SEATTLE (AP) — The Seattle Kraken are free to make trades and sign players after making their final expansion payment to the NHL. Seattle owners paid $650 million to become the 32nd franchise. The Kraken begin play next season. General manager Ron Francis has been able to talk to colleagues around the league, and he and his staff have been scouting and planning for the expansion draft July 21. The final payment by ownership allows him to make official transactions, such as signing college free agents.