Seattle Kraken steal Vezina finalist Philipp Grubauer from Avalanche

The Seattle Kraken have made some more waves in free agency as they add Vezina Trophy finalist to be their franchise goalie.

Sportsnet insider Elliotte Friedman is reporting that the Seattle Kraken have signed Vezina Trophy finalist and former Colorado Avalanche goalie Philipp Grubauer to a six-year contract. The deal has a reported annual average of $5.9 million.

This deal for the Kraken comes as a shocking one. Many believed that they would be going with the combination of Chris Driedger and Vitek Vanecek after selecting them both in the NHL Expansion Draft. After not taking on many massive contracts in the draft, they have opened their wallets and are making a splash early with Grubauer being the most notable.

UPDATE: The Kraken has confirmed the agreement to terms on a contract with Grubauer.

Philip Grubauer makes the Seattle Kraken a contender

Many analysts around the league believed that Grubauer would return to the Avalanche this offseason after a year that saw him finish third in the Vezina Trophy voting as the league’s best goaltender. The 29-year-old is just entering his prime and could be the piece that makes the Kraken a contender in their very first season.

With Grubauer being added, it now gives the Kraken the opportunity to move Vanecek who is expected to be the odd man out in Seattle. Friedman has also reported that the Washington Capitals are interested in bring back Vanacek if made available by the Kraken.

Assuming that Seattle goes with Grubauer and Driedger, this sets them up to have one of the best goalie tandems in hockey. In the 2020-21 season, Grubauer finished with a 30-9-1 record for the President’s Trophy-winning Avs. Add in the .922 save percentage and minimal 1.95 goals-against average and you understand why the Kraken was willing to shell out the big contract for Grubauer.

There are plenty of moves to follow this one,  but this is the biggest move thus far for the Kraken.