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Canadiens' Price left unprotected for Kraken expansion draft

For now the NHL is on pause and waiting for Ron Francis and the Seattle Kraken to decide what they will do.

SEATTLE (AP) — Goaltender Carey Price has been exposed to the Seattle Kraken in the expansion draft after backstopping the Montreal Canadiens to the Stanley Cup Final.

Price could become the face of the NHL's 32nd franchise if general manager Ron Francis and his staff decide to take on one of the biggest contracts in hockey. He agreed to waive a clause in his contract to be exposed so Montreal could protect cheaper backup Jake Allen, but his goaltending ability, off-ice marketability and ties to the Pacific Northwest could make Price an attractive option even with a salary cap hit of $10.5 million for five more years

The 2015 MVP and Vezina Trophy winner is the biggest star left unprotected for the Kraken to select, but there's plenty of other talent available.

St. Louis winger Vladimir Tarasenko is an option two years removed from hoisting the Stanley Cup after asking the Blues for a trade. Calgary exposed captain and 2019 Norris Trophy-winning defenseman Mark Giordano. And Carolina surprisingly made forward Nino Niederreiter available.

The league released the protected lists of all 30 teams eligible for the expansion draft Sunday morning. Seattle will pick one player from everyone except Vegas — which just went through this process in 2017 — and announce those selections at the expansion draft Wednesday night.

Kraken's Francis said his staff has gone through hundreds of scenarios getting ready for what will be a busy three days.