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From the Branches: Expansion Draft day is here

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By the end of the day, the Seattle Kraken will have themselves a roster.

Val-d’Or Foreurs v Blainville-Boisbriand Armada
Luke Henman, the Kraken’s first signed player, will now have friends.
Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

Today, excitingly, is the day that the Seattle Kraken go from being a team in the extremely technical sense—they’ve got, like, a full front office, a jersey, half an arena and what, two players?—to having a roster. The Kraken are already getting off on the right foot by involving Sue Bird in the announcements, because Sue Bird is the coolest person who will ever come in the vicinity of this organization.

Katya covered the most likely choices Seattle has off the Leafs’ exposed list, although, if this leaked video is to be believed, we already know which selection the Kraken made off the a la carte menu. I’m really, really hoping that this video is real, and a question mulled over by Leafs bloggers for months has actually been answered by a man throwing a fish. There’s some poetry in that, really.

ICYMI

2021 NHL Draft Profile: Lukas Gustafsson - Pension Plan Puppets
Gustafsson may be the most undervalued, unknown prospects in this draft

Seattle’s Choice: McCann or Kerfoot - Pension Plan Puppets
On Wednesday we find out who the Kraken have selected.

Stuff We Didn’t Write

Maple Leafs free agent targets: Ranking the 44 UFA forwards who could make sense for Toronto – The Athletic
The Maple Leafs are going to need help up front, so what viable options are available in free agency?

Why the Maple Leafs need to reimagine their ice-time allocation - MLHS

Montreal Canadiens name Jean-Francois Houle head coach of the Laval Rocket - Eyes On The Prize
He was the assistant coach with Bakersfield in the AHL.

Avalanche exploring the possibility of trading for Phil Kessel - Mile High Hockey
The Colorado Avalanche are looking for a top-6 winger. Phil Kessel could be the perfect fit

Leafs 2021 NHL Entry Draft Preview: Toronto targets Shane Doan’s son? - Sportsnet
The downside of going for it at every trade deadline is you can be left twiddling your thumbs at the entry draft. Toronto will yield a much smaller crop of picks, but we expect it to target teenagers from the usual league of nations.

With new light shed on injury history, Ryan Ellis trade becomes even more interesting - Broad Street Hockey
During his inaugural Flyers press conference, Ellis shed light on something that makes this deal even more interesting.

Down Goes Brown: Seattle Kraken mock expansion draft: Why we’re taking Gabriel Landeskog but not Carey Price

Ontario Hockey League will require players, staff to have COVID-19 vaccinations | The Star
Players, staff and billet families with the Ontario Hockey League will all be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 for the upcoming season.

Spencer Carbery says final farewell to Hershey Bears community, hired as Maple Leafs assistant
The Maple Leafs have announced the hire of Spencer Carbery as an assistant coach. Carbery spent the past three seasons as head coach of the Hershey Bears, winning the Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award this past season as the AHL's Outstanding Coach.

Report: Red Wings UFA Jonathan Bernier to Test The Open Market - Winging It In Motown
The last two seasons, Jonathan Bernier has played a major role in keeping Detroit Red Wings in most games that he played.

Kraken expansion draft to be milestone for Seattle | The Star
It was 15 years ago this week — July 18, 2006, to be exact — that the NBA’s SuperSonics were sold to owners from outside the region. A two-year fight followed that eventually led to the relocation of Seattle’s first pro sports team to Oklahoma City. Seattle will finally get a winter pro sports replacement with the debut of the Kraken in October.

Leaked video shows Seattle Kraken pick Leafs' Kerfoot in expansion draft | Offside
A video posted on social media appears to show who the Seattle Kraken will pick from the Maple Leafs in the expansion draft.

And Elliotte Friedman finally got a shave and a haircut!