Mark Giordano expects every opponent to prepare for the Seattle Kraken the same way: with the understanding that they’re good, a threat, and should be treated as such.
It’s the price the NHL’s newest team will pay in their first season because of the success the Vegas Golden Knights had in their inaugural season four years ago.
“I remember when Vegas was coming in no one really knew what they were going to be, but I’ll tell you what, no one expected them to be a first-place team, a top team,” Giordano, a Kraken defenseman, said on this week’s episode of the NHL @TheRink podcast, co-hosted by Dan Rosen and Shawn P. Roarke.
“But there’s not going to be that with us. Teams are going to be ready. They’re going to know how it went in Vegas. We had the exact same rules as far as expansion draft rules, so teams aren’t going to be taking us lightly by any means and we know that. At the end of the day, I think we have to be confident in ourselves that we have the team, and we have the players in the room that can get us wins. We have to expect to win around here and so far, that’s been the mentality in camp.”
Giordano knows Seattle’s first season will be compared to what Vegas did in 2017-18, when it became the first expansion team since 1968 to reach the Stanley Cup Final, but he said the key is for the Kraken to form their own identity so they can walk their own path.
“I think we’ve done a good job of understanding that as players and as an organization,” Giordano said. “For us, now it’s about believing too. I mean, everyone said it, and everyone knows it, we got a lot of good players in the expansion draft. There was a lot of good players exposed in the League because of the way the rules are and now it’s on us to go out on the ice and perform and get some wins together, rack up the points and take the next step.”
Giordano also talked about the “huge buzz” for the Kraken in Seattle and surrounding communities throughout Washington as they prepare to start their season against Vegas at T-Mobile Arena on Tuesday (10 p.m. ET; ESPN, ESPN+, SN, TVAS).
He discussed the identity he can already see the Kraken forming as a fast team that will push the pace of play to gain an advantage.
“We have guys who can really have breakout years, put the puck in the net and score some goals,” Giordano said. “Looking forward to getting started here and seeing how it all shakes out.”
In addition, Rosen and Roarke discussed the impact goalie Carey Price‘s absence will have on the Montreal Canadiens with the goalie voluntarily entering the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program.
The co-hosts also talked about Brady Tkachuk’s contract situation with the Ottawa Senators, reasons why the Vancouver Canucks are a candidate for a bounce-back season, the NHL.com preseason Super 16 and some bold predictions for the season.
The NHL @TheRink podcast is free and listeners can subscribe on all podcast platforms. It is also available on NHL.com/multimedia/podcasts and the NHL app.