Seattle Kraken Already Losing Top Forward To Injury

The Seattle Kraken made their expansion selections earlier today, building their inaugural roster for the 2021-2022 season. One of the biggest names selected was Tampa Bay Lightning centre Yanni Gourde. An undrafted native of Quebec, Gourde was a huge success story in Tampa, putting up two 20-goal seasons and scoring 17 goals in 56 games in 2021. He is smack in the middle of a 6-year $5.16 million contract that will expire when he is 33-years old.

However, the pick is looking more like a long-term plan for Ron Francis. Reports are that Gourde had shoulder surgery earlier this week that will leave him out of the Kraken's lineup until mid-November at the earliest. That could throw a wrench in the plans of the Kraken, who likely see Gourde as their 1st line centre. By the time he slots into the lineup for the first time, the Kraken could already be behind the 8-ball.

Gourde was instrumental in the Lightning's run to a second straight Stanley Cup this year, scoring 6 goals for the club, including a shorthanded goal that wound up being the only tally in his team's 1-0 victory over the New York Islanders in game 7 of the semi-finals. The Lightning followed that game by winning 4 of their next 5, including another 1-0 shutout for Andrei Vasilevskiy to win the 2021 Stanley Cup.

How do you think the Kraken will handle losing Gourde before their first game?

Photo credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

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