Seattle Kraken, Shane Wright

Shane Wright as a Kraken Injury Replacement

Kraken Line-up Moves

We’ll know more on the health of Seattle Kraken 4th-line, righty center Morgan Geekie on Tuesday morning, although it appears he’s likely to play Tuesday night in Los Angeles.

Geekie was injured in the third period in Anaheim Sunday night and left the game after running into teammate Adam Larsson.

Healthy or not, his absence starts to get hockey brains working overtime and raises some bigger picture questions. What if Geekie legitimately went out?

Karson Kuhlman is travelling along with the club as a healthy scratch, a right-shot center with 110 games of NHL experience, ten of those this season with the Kraken. The 27-year-old is pretty much a 4th-liner, nothing more, nothing less.

Shane Wright is a top prospect, an odd label for a player on the active roster and on a five game American Hockey League conditioning stint, but the perfect description for an 18-year-old in the midst of his early NHL development. The righthander is anything but a bone fide 4th-liner, he’s a projected top-two center with elite skill.

So with four goals under his belt over his first three AHL games, how would it look to have him return for some action in place of Geekie.

With Geekie healthy, forget about it right now, Wright has two more AHL games this coming weekend in Henderson, Nevada and the Kraken are rolling with this line-up.

If Geekie isn’t healthy, do you pull the trigger on Wright? Probably not, but that injury scenario coupled with Wright’s performance thus far while getting ice time, does raise some interesting questions and answers.

First of all, Kuhlman would get his look while Wright finishes out his stint. Unless of course Kuhlman is inadequate and/or the Kraken lose. That would likely raise the temptation level.

Secondly, what of Kraken General Manager Ron Francis’s mindset? Is he taking the patient approach regardless, is he planning on sending Wright to World Juniors in December and then back to the Ontario Hockey League. A fringe benefit of that would be not burning the first year of Wright’s NHL entry-level contract.

But what if he lights it up again this weekend? What if Geekie goes out at a later date? Just how set are the Kraken brass with their plans.

Undoubtedly, there is one set of circumstances; Geekie’s health, Kuhlman’s performance, and Wright’s turbo development arc, that leads to the potential future star jumping into the NHL line-up sooner than later.

Not likely? Maybe, but a fascinating and exciting scenario that’s not entirely out of the question and must be raised at some point regardless.

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.