Well, it happened.
The Kraken make it official by using their negotiation period to sign Adam Larsson to a four year deal valued at just a smidge over what the Oilers were reported to have offered. Larsson becomes one of the first members of the Seattle Kraken in team history. The signing of Larsson will count as Seattle’s expansion selection from the Oilers.
For Edmonton, the belief now is that the Oilers will circle back to Tyson Barrie, who might be in the picture next season with a brand new multi-year deal. If that comes to fruition, the club will have decisions on whether they’ll play Barrie with Darnell Nurse or the newly acquired Duncan Keith on the second pair.
It can’t be overstated how much the acquisition of Duncan Keith put a wrench into a possible Larsson deal. Keith’s NMC prevented the Oilers from protecting a deal that involved Larsson at the possible expense of Ethan Bear. Fans were told that the deal was all but sewn up last week. It didn’t quite work out that way.
Larsson’s new deal is valued at 4MM x 4 years, which seems in line with what we had heard was offered by the Oilers. Would an extra 500K have pushed him over the mountain? Maybe. Perhaps Larsson just wanted a change of scenery, which is sort of a kick in the gut when you’ve got the world’s best player going supernova over a 56 game season.
On the other hand, if losing Larsson was a formality, I’m struggling to think why the Oilers wouldn’t have acquired an asset for him last season. After all, it’s not like the club was going all-in for the playoffs last year.
The expansion draft takes place tonight at 6 PM local time. At least we now know that the Kraken aren’t taking Devin Shore.