Remember when Vitek Vanecek was a member of the Seattle Kraken? You are forgiven if not, his time there lasted all of one week.
T.J. Oshie sure recalls when his netminder was selected by the Kraken in the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft, then was traded right back to D.C. seven days later.
“It was really tough losing Vitek there. It was great to get him back,” Oshie said to the media on Thursday. “I feel bad he’s got to put money on the board when we go to Seattle now, because he was technically part of the organization. So, hey, he was there.”
The ‘money on the board’ quip references a hockey tradition where players put cash into a general team fund whenever they face one of their former teams. It’s a fun way to drive incentive for players to beat their old clubs. Despite the fact that Vanecek probably never even went to Seattle during his weeklong stint, it still counts and he apparently will have to pay up.
“I used to have to put up in Vancouver because it was close to Seattle — I know, different country," Oshie deadpanned. "Blame [Keith] Tkachuk for that,” Oshie said.
That’s right: even if you’re headed to a city in which no teammates used to play, someone who grew up nearby might have to put money on the board. Since Oshie was born and raised just outside Seattle, his former teammates in St. Louis, including Tkachuk, a longtime NHL veteran for the Blues, made a young Oshie step up. Vancouver is 140 miles from Seattle. There's no mercy in the NHL.