The NHL’s newest franchise has seemingly decided not to wait until tonight’s expansion draft to make a splash.
According to DailyFaceOff’s Frank Seravalli and later reported by TSN’s Darren Dreger, the Seattle Kraken will reportedly select defenceman, Adam Larsson from the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday evening before signing him to a four-year deal worth an average annual value of $4 million.
The specifics of the deal, such as salary structure, no-movement clauses, etc, have not yet been determined.
Thus begins an assuredly torrid day of headlines for a Kraken front office on a warpath, with their impending selections holding up business across the league, much to their likely enjoyment.
In Larsson, the Kraken kick off the construction of their blueline with an impact player right off the hop, nabbing a strong top-four defender and penalty killer who excels playing top-four minutes.
Larsson will not contribute much on the offensive side of things in Seattle, what with his career-high of 20 points and 2021 total of just 10 in 56 games, but that’s not his role. The 28-year-old is instead one of the best even-strength defenders in the entire league, logging some of the most difficult minutes for the Oilers last season and still managing to produce strong suppression numbers despite starting just 36.6% of his shifts in the offensive zone.
Coming in at $4 million for the next four years, the Kraken now reportedly lock in what will likely be the best years of Larsson’s career at a very reasonable price.
As for Edmonton, Larsson’s departure serves as yet another devastating setback in an offseason already chock full of them.
Not only are the Oilers expecting to lose one of their core leadership figures. No, the team also prepares to bid farewell to the roughly 20 minutes Larsson spent going up against top opposing competition on a nightly basis last season.
Without Larsson, that workload will need to fall to someone else, potentially forcing Dave Tippett into throwing newly-acquired Duncan Keith into a now-vacant shutdown role that squashed his value in Chicago, and, in the process, rendering the whole reason for the Oilers acquiring him in the first place completely irrelevant.
What today’s signing showcases are two teams heading in completely different directions. And given how Seattle can literally go nowhere but up, that doesn’t bode well for the Oilers’ future.