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It hasn't been the best stretch for the NHL — a league which continues to operate, unfavorably, amid a global pandemic — but the good times are starting to once again roll.
On the heels of firming up the impressive financials on two new network deals in the United States, the NHL and its band of owners welcomed another windfall this week, receiving the final payment of the $650 million expansion fee from the Seattle Kraken on Friday.
Aaron Portzline of The Athletic first reported the news on Thursday.
This means the Kraken can begin signing players, making trades, and putting action to their plans ahead of the July expansion draft.
Four years ago, the Vegas Golden Knights made several moves before making their selections from team-to-team. Reid Duke became the answer to a future trivia question as the first roster player in Golden Knights history just a few days after the franchise submitted its final expansion payment.
Reid remains with the organization today, despite never appearing at the NHL level.
Also in that period, Vegas signed forwards Vadim Shipachyov and Tomas Hyka, two players who also didn't factor into the historic success the franchise has enjoyed to this point.
But just because the Golden Knights didn't hit a home run with any of their first three signings doesn't mean the Kraken can't accomplish something meaningful beginning Friday.
With the money on the way, it's possible that Ron Francis and the Kraken management team slots the first piece of the puzzle in place sooner than later.
As they say, or don't say: let's get ... Kraken.
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