By TIM BOOTH, AP Sports activities Author
SEATTLE (AP) — It didn’t take lengthy for Mark Giordano to get years of seeing purple out of his system. The previous longtime Calgary Flames defenseman didn’t even flinch Thursday whereas pulling on the jersey of a distinct workforce for the primary time in his profession.
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 growth draft over the summer season.
“My spouse’s completed 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 stated.
Giordano and the remainder of the Kraken’s roster hit the ice for the primary time as a workforce with the beginning of coaching 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 residence area in opposition to Vancouver.
Whereas Seattle’s roster is a mixture of veterans and a few younger expertise in search of a chance, 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 while however I wasn’t first on the rink, I can inform you that,” coach Dave Hakstol stated. “Everybody was right here earlier, everyone was excited to get going. Total, it was first day for everyone to get below 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 workforce’s $80 million apply facility for a glimpse of Seattle’s gamers.
A lot of the workforce has been on the town for a few weeks having casual exercises.
“All the fellows have been right here sooner than I’ve seen teams on different groups are available in,” ahead Jordan Eberle stated. “We have been all right here for 2 weeks prematurely to camp. I believe that was simply everybody wished to get right here, get settled clearly being new, getting an opportunity to satisfy the fellows, joke round within the locker room, begin some camaraderie inside the group. That bonding is big.”
Seattle performs the primary of six preseason video games Sunday in opposition to the Canucks in Spokane, Washington. As a result of the workforce is fully new each Hakstol and among the gamers stated they wish to maintain the pairings from the primary day collectively for a bit to see the way it develops.
“We’ve solely bought a sure period of time so what we wish to do is put some mixtures collectively and see what that appears like,” Hakstol stated. “With the intention to see that you must give it two or three days to construct collectively, presumably even go away it collectively by way of one exhibition recreation after which now we have the chance to take a look at a distinct mixture.”
One sudden sight was ahead Yanni Gourde working with the second apply group, albeit sporting a purple no-contact jersey. Gourde had shoulder surgical procedure in July shortly earlier than the growth draft and was anticipated to overlook the primary two months of the common season.
Whereas that also is perhaps the case, common supervisor Ron Francis stated Gourde is forward of schedule in his restoration.
“We’re discovering out he’s a troublesome man to carry again,” Francis stated. “He’s actually labored exhausting.”
NOTES: Francis stated Seattle’s whole roster has obtained its COVID-19 vaccinations. … One noticeable absence on the primary day was middle Colin Blackwell, who’s day-to-day with a decrease physique damage, Hakstol stated.
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