Seattle Kraken, Andre Burakovsky

Kraken, Devils – Very Eventful Pregame

It wasn’t exactly the birthday announcement Seattle Kraken forward Andre Burakovsky could get too excited about. As the Austrian winger turned 28-years-of-age on Thursday, his club announced that the Kraken’s leading scorer is week-to-week with a lower body injury and has been placed on injured reserve.

It’s the type of development the Kraken really haven’t had to deal with at all during their somewhat magical 2022-’23 run to the top of the Pacific Division standings, and it comes at the most inopportune of times.

“He’s going to be out at least week to week for now, if we can get him back sooner that would be great, but it will depend on how he responds to treatment,” Kraken General Manager Ron Francis told the Seattle Times. “For now, it looks like it will be awhile.”

Some Better Kraken News

Kraken offensive defenseman Justin Schultz returns to the line-up after missing six games with an upper body injury. That development comes just two days after the return of NHL rookie leading scorer Matty Beniers to the line-up after missing two matches, and the return of fellow forward Jaden Schwartz who had missed eight.

In-season IR hasn’t been an issue for Seattle this season. “Man games lost” in general has been kind. Last season’s back-up goalie Chris Driedger and forward Joonas Donskoi began the season on injured reserve and remain there.

The biggest issue in the immediate moment is finding the team’s “game legs”, apparently lost during the long break when almost all of the club personnel spent time in Hawaii or Mexico. The break definitely helped heal some bodies and recharge some batteries, but now it’s time for the batteries to work full speed and in sync.

Thursday’s opponents, the New Jersey Devils, shared even worse news. They announced their leading scorer Jack Hughes, 67 points to Burakovsky’s 39 to give you an idea of the impact, will also be out week-to-week, his an upper body injury.

Burakovsky’s loss can be absorbed more readily by a Kraken club that has relied on balanced depth scoring all season long. Names will slide up the line-up card as John Hayden gets called up from AHL Coachella Valley to join the fourth line.

The Kraken cross the Hudson River and play the New York Rangers on Friday night.

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.