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Friday, July 30, 2021

Seattle Kraken select Calgary Flames captain Mark Giordano in expansion draft

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The Seattle Kraken have picked Calgary Flames captain Mark Giordano in Wednesday’s expansion draft.

The 37-year-old defenceman has played his entire 15-season NHL career in Calgary.

“It feels a little bit different today, but it’s been crazy last day or so,” Giordano said.

“This is the first time in my career I’ve ever been drafted, so thank you to the Kraken, and I’m happy to be here.”

He won the Norris Trophy as the league’s top blueliner in 2019 but his offensive production has dropped in recent years. He had 26 points (nine goals, 17 assists) last season.

Giordano, who hails from Toronto, has one year left on his contract with a US$6.75 million cap hit.

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The Kraken opted not to pick Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price, although the 33-year-old star was left exposed. Instead, Seattle selected 22-year-old defenceman Cale Fleury.

The Seattle Kraken NHL hockey flag flies on top of the Space Needle, Wednesday, July 21, 2021, before the Kraken’s expansion draft event. AP Photo/Ted S. Warren The Kraken also took defenceman Adam Larsson from the Edmonton Oilers, Ottawa Senators goalie Joey Daccord and forward Jared McCann from the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Toronto picked up McCann ahead of the roster freeze on Saturday, acquiring him from the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for forward prospect Filip Hallander and a seventh-round pick in the 2023 draft.

McCann, a 25-year-old from Stratford, Ont., had 32 points (14 goals, 18 assists) for Pittsburgh last year.

From the Winnipeg Jets, the Kraken took forward Mason Appleton.

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The 25-year-old from Green Bay, Wisc., has played all three seasons of his NHL career in Winnipeg, putting up 25 points (12 goals, 13 assists) last year.

Seattle’s other early selections include New York Islanders winger Jordan Eberle, forward Yanni Gourde from the Tampa Bay Lightning and Brandon Tanev from the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Jordan Eberle, a forward from the New York Islanders, speaks after being introduced as a new player for the Seattle Kraken, Wednesday, July 21, 2021, during the Kraken’s NHL hockey expansion draft event in Seattle. AP Photo/Ted S. Warren The Kraken must choose one player from every current NHL club except for the Vegas Golden Knights, which entered the league in 2017-18.

The expansion draft also includes rules around how many players must be currently under contract for next season and how much salary cap space must be used.

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The Kraken are set to become the NHL’s 32nd franchise when the 2021-22 season opens this fall. The team announced Wednesday that it’s first regular-season home game will take place against the Vancouver Canucks on Oct. 23.

© 2021 The Canadian Press

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