Wright for Kraken
One of this season’s subplots for the Seattle Kraken will be the ongoing usage and short term fate of the club’s highly touted 2022 4th-overall NHL Draft pick Shane Wright.
The 18-year-old center isn’t quite ready for fulltime, big time ice time and responsibilities and he’s only played in half of the Kraken’s 12 games thus far.
It’s not an easy situation. For one, as Kraken head coach Dave Hakstol has pointed out, when the team is winning, it’s tough to change the line-up. The 4th-line, where Wright had previously been inserted, has been anchored by the strong play of Morgan Geekie at center.
That said, Wright joined the Kraken line-up as the third-line center and played against the Minnesota Wild on Thursday, his first insertion into a game since October 23rd at Chicago. He played 13:45 and finished a plus-one without a shot versus the Wild.
Wright has no goals and one assist on the season thus far.
In Pittsburgh Saturday night, Hakstol might be tempted to stick with the line-up that beat the Penguins last Saturday 3-1 at Climate Pledge Arena. Wright wasn’t involved.
Let’s Skate …
Tampere, Finland was the location for the NHL’s latest foray into the Euro-market with the first of two Global Series games between the Colorado Avalanche and the Columbus Blue Jackets, with the defending Stanley Cup champions coming out on top 6-3.
The ‘local’ boys did well. Mikko Rantanen, who grew up 100 miles south of the city, tallied a hat trick for the winners while hometown boy Patrik Laine contributed a goal and an assist for the struggling Jackets. Columbus fell to 3-and-8 on the season and lost their fourth straight.
Laine’s total of five goals scored in Finland in NHL regular season games dating back to 2018 is the highest goal total for any NHL player in games played outside of North America.
The same two teams play again there on Saturday.
Sen’s for Sale
Grab your checkbook, there’s a Canadian NHL team for sale. Sheldon Plener, the governor of the Ottawa Senators, officially announced the hockey club was on the market, but keeping the team in Canada’s capital city was one of the conditions of sale.
A recent report from Sportico had the Senators valued at $655-million, the 27th most valuable franchise in the 32-team NHL.
Canadian movie star and Vancouver, BC native Ryan Reynolds doesn’t have that level of personal wealth, but he has expressed an interest in being one of the owners.
Enjoy the Hockey Action !!