SEATTLE (AP) — A season in the past, because the Seattle Kraken raced to debut as an enlargement franchise, what occurred Thursday felt completely regular to the gamers and workers.
The Kraken began coaching camp with a bunch of gamers who beforehand performed collectively on the ice, however now have lifted the COVID-19 protocol and are capable of be round one another within the locker room to start the method of bettering what has been a tough and tumble course of. a disappointing first season.
“It is quite a bit completely different,” ahead Jaden Schwartz stated. “(We’re) extra snug with one another. Extra snug within the metropolis. Simply realizing the routines and stuff and attending to know the blokes extra is the most important factor.”
Because of the preseason additions, the Kraken must be a lot better than the workforce that completed 27-49-6 final season, together with a nine-game shedding streak in December and January and 11 in 12 video games in February. March.
It was what regarded like the most important enlargement season in 30 years, minus Vegas’ debut season.
However what Seattle confronted was much more troublesome. The well being and security protocols, the unfamiliarity of by no means having performed in opposition to one another and the novelty of an enlargement franchise, nothing felt proper about final yr’s first coaching camp.
And it carried over into the season.
“Final yr was troublesome with COVID and attending to know one another. “Everyone was a bit afraid that when you exit due to the COVID protocol, it’s a must to miss three or 4 weeks,” goaltender Philipp Grubauer stated. I believe that is a giant a part of it.”
The environment on the primary day of the camp was very completely different this time. A yr in the past, followers packed the workforce’s follow facility to observe the primary recreation of the league’s latest franchise, and the primary gamers stepped on the ice to a standing ovation.
There have been followers in attendance Thursday, however not in the identical numbers, and never with the identical fervor. They appear to be taking the identical strategy as most, that the Kraken want to point out they are often higher this season earlier than leaping fully on a workforce that ought to clearly enhance on paper.
“A few of the good issues we did final yr do not present up within the factors. So we have got to enhance each little a part of our recreation,” coach Dave Hakstol stated. “And we have actually obtained to point out that within the scoring place.”
There are many new faces within the Kraken locker room, together with Oliver Bjorkstrand and Andre Burakovsky. However one of the essential gamers for Seattle will probably be ahead Brandon Tanev, who returns after lacking most of final season with a knee damage.
Tanev had 15 factors in 30 video games earlier than struggling an ACL damage in opposition to Edmonton on December 18, 2021. The damage took important power from Seattle’s lineup and eliminated a person who had turn into a fan favourite.
Tanev returned to the ice with out restrictions for the beginning of coaching camp.
“We have all been by way of it. Final yr was our first season in Seattle,” Tanev stated. “However this yr, it is all enterprise from the beginning. I do not assume there’s time to heat as much as something. I believe we’ve got to go on the market and compete and put together for the season.”