Before the opening bell of free agency, it was reported that Seattle was linked to goalie Martin Jones, and then quickly confirmed by some sources. The Kraken later confirmed the signing.
What is the deal?
Martin Jones signed a one-year deal with the Kraken worth $2 million.
Birthdate; Jan. 10, 1990
Birthplace: North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Weight: 190 lbs
Experience: 396 games played in the NHL; 327 games played with the Sharks where he was the primary starter from 2015-2019.
|Seson||Team||Games Played||Goals Against Average||Save Percentage|
|2019-20||San Jose Sharks||41||3||0.896|
|2020-21||San Jose Sharks||34||3.28||0.896|
What do the analytics say?
In 2021-22, Martin Joes saved -11.25 goals above expected, per Evolving Hockey, and -9.4 goals above expected, per MoneyPuck.
Where does he project with the Kraken?
The Kraken’s goalie depth chart looks like this:
- Phillip Grubauer
- Joey Daccord
- Chris Driedger (IR/expected back in February or March 2023)
With Chris Driedger starting the season on IR and with Coachella Valley starting play this year, the Kraken need to add (at least) two goaltenders that could hypothetically perform at the NHL level in order to fill out their NHL-AHL depth chart. Martin Jones would seem to fill one of those spots. Whether it is at the NHL level or AHL level remains to be seen, but the contract suggests it would be at the NHL level.
Seattle also announced it had signed Magnus Hellberg on Wednesday, who will surely be bound for the Firebirds.
Where do the Kraken go from here?
I identified five needs before the draft: (1) left wing, (2) right wing, (3) right defense, (4) backup goalie, (5) depth center. This checks box number 4. The Kraken have also addressed defense with right-shot blueliner Justin Schultz and a need on the wing with Andre Burakovksy. The Kraken’s focus will be on adding skaters in the remaining need areas.
Immediate reaction about the signing from media-types was less than enthusiastic about the signing. I would caution against jumping to any conclusions without knowing how everything fits together. Martin Jones is just one piece of the puzzle.
Jones has been a successful goalie in the past, and with the thin market, this is a veteran stopgap to help Seattle get through Driedger’s absence.
I don’t love the addition. But the realty is Driedger will be back in February. You’re asking a goalie to sign in Seattle knowing he’ll be waived in February.
Goaltending was a real problem last year, especially before All-Star Weekend. To my eye, there was confusion between goalie and defence on when to take the shooter and when to take away the pass on 2-on-1 situations. Perhaps GMRF addressed that by firing the goalie coach and this will be a new year.
I had hoped the Kraken could have signed a proven experienced NHL goalie like Halak. Seattle had the cap space, but opted for Jones instead.