The Seattle Kraken did not select Habs goaltender Carey Price as part of the new team’s expansion draft, according to reports.
The information was reported by multiple media outlets, including TSN, DailyFaceoff and TVA Sports, late Wednesday morning.
The 32nd NHL team appears to have set its sights set on defenceman Cale Fleury when choosing a player from the Montreal Canadiens.
The Kraken had to give a list of 30 selected players to form its inaugural team by 10 a.m. but the identities of the chosen players can only be publicly released as of 8 p.m. Wednesday.
The move comes after surprise over Price not being protecting by Habs general manager Marc Bergevin. The star goalkeeper had to waive his no-trade clause to be made available to the Kraken.
The Canadiens put Price up while protecting backup goalie Jake Allen from the expansion draft.
It appears Bergevin was betting the Kraken wouldn’t be interested in taking on Price’s hefty contract. The all-star netminder has five years left on his deal with an average annual value of US$10.5 million. The Kraken would also have to give a bonus of $11 million in September.
TSN and DailyFaceoff have also reported in the past few days that Price is due to travel to New York this week for knee exams. If he needs surgery, there is a chance Price could miss the start of the next season. Price is also said to be dealing with a hip injury.
In the end, it seems that Price did not fit into the Kraken’s strategy. What isn’t known, however, is if the Canadiens management had to offer draft picks or make other deals to convince Seattle not to take their star goalie.
Price’s departure would have caused a shock wave in Montreal. The 34-year-old from British Columbia had just helped the team reach the Stanley Cup final for the first time since 1993.