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FHN Today: Driedger is off to Seattle, but who else will Kraken get?

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Panthers seattle driedger kraken
Florida Panthers goaltender Chris Driedger takes a break during what was his final start of the 2019-20 season on March 9 at Enterprise Center in St. Louis. // Photo by Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire

Chris Driedger, now the former goalie of the Florida Panthers, is going to sign with the Seattle Kraken — this much we know. But who else could the Kraken build around when Wednesday’s expansion draft rolls around?

General manager Ron Francis has plenty of options out there and knows it.

There are plenty of rumors floating around regarding side deals, including one involving the Panthers sending Frank Vatrano to Seattle, perhaps in exchange for a player the Kraken will take off of another team during the draft process.

If Driedger signs before the draft and becomes the official Florida selection, the Panthers will probably throw in a draft pick as well.

There are plenty of big name players left unprotected. The biggest names include Montreal goalie Carey Price, St. Louis winger Vladimir Tarasenko and Colorado’s Gabriel Landeskog.

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While we don’t think the Kraken will take Price due to the length and price of his contract (not to mention his newly disclosed injury situation), Seattle could make a big splash by taking a player such as Landeskog.

There are plenty of mock drafts out there. One from ESPN thinks the Kraken will take former Panthers forward Evgenii Dadonov a year after he signed a three-year deal with the Sens; another from The Athletic has Jared McCann going days after Toronto acquired him from Pittsburgh.

Should be fun — and we’re just getting started with what should be a crazy time in the NHL.

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FLORIDA PANTHERS LINKS

The final grades of the 2021 season are in and the goalies of the Florida Panthers graded out pretty well.

There will be a lot to keep an eye on when training camp starts — Sergei Bobrovsky should remain the starter but does he hold onto it? — but that is a story for another month. (FHN)

— If there was ever an example of the NHL going back to normal, just take a look at the Florida Panthers’ upcoming preseason schedule. It definitely has a familiar feel. And, we’re all going back to Orlando. (FHN)

— Speaking of the expansion draft, remember when the Panthers lost both Jonathan Marchessault and Reilly Smith to the Vegas Golden Knights? Of course you do.

We go back and discuss why the Panthers decided to go the way they did. Story for our loyal subscribers on Wednesday morning.

AROUND THE NHL

According to Greg Wyshynski of ESPN, when the NHL announces its schedule, there will be a break written in for the Winter Olympics — even though the NHL has not said whether it is going or not. (ESPN)

— The Kraken may be in the mood for Josh Bailey, but the Islanders are trying to get them to take Jordan Eberle. (NYIHN)

— The Flyers offseason is already off to a great start after getting Ryan Ellis from Nashville. It may have just begun. (PHN)

— Logan Mailloux pulls his name out of the upcoming entry draft after his conviction for a crime of a sexual nature in Sweden last year had teams vowing not to select him this weekend. (ESPN)

— The Tampa Bay Lightning are extending its ECHL deal with the Orlando Solar Bears. (O-Sentinel)

— Looking at Seattle’s options when it comes to the Penguins. (PHN) 

— It looks like the Red Wings will be losing a defenseman to the Kraken. (DHN)

— The Bruins/Capitals preseason game should be fun. (BHN)

— Why did the Capitals protect Trevor van Riemsdyk? (WHN)

— The Sharks got Adin Hill just before the trade deadline but now it looks like his cap hit is higher than previously thought.(SJHN)

LOCALS ONLY

The Miami Marlins season is coming apart at the seams and the trade deadline is fast approaching. (Miami Herald)

— Remember that crazy pass Ryan Fitzpatrick threw against the Raiders last year? He describes how it came about. (MH)

— How contract negotiations between the Marlins and Starling Marte ended up in nowheresville. (MH)

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