Goaltender Chris Driedger is reportedly close to signing a contract with the Seattle Kraken. The Florida Panther from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada will likely be the starting goaltender for the Kraken. The Kraken had an exclusive negotiating window with unrestricted free agents and these players will count as selections from their former teams in the upcoming expansion draft.
This window lasted from Sunday to Tuesday ahead of the expansion draft. Each team had to submit a list of players that they would protect from Seattle at 10:00 AM on Wednesday. There were some teams who had more of a challenge in selecting players that they wanted to protect than others. That is not to say that each team in the NHL does not have talent on its roster. One team that has plenty of talent is the Florida Panthers.
One example of this is the deal that Seattle reportedly has in place with defenseman Adam Larsson. The deal for the 28-year-old veteran is reportedly worth $16 million over four years. The Seattle Kraken’s deal with Driedger is reportedly worth $10.5 million over three years. Driedger will be in a position to be the starting goaltender for the expansion Kraken. It will be difficult to duplicate the results that he has shown with the Panthers as their head coach, Joel Quenneville, employs a defensive mindset.
Drafted by the Ottawa Senators with the 76th overall pick in the 2012 NHL entry draft, Driedger has been Driedger is coming off of a season for the Florida Panthers that saw him have a .927 save percentage and give up 2.07 goals per game. This was a breakout season for the 27-year-old. The Panthers would lose in six games in the first round of the NHL playoffs to the eventual Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning. Driedger is the odd man out with the Panthers having to protect their superstar goalie, Sergei Bobrovsky, who is a former all-star.
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