer, but they were unable to find any takers for his $3.5MM cap hit. It appeared possible that the Kraken would buy out Driedger, but they ended up hanging onto to him to play out the final season of his three-year deal.
A journeyman goaltender, Driedger did see some success at the NHL level from 2019-2021 as a member of the Florida Panthers. During that time Driedger went 21-8-4 while sporting 2.07 goals against average and a .931 save percentage. If Driedger does get a chance to play and can show that he belongs in the NHL it could open up the possibility that he gets moved as a few teams are looking at goaltending options in what is currently a very overpriced goalie market.