Seattle Kraken roster hits the ice for first time at NHL training camp

SEATTLE (AP) — It didn’t take lengthy for Mark Giordano to get years of seeing crimson out of his system. The previous longtime Calgary Flames defenseman didn’t even flinch Thursday whereas pulling on the jersey of a distinct crew for the primary time in his profession.

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Give an help to his spouse for ensuring Seattle Kraken blue has been the dominant shade for him ever since Giordano was chosen by the NHL’s latest franchise within the league’s enlargement draft over the summer time.

“My spouse’s achieved a great job of surrounding my household with Kraken T-shirts and now we are able to get some jerseys that they’re on the market,” Giordano mentioned.

Giordano and the remainder of the Kraken’s roster hit the ice for the primary time as a crew with the beginning of training camp Thursday. It was step one towards Seattle’s debut on Oct. 12 at Vegas and got here precisely a month earlier than the Kraken open their house enviornment towards Vancouver.

Whereas Seattle’s roster is a mixture of veterans and a few younger expertise searching for a possibility, nobody on the roster comes near Giordano’s years on the ice.

After 15 years in Calgary — the previous eight because the Flames’ captain — coming to Seattle is a recent alternative for the practically 38-year-old veteran.

And nothing is extra thrilling than the primary day of camp.

“It wasn’t mild out for a short time however I wasn’t first on the rink, I can inform you that,” coach Dave Hakstol mentioned. “Everybody was right here earlier, all people was excited to get going. General, it was a great first day for everyone to get beneath their belts.”

Giordano was within the first group to take the ice shortly after 9:30 a.m. They have been greeted by applause from followers who confirmed up on the crew’s $80 million observe facility for a glimpse of Seattle’s gamers.

Many of the crew has been on the town for a few weeks having casual exercises.

“All the blokes have been right here sooner than I’ve seen teams on different groups are available in,” ahead Jordan Eberle mentioned. “We have been all right here for 2 weeks upfront to camp. I believe that was simply everybody wished to get right here, get settled clearly being new, getting an opportunity to satisfy the blokes, joke round within the locker room, begin some camaraderie throughout the group. That bonding is large.”

Seattle performs the primary of six preseason video games Sunday towards the Canucks in Spokane, Washington. As a result of the crew is fully new each Hakstol and a few of the gamers mentioned they want to hold the pairings from the primary day collectively for a bit to see the way it develops.

“We’ve solely received a sure period of time so what we want to do is put some combos collectively and see what that appears like,” Hakstol mentioned. “With a purpose to see that it’s important to give it two or three days to construct collectively, presumably even go away it collectively via one exhibition recreation after which we now have the chance to have a look at a distinct mixture.”

One surprising sight was ahead Yanni Gourde working with the second observe group, albeit sporting a crimson no-contact jersey. Gourde had shoulder surgical procedure in July shortly earlier than the enlargement draft and was anticipated to overlook the primary two months of the common season.

Whereas that also is likely to be the case, normal supervisor Ron Francis mentioned Gourde is forward of schedule in his restoration.

“We’re discovering out he’s a troublesome man to carry again,” Francis mentioned. “He’s actually labored arduous.”

NOTES: Francis mentioned the whole Seattle Kraken roster has acquired its COVID-19 vaccinations. … One noticeable absence on the primary day was middle Colin Blackwell, who’s day-to-day with a decrease physique harm, Hakstol mentioned.

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