The long waited return is over. Soggi Boi is back in the blog game. Now that this NHL season is finally over, and the Tampa Bay Asterisks have won back to back Cups, the time has finally come. The NHL is getting its 32nd team in a little less than a month, and this Soggi Boi is excited. The league will finally be complete, and everything will be even. Every team will have the same odds at making a playoff spot, after spending the last 4 years having an uneven 31 team league. I want to dive into the process of the Expansion Draft, as this might be the last time in NHL history that we get one of these. The 32 team model seems to work for other leagues (NFL), and when Vegas was created, the NHL world assumed there would be another team on the horizon.
First and foremost, let me first introduce to you the Seattle Kraken, the NHL’s 32nd, and most likely, final NHL team. That’s not to say we don’t get another team in the future, but most likely, it’ll be the result of an already established team moving to another city. The Kraken are owned by the Seattle Hockey Partners, who got the ok to have an expansion team in December of 2018. This isn’t the first time the City of Seattle will have an NHL team, as the Metropolitans were the original Seattle team. The Metropolitans played from 1915 to 1924, but folded due to not having a rink to play on. Before you are bored you to death, go check out their website on NHL.com. It’s super informative, and just a really cool experience in general. Here’s the link: https://www.seattlekrakenhockey.com/
With being the 32nd team, and the final piece to the NHL’s playoff problem puzzle, the Kraken have the luxury of being put into the Pacific Division, obviously by default. However, they will be getting the same sort of boost that the Golden Knights got in terms of divisional strength. The only teams that made the playoffs from that division last year were the Golden Knights and the Oilers, who will move back over from the North Division created for the shortened season. For the Kraken, playing the Kings, Sharks, Canucks, Flames, and Ducks more times than not will definitely help to solidify them as a playoff team for the upcoming year, regardless of their draft. Taking from this year’s regular season, and projecting that on how the divisions will be formatted next year, the Pacific Division will be the easiest, by far. The average points a team accrued in the Pacific was 57 points this season, which dead last. Next was the Atlantic, with 62 points on average, and tied for de facto hardest division were the Central and Metropolitan, with 64.5 points on average. To further this point, each division’s goal differential from this previous year speak volumes to just how easy this Pacific Division is going to be for the Kraken. The Pacific Division will have a whopping -74 goal differential, while the Atlantic will have a -23, the Metropolitan a +22, and the Central a +58. Let that sink in. The Central Division teams from this past year outperformed the Pacific by 132 goals.
The last thing you need here is to be bogged down by a bunch of stats. But just know that you should expect an amazing first season from the Kraken. All of this, provided by yours truly, is just the tip of the iceberg. The team hasn’t even been drafted, and should already be considered a playoff bound team in that division. And who’s to say it stops there. The Kraken are in a good spot to really draft a winning team, and have a very good template in the Vegas Golden Knights. If the Kraken can mimic their predecessors, then they should be able to not only build a winning team, but a winning culture. Don’t expect anything but Seattle Kraken’ this season wide open. And yes, the puns are unfortunately part of the ol’ Soggi Boi charm.