The Seattle Kraken are in an unusual situation; a second year club trying to make the playoffs while building out a culture and an identity that will last for many seasons.
One shouldn’t under emphasize the importance of chemistry, but at the same time there’s the age-old adage regarding sending your team a positive message of reinforcement before the final stretch drive kicks in.
“Yes, we believe in you, and here’s a veteran defenseman with some offensive upside to help the cause.” You know, something like that.
With the NHL trade deadline looming on Friday, does Kraken General Manager Ron Francis stick with the status quo and hope things work out with his happy hockey family or does he add an actual reinforcement to help push them into the postseason.
Kraken defenseman Vince Dunn kind of covered both bases on the topic when asked about adding help prior to the deadline, following Sunday’s loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
“I think we love everyone in this locker room, I don’t think we’re looking to trade spots with anyone,” Dunn said. “We get along really well, the chemistry is good and we’re a great team when we’re playing as a team. Those things are out of our control, we don’t really hear anything on the players end of things. You always want your team to get better, management did a a great job doing that this summer, and at the end of last season. We were in an great spot going into the (NHL All-Star) break, we need to get back to that level, and whoever comes in and out of the line-up or into our locker room, we’re a welcoming team and we’re excited for anything ahead. But I think everyone is pretty satisfied with the opportunity that we have here and there’s no reason we can’t turn it around with this group of guys that we have.”
“We’ll see what the deadline brings, that’s ultimately not up to us in here, we’re a confident group in one another,” Kraken head coach Dave Hakstol said postgame Sunday. “Everybody’s aware of what’s going on around the conference and the league and watching that, but we’ll see what Friday brings. Like I’ve said right from day-one, not a lot of people on the outside had us in this position at this point in time, so whatever the deadline brings, it’s the group inside this room that’s going to be at the core of how we finish down the stretch, so ultimately that’s what matters most.”
Striking A Seattle Kraken Balance
So while keeping the aforementioned long-term ‘program’ goals in mind, what about adding a guy like defenseman Jakob Chychrun of the Arizona Coyotes. He’s a lefty who plays both sides with some offensive upside and is an affordable $4.6-million cap hit for another two seasons. The Kraken have some draft picks to distribute.
He’s been rumored with a number of Stanley Cup contenders. What about for a team just trying to make the playoffs for the first time.
Could he help you make the postseason, bring in some playoff gate, and help the long term program? I offer him up as just one example. He’s one guy I don’t know a ton about personality wise. I do know he’s only 24-years-of-age, which is a wonderful time to make him an acquisition.
Of course there are other options, but they’re starting to thin out.
Ron Francis has five days to take the plunge if he’s going to take it. Maybe he’ll wait to see how the club does in St. Louis on Tuesday. The Kraken only have two games before the deadline.