Goaltender Philipp Grubauer said earlier this month that he wanted to remain with the Colorado Avalanche after he posted a 30-9-1 record with a 1.95 goals-against average and .922 save percentage during the 2020-21 NHL regular season en route to becoming a finalist for the Vezina Trophy, awarded to the league's top goalie.
The expansion Seattle Kraken had other plans.
Seattle confirmed Wednesday it's signed Grubauer to a six-year contract that's worth $35.4 million total and carries an average annual value of $5.9 million.
As Emily Kaplan explained for ESPN, the Kraken had previously acquired Joey Daccord, Chris Driedger and Vitek Vanecek in the expansion draft but couldn't pass on Grubauer. Grubauer, 29, finished the 2020-21 regular season tied for the league lead with seven shutouts, per ESPN stats. He was second in victories (30) and GAA (1.95).
Bob Condor of the Kraken's website called the agreement "the day's biggest surprise across the NHL."
The Kraken can now shop one of their goalies, and Kaplan reports the Washington Capitals could be interested in bringing Vanecek back after losing him in the expansion draft. J.J. Regan of NBC Washington called such a transaction between the Kraken and Capitals one "that makes too much sense for both sides."