The Seattle Kraken had just three goaltenders in the organization, meaning they needed to add at least one more before the season began just for depth purposes. Today they’ve done just that by signing Antoine Bibeau to a one-year, two-way contract that will carry an NHL cap hit of $750K. GM Ron Francis released a short statement on the signing:
After a strong season in Chicago last year, we’re excited to add Antoine to our mix of goaltenders. His experience at both the NHL and AHL levels make him a valuable addition to our organization.
There’s no doubt that the Kraken goaltending tandem to start the year will be Philipp Grubauer and Chris Driedger, but every team needs third and fourth-string options in case of injury. Seattle also has Joey Daccord under contract after selecting him from the Ottawa Senators, but he is both inexperienced enough to still need development time in the minor leagues and coming off a serious injury. If you need someone to call up as a backup for a few games, Daccord isn’t really the best option as he needs playing time to continue his transition to professional hockey.
Bibeau on the other hand is very experienced at the professional level, having played nearly 200 games at the AHL level. The 27-year-old is coming off a season with just eight appearances for the Chicago Wolves, though he did post a .912 save percentage in those games. He also has four appearances at the NHL level, including two for the Colorado Avalance in 2019-20.
Though he’ll need waivers to go to the minor leagues, that shouldn’t be an issue for Bibeau who has cleared several times in the past including once in January. The interesting part will be where he plays if he does go to the AHL, as the Kraken were only expected to provide one goaltender for the Charlotte Checkers this season. Because they don’t have a primary affiliate until next season, Seattle is giving just a handful of players (and a coach) to the Checkers, who are the affiliate of the Florida Panthers.