The NHL has rejected the contract of Phillip Grubauer with the Seattle Kraken, as the proposed contract broke rules for front-loading contracts. It is likely that the Kraken will look to sign a new contract with the player in the coming days, with slightly different terms so that the contract no longer breaches these front-loaded rules.
The contract in particular increased by more than 25% from the first year on his contract to the third. The contract in question was valued at around $35.4 million, with the first year only being valued at $5 million, and the third season coming in a $7.5 million. The team could look to offer a contract of the same value, by simply reducing the gap by bringing up the initial value and displacing the other amounts throughout his contract terms.
The player has had a solid tenure with the Colorado Avalanche, having played three seasons with the team in which he was able to make a firm impact on the team, rather than simply playing as a backup for the Washington Capitals behind Braden Holtby. Overall Grubauer has made some amazing saves over his career, as can be seen from any highlight real compiling his performances in the league.
The Kraken looks solidly positioned to offer a new contract to the goalie that would meet the NHL’s rules on front-loaded contracts as well as satisfying the player wants, which may better describe his role in the team, which may see the Kraken putting Chris Driedger in the backup position, with Joey Daccord likely being put into the AHL, as the young goalie is strong, but still needs some time to solidify his game.
If the team were to miss out on signing a new contract with the player, they would still suffer no penalty, and the player would be free to sign a contract with any team that he is interested in as long as they give him a qualified offer. The player is still an amazing contribution and would make massive gains to whatever team signs him.
The Kraken would still have a lot of options for other goalies to sign in free agency if they were to hurry into a signing. One such option is elite veteran Tuukka Rask, who had surgery after an injury in the playoffs with the Boston Bruins. Should the Kraken sign Rask, they will likely need to give him some time off before putting him back in to play, but the goalie is certainly a solid acquisition with a lot of playoff experience.
The Seattle Kraken could look to sign veteran Henrik Lundqvist, who looks ready to play after having last season off due to needing heart surgery. The veteran would likely serve as a backup to Driedger, as he is past his prime, but still looks as if he could make a strong impact when he comes into play.
Younger options for Seattle include Philippe Desrosiers, Evan Cormier, or Ryan Bernard. All three players are fairly strong but have been untested in the NHL, and as such would likely see Daccord taking the position of NHL backup, while any of the three options listed take on a position in the AHL. Bernard in particular has had a great save percentage averaging 91% over the past two seasons in both the AHL and ECHL.
There is a high likelihood that teams will have already started to jump at the prospect of signing this star player, with some teams requiring a new goalie after seeing their starters leave. Teams that could benefit from this player, while also being able to afford his contract include Arizona Coyotes, Edmonton Oilers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Buffalo Sabres, and the Los Angeles Kings, although any team in the league would likely spring at this opportunity.
All salary figures for this article were brought from Cap Friendly
main image credit