Seattle Kraken, Jamie Oleksiak

Kraken Daily: Seattle Changes, Pacific Division Wacky

Eek! I feel bad for messing with the hockey gods. Even tried to throw a disclaimer out there right off the top when writing about the Seattle Kraken’s healthy D-corps this past Sunday. Sorry about that.

They’re no longer unscathed as the team put Jamie Oleksiak on injured reserve with a lower body injury on Thursday. The big fella will could be replaced by a fellow lefty, 27-year-old Gustav Olofsson, called up from the AHL on Thursday, or by right-shot D-man Cale Fleury, a veteran of 50 NHL games, nine of them with the Kraken. He was a 3rd-round pick of the Montreal Canadiens back in 2017 out of the Western Hockey League.

Seattle forward Jared McCann could miss his 4th game in a row with a lower body injury. If he’s not ready for Friday night against the Minnesota Wild, the Sunday match against the Winnipeg Jets is a likely target for his return.

As expected, the NHL goaltending tandem now consists of Martin Jones, starter, and Magnus Hellberg, back-up. This after Hellberg was re-acquired via waivers from the Ottawa Senators on Thursday.

Kraken netminder Joey Daccord was sent to the affiliated Coachella Valley Firebirds of the American Hockey League.

While we await puck drop at Climate Pledge Arena on Friday against the Minnesota Wild …

Let’s Skate !

A deal with the Devils? It couldn’t happen to a nicer guy; that would be New Jersey Devils general manager Tom Fitzgerald. “Fitzy’s” team is rolling.

The kids from Newark won their eighth consecutive game on Thursday evening, a 4-3 overtime victory against the Ottawa Senators. Like the Kraken, they’re getting balanced scoring, but with high-end help coming from Jesper Bratt’s 18 points, Nico Hischier’s 16, and Jack Hughes with his 14 points. Dougie Hamilton has chipped in 11 points from the back-end. The Devils have a plus-15 goal differential through 14 games this season, 3rd best in the league.

Pacific Division

Don’t look now but the Calgary Flames have slipped all the way to 5th place in the Pacific Division, six points behind the Kraken and just one point ahead of the struggling Vancouver Canucks. Calgary was a favorite to repeat as division champs this season, but it appears some personnel changes haven’t melded just yet.

Out were big names Johnny Gaudreau (Columbus Blue Jackets) and Matthew Tkachuk (Florida Panthers) and in came Nazem Kadri (Colorado Avalanche), Jonathan Huberdeau (Panthers) and defenseman Mackenzie Weegar (Panthers). It’s early, I wouldn’t panic just yet if you’re in southern Alberta.

Meanwhile, up top, the Vegas Golden Knights are the hottest team in the NHL and they have the best overall record.

With their 7-4 win in Buffalo against the Sabres on Thursday night, the “Vegas Born” have nine straight victories and a record of 13-and-2. Former Sabres captain Jack Eichel had a hat trick and added an assist against his ex-mates.

Enjoy the Hockey Action !!

Rob Simpson

Rob Simpson has covered the NHL in five different decades. He’s authored 4 books on hockey and is a veteran TV and radio play-by-play man and reporter.