The Seattle Kraken have added some depth to the lineup, signing Riley Sheahan to a one-year contract. The deal will carry a salary of $850K. Kraken GM Ron Francis released a short statement on the signing:
We’re excited to add an experienced veteran like Riley to our organization. His versatility, strong penalty-killing ability and skill in the faceoff circle make him a valuable addition to our forward group.
Sheahan, 29, has been around the league for a long time, filling out a bottom-six role on several teams. He made his NHL debut in 2011-12 with the Detroit Red Wings after being selected in the first round and has 566 games under his belt. In 2020-21 he played with the Buffalo Sabres, recording just four goals and 13 points in 53 games, but is an effective enough penalty killer to still be worth the one-way deal near the league minimum.
The fact that Sheahan can play both center and wing is probably the most important factor for Seattle, who don’t have a lot of depth down the middle. There are players with a bit of experience at center, but several of them will likely be asked to play a top-six wing position thanks to a lack of real scoring options. With that in mind, perhaps Sheahan slides in as the full-time fourth-line center, giving them an experienced veteran to surround by the less experienced players they selected in the expansion draft.
Still, this is certainly not a needle-pusher for the Kraken, who are still facing a potential roster crunch on defense as the season approaches.