Silver linings for the Seattle Kraken's rough season
March 3, 2022
The Seattle Kraken’s inaugural season has not gone as well as some new hockey fans hoped.
As of Tuesday, the Kraken have 37 points, which is the third worst total in the league, ahead of only the Montreal Canadiens and Arizona Coyotes. They have a seven-game losing streak going into tonight’s game against the Nashville Predators.
No Kraken player is in the Top 50 in the league in points and the highest scoring player is Jared McCann with 33 points, including 21 goals. Goaltender Philip Grubauer sits at 40th in the league with 3.17 goals against average.
There’s not a lot of good going on for the Kraken this season, but I’m going to look at some of the positive things Kraken fans can look forward to next season.
Kraken fans can look forward to ticket prices if the team continues to struggle. I don’t know the last time many of you went to a Seahawks game, but I haven’t paid to go to a game since 2017 when I watched the Falcons defeat the Seahawks on Monday Night Football.
The Seahawks have the eighth highest average ticket price in the NFL at $117.86, according to Statista. Successful teams cost more
money to see in person — that is the cost of winning games. If you want to go to a Mariners game, you can find tickets for under $50. My tickets to the Kraken cost $170 per seat, which equates to $340 per game and $1,360 for my four games this season. I would expect the team to drop those prices next season as demand for tickets goes down.
Another silver lining is the team has a lot of salary cap space available this offseason. Some big-name free agents available in 2022 include Claude Giroux, Patrice Bergeron, Johnny Gaudreau, Filip Forsberg, Tomas Hertl, Max Domi, Nazem Kadri, P.K. Subban and Evgeni Malkin. Adding some of these players to the roster would bolster the Kraken’s chances of making the playoffs next season.
The poor record means Seattle will have a high draft pick in the 2022 NHL Draft. Shane Wright of Kingston in the Ontario Hockey League is the top-ranked North American skater and Joakim Kemell in the top professional league in Finland is the top international prospect, according to NHL Central Scouting. Kevin Korchinski of the Seattle Thunderbirds is the 20th-ranked skater in North America and would look good in a Kraken uniform.
Seattle’s No. 2 overall pick Matty Beniers is having an awesome season with the University of Michigan, leading the team with 17 goals and 37 points.
Next season, the Kraken’s American Hockey League farm team, the Coachella Valley Firebirds, will officially begin play and that will help Seattle develop young talent.
As I’ve said many times in my columns, I’m just happy to have a team in Seattle and to finally be able to attend NHL games. I understand fans’ frustration with wanting this team to be successful right away, and I know that firsthand, having Seattle go 1-3 in games I’ve attended.
It’s tough to follow what the Vegas Golden Knights did in its first season as an expansion team, but I’m sure that didn’t stop some Kraken fans from having those expectations for Seattle in its first season in the NHL. While the Kraken are not winning and it’s hard to find positives right now, there is plenty to be excited for down the road.
■ Matt Baide is a reporter for the Shelton-Mason County Journal. He can be reached at 360-426-4412 or by email at [email protected]