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NHL Franchise Notes: Kraken GM touts supportive fanbase

Kraken GM Ron Francis said the team's fans have been "very vocal and supportive" during the team's debut season that sees them currently with the fourth-fewest points in the NHL. The Kraken were 15th in average attendance in December, and Francis said of whether he was concerned the team's on-ice performance would hurt growing the base, "Anytime you're not having a great year, you're worried about that. But our fans have been tremendous in the support they're showing. They understand we're an expansion team and it takes time to build it the right way. The attendance has been good. They've been loud and supportive" (ESPN.com, 1/4).

PART OF THE TEAM: SPORTSNET.ca's Elliotte Friedman noted the Ducks have "long wanted" former players Paul Kariya and Scott Niedermayer to be more involved with the franchise, so it is a "victory for the organization to get both on their GM search committee." There is a "ton of interest in this job, from both external and internal candidates." Friedman: "Anaheim's had what I'd call 'soft conversations' with people, just to gauge interest and see where things might stand. But now they really get going" (SPORTSNET.ca, 1/4).

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