Seattle Kraken, Andre Burakovksy

Kraken’s New Normal Became No Burakovsky

It’s not as though the Seattle Kraken hadn’t adjusted to not having Andre Burakovsky around. Yes, it would have been very nice to have their leading scorer at the time of his departure back on the active roster, but injuries are part of the business.

The club announced on Thursday night that the 28-year-old left winger had surgery on a nagging lower-body injury and won’t be around for the start of the playoffs.

Given the fact that he’s had work done on the injury, appeared just once on-ice with his teammates in a red no-contact jersey a couple weeks ago and would need plenty of time to rehabilitate, it would appear we’ve seen the last of this player for this season’s magical run.

Burakovsky helped the Colorado Avalanche win a Stanley Cup in 2022 before joining the Kraken last July and signing a five-year contract.

Barring an unlikely trip to the Stanley Cup Final, the Kraken won’t see him again until training camp. Ironically, pulling off that type of dream trip becomes a lot harder without him.

Entering the game in which he was injured, February 7th against the New York Islanders, the Kraken owned a record of 29-15-and-5.

Since his injury, Seattle went 17-13-and-3. Still pretty good, but not the pace they saw with Burakovsky, a run that included NHL history’s first ever 7-and-0 road trip in January. He had eight points during that stretch and played just less than 16-minutes a night.

The club’s bye week combined with the early-February NHL All-Star break hurt them in this case. In what was the first game following a fun trip to Mexico, Burakovsky’s lower body apparently wasn’t adequately stretched out and ready. His game, and as it turns out the remainder of his season, lasted 21-seconds.

Kraken Play On

It’s like the Colorado Avalanche not having captain Gabriel Landeskog, missing for the entire regular season and now the playoffs with a knee injury.

The team plays on. Coincidentally, it seems as though Burakovsky was caught up in some residual bad Avalanche injury karma. That team missed as many as nine players at one point this season and besides their captain, they’re still without Norris Trophy winner Cale Makar, Josh Manson, Darren Helm and occasionally goalie Pavel Francouz.

The other big coincidence: barring a loss to the plucky Nashville Predators in Friday night’s season finale, the Avalanche will be playing the Kraken in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Naturally, there are no guarantees, we were reminded of that again a few days ago while watching the Pittsburgh Penguins lose to the Chicago Blackhawks, but the Av’s have been going like gangbusters and have a strong desire to pass the Dallas Stars for the Pacific Division title.

They just need a win against the Predators.

As for the Kraken, they’ve rolled four lines, they’ve played unselfishly, and they reached the remarkable 100 point mark on the season. Whether it’s in Dallas or in Denver, they have every reason to believe they can keep it going.

They just won’t be going with Andre Burakovsky.

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.