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Change Agent

After six seasons in Columbus, new Kraken forward Alex Wennberg signed a one-year deal with Florida, scoring a career-high 17 goals. With another fresh start, he's eyeing the upward trend to continue

by Alison Lukan / @AlisonL / nhl.com/kraken

Newly signed Kraken centerman Alexander Wennberg knows a little bit about what a change of scenery can do. The free agent, who signed a three-year contract with the Kraken on Wednesday, spent the first six years of his career with the Columbus Blue Jackets before moving on to the Florida Panthers for the 2020-21 season.

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Kraken GM Talks Three Newest Free Agents

Ron Francis reviews the Day 1 for the Kraken, discussing surprise goalie Philipp Grubauer and top forwards Jaden Schwartz and Alexander Wennberg now on Seattle roster

by Bob Condor / @ByBobCondor / NHL.com/Kraken

When Kraken general manager stepped away from the phone long enough to speak with local and national media late Wednesday afternoon, he appeared as poised and comfortable as he did full day after full day last week preparing for the expansion and entry drafts. 

Francis was in demand because the Kraken hockey operations groups agreed to terms with three more free agents to go with three signed during the exclusive window allowed Seattle as part of the expansion process. Francis also made a trade late Wednesday.

Overall, Francis said he felt even better about the team's evolving roster by day's end.

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Five Takeaways from Day 1 of Free Agency

Even with a flat salary cap, NHL GMs were fast to sign players from the opening bell. The money and years trended higher than last offseason and the Kraken did their part

by Alison Lukan / @AlisonL / NHL.com/Kraken

The first day of free agency was a busy day around the NHL. With contract signings and money moving, what were the big takeaways, themes and player signings? We take a look.

Some may refer to this time of year as the off-season, but when the clock hit 9 a.m. Wednesday, NHL Free Agency was off to a roaring start with a flurry of players moving to new teams, contract signings and overall excitement.

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Analytics Deep-Dive: Alexander Wennberg

The new Kraken centerman scored a career-high 17 goals in 2021-21. But don't sleep on his high-level passing skills, ability to read and make plays or his elite penalty-kill metrics

by Alison Lukan / @AlisonL / nhl.com/kraken

The Kraken got stronger down the middle of the ice Wednesday by agreeing to terms center Alexander Wennberg. The three-year contract ($13.5 million, $4.5 million AAV) will keep him in Seattle through the 2023-24 NHL season.

The 26-year-old Swede comes to Seattle after seven NHL seasons with both the Columbus Blue Jackets and Florida Panthers, during which he scored 57 goals and 173 assists across 471 NHL games. That's a career stat line that belies some of Wennberg's greatest strengths in terms of making plays and being creative with the puck.

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Opening Day, NHL Free Agency

Time for full immersion, Kraken fans. Expect news and surprises as the NHL free agent signing period unfolds Wednesday. Seattle GM and his front office staff are deep into it

by Bob Condor / @ByBobCondor / nhl.com/kraken

It's been quite the first-ever opening day for the Kraken and GM Ron Francis. The team agreed to terms with three more big-name free agents-G Philipp Grubauer, F Jaden Schwartz and F Alexander Wennberg-after landing D Jamie Oleksiak, D Adam Larsson and G Chris Driedger during Seattle's exclusive window to negotiate with free agents as part of the expansion draft process.  

Here's a roundup of the most notable, head-turning moves by the Kraken and other NHL clubs (special emphasis on Pacific division rivals). The Kraken no doubt were part of the North American buzz all day.  

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Back on the Clock: Free Agency

Yes, last week was busy with two drafts and a schedule announce but the Kraken hockey operations group is not slowing down. The NHL free agency signing period begins Wednesday at 9 a.m.

by Bob Condor / @ByBobCondor / nhl.com/kraken

The Kraken started NHL Free Agency early with the signings of the aforementioned unrestricted free agents Jamie Oleksiak, Adam Larsson and Chris Driedger as part of the Expansion Draft process.

But GM Ron Francis and his hockey operations staff are hard on the free agency case this week. At 9 am. Wednesday, teams can begin signing free agents, both unrestricted and those restricted free agents not receiving qualifying offers from their franchises.

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WaFd Bank Weekly Warmup: July 27

Following a week that featured two drafts and the release of the Kraken's inaugural season schedule, the work is not finished. NHL Free Agency starts Wednesday

by Bob Condor / @ByBobCondor / nhl.com/kraken

In this special and historic edition of WaFd Bank Weekly Warmup, let's look back at the boom-boom-boom events last week, Expansion Draft last Wednesday, schedule release Thursday and NHL Entry Draft Friday and Saturday. Then peek ahead to the beginning of NHL Free Agency at 9 a.m. Wednesday.

Let's drop the milestones puck:

 

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Kraken Trade MacDermid to Colorado

Seattle receives 2023 fourth-round draft choice in exchange for veteran defenseman, the second trade of an expansion pick

by Bob Condor / @ByBobCondor / nhl.com/kraken

Kraken general manager Ron Francis made his second trade of an expansion pick Tuesday, moving defenseman Kurtis MacDermid to the Colorado Avalanche, receiving a 2023 fourth-round draft pick in return.

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Silvertip Star Showing

Defenseman Olen Zellweger, picked 34th overall in the 2021 NHL Draft, is a fan favorite in Everett. You can add Kraken division rival Anaheim to the admirers list.

by Andy Eide / @AndyEide / nhl.com/kraken

The Puget Sound hockey community made a splash early into Saturday's second round of the NHL Draft when Everett Silvertips defenseman Olen Zellweger was selected by the Anaheim Ducks with the 34th pick overall.

Like many draft hopefuls, Zellweger was gathered around the television to watch. He saw name come up quickly -- he was the second pick on the second day of the 2021 draft.

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Perspective on Prospects

Kraken GM Ron Francis and Director of Amateur Scouting Robert Kron say the franchise's first-ever NHL Draft went their way, yielding the picks they wanted

by Bob Condor / @ByBobCondor / nhl.com/kraken

This might be the Kraken hockey operations group's first-ever NHL Entry Draft, but make no mistake. The team is experienced and not reluctant to voice their opinions.

In fact, Kraken GM Ron Francis said his scouts were practically pounding the table before 8:30 a.m. Saturday in support of drafting Western Hockey League defenseman Ryker Evans, who went undrafted in 2020 but doubled his points-per-game total this season playing for the Regina Pats.

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