Grubauer Stunned, Excited to Get Alternative with Kraken

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Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY SportsBy Tim BoothSEATTLE (AP) — When the NHL free company window opened, the Seattle Kraken’s entrance workplace was surprised to see goaltender Philipp Grubauer wasn’t already headed again to Colorado.They weren’t alone.“A bit of bit stunned for certain,” Grubauer stated Friday. “I feel we tried until the final minute to work one thing out (with Colorado). Didn’t work out after which entered free company. By no means skilled that craziness. Everyone was calling as soon as the window opens up so it was a bit wild hour and positively a loopy expertise.”Signing Grubauer was the most important splash made by the NHL’s latest franchise, which gave him a six-year, $35.four million deal Wednesday. Touchdown him appeared unlikely given the success he had final season in Colorado, however the Kraken jumped on the alternative so as to add one of many high goaltenders within the league.And for his half, so did Grubauer.“I feel it’s unimaginable to be a part of one thing new and make historical past when it comes to like taking part in the first-ever sport and being a part of that group and doing the identical factor Vegas did,” Grubauer stated. “That’s the aim, too.”Grubauer was a finalist for the Vezina Trophy for the primary time final season, when the 29-year-old goalie went 30-9-1 with the Avalanche with a 1.95 goals-against common and a .922 save proportion. He additionally led the league in shutouts with seven and didn’t lose consecutive video games all season.“I feel you take a look at his save proportion, his objectives in opposition to currently. Take a look at how he performed final 12 months within the playoffs, the truth that he was a finalist for the Vezina. I imply, he’s had a reasonably good run,” Seattle GM Ron Francis stated earlier this week. “I keep in mind watching him play again within the day with Washington after they received the Cup. He’s a man that’s confirmed over time that he can play at this degree, an elite degree.”Grubauer and Chris Driedger make up Seattle’s main goaltending duo. Grubauer appeared in 40 of Colorado’s 56 video games final season and in addition noticed the significance of getting two elite goaltenders throughout his time in Washington, when he was paired with Braden Holtby.“The best way we received in Washington, I performed 40 video games, 45 video games, (Holtby) performed half the season after which the playoffs he was contemporary,” Grubauer stated. “It’s at all times good to have a superb tandem. I don’t suppose one man can play 70 video games after which be contemporary for the playoffs. You at all times want two.”Between Grubauer and Driedger, the Kraken have dedicated 11.5% ($9.four million) of this 12 months’s wage cap to the goalie place. However Seattle nonetheless has $16 million of cap house out there, and whereas the Kraken are more likely to maintain a major chunk of that free for future strikes, it additionally supplies them with the chance so as to add one other piece or two earlier than coaching camps open in September.“It’s going to be actually attention-grabbing what system coach (Dave Hakstol) places in place and we obtained to seek out our identification as a staff,” Grubauer stated. “The staff appears nice on paper however clearly you bought to play and create some chemistry.”

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