The Seattle Kraken have made a splash in free agency, signing goalie Philipp Grubauer to a six-year deal worth $5.9 million annually Wednesday, the team announced.
The deal comes after Grubauer and his former team, the Colorado Avalanche, were unable to come to a contract agreement. Those discussions carried over into Wednesday, sources say, before Grubauer eventually signed with Seattle.
Grubauer was a Vezina Trophy finalist last season and backstopped the Avalanche to the Presidents' Trophy.
Seattle on Wednesday also added former St. Louis Blues forward Jaden Schwartz on a five-year, $27.5 million deal.
Grubauer, 29, picked the right time to have the best season of his nine-year career. He led the league in shutouts with seven. He was second in wins (30) and goals-against average (1.95) and eighth in save percentage (.923).
Before being traded to the Avalanche in 2018, Grubauer was a part-time player in Washington for six seasons. Last season's production came at a great price since Grubauer was playing on a three-year deal with a cap hit of only $3.33 million per season. He was due a raise, but Colorado was pinched after paying star young defenseman Cale Makar and captain Gabriel Landeskog.
"He was the backbone of our team and a huge part of our success this past season,'' Landeskog said after signing an eight-year, $56 million extension with Colorado. "But at the end of the day I'm not going to tell Grubi what to do just like he didn't try to tell me what to do.''
Colorado is now on the search for goaltending help.
The Kraken, meanwhile, have a surplus of goalies. They selected Chris Driedger, Vitek Vanecek and Joey Daccord in the expansion draft. Driedger was poised to be the top goalie in Seattle next season, and agreed to a three-year, $10.5 million contract with the Kraken.
Seattle traded Vanecek back to the Capitals, in exchange for Winnipeg's 2023 second-round pick.
With Schwartz, the Kraken got a 29-year-old left winger who scored 154 goals and added 231 assists in 560 games with the Blues. He starred in the Blues' run to the Stanley Cup title in 2019, scoring 12 goals and adding eight assists in 26 games that postseason.
"Jaden plays a responsible two-way game and knows how to put the puck in the net," Kraken general manager Ron Francis said. "He brings veteran leadership to our group. His knowledge of the game and what it takes to win hockey's ultimate prize will be valuable as we continue to shape our inaugural roster. We're looking forward to adding his guidance to our team."
The Kraken also have a deal with former Panthers forward Alex Wennberg on a three-year deal with an annual average value of $4.5 million.
Wennberg had a career-high 17 goals last season. He added 12 assists in his only year in Florida. The 26-year-old's best season came in 2016-17, when he had 59 points for Columbus.