Jeepers, did we short change Kraken defenseman Will Borgen in the arbitration article a few days ago. The steady and improving D-man played in all 82 games last season and earned a new two-year deal worth $2.7-million per season. That’s a little less than two-million more than what he was making and about a million more than what we were ready to dole out.
Borgen scored about as much as one would expect during the regular season as a 3rd-pair blueliner, 3 goals and 17 assists, both career highs, while piling up the second most hits by a Kraken player, 203, second only to Adam Larsson’s 222.
Borgen added a goal and two assists while playing in all 14 of the Kraken’s playoff games.
Just for fun, here’s a recap of Borgen lighting the lamp:
— October 19, 2022 at home vs. the St. Louis Blues in a 4-3 overtime loss. Borgen jumped in and one-timed a puck from the right circle past goalie Jordan Binnington off a feed from Andre Burakovsky to tie the game 1-1 in the 1st period.
— November 8, 2022 at home vs. the Nashville Predators in a 5-1 Kraken win. Again, on a feed from Burakovsky, Borgen fired a wrister from the high slot, high blocker on Juuse Saros to give Seattle a 2-0 lead in the 1st period.
— 62 games later on April 3, 2023, at home vs. the Arizona Coyotes in an 8-1 Kraken stomping. This time Alex Wennberg picked up the primary assist as Borgen fired a shot under Ivan Prosvetov’s blocker side armpit in the 3rd period.
— Playoffs: Borgen opened the scoring in the 1st period of Game-4 of the opening round series against the Colorado Avalanche at Climate Pledge Arena on April 24th in the Kraken’s 3-2 overtime win. He fired a one-timer from the left circle, glove-side past Alexandar Georgiev on a simple pass from Larsson.
One down, two existing restricted free agent (RFA) D-men to go: Cale Fleury and the biggee, Vince Dunn. The arbitration hearing window opens July 20th.
Kraken New Guy
In hockey terms, he’d actually be considered not-very-new. 38-year-old depth forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare signed with the Kraken on Friday.
One of the rare French-born players to make it to the NHL, he’s actually played more career games than any other player from that country. Yes, we’re not talking French Canadian, we’re talking French.
His 60 goals, 71 assists and 131 points rank 2nd all-time behind Antoine Roussel among French-born NHLers.
Bellemare spent the last two seasons with the Tampa Bay Lightning after two seasons with the Colorado Avalanche after two seasons with the Vegas Golden Knights, who chose him in their expansion draft, after three seasons with the Philadelphia Flyers, the team that originally signed him as a free agent.
Bellemare trained and developed in Sweden, playing eight years there at various levels after three years of pro hockey in his native country.
Looking to round out their forward depth, the Kraken signed the 5-foot-11, 200-pounder for the league minimum on a one-way deal. He’s never played a minor league game in North America. He has 15 points in 85 career Stanley Cup playoff games.
Tucker Robertson proved himself at Development Camp this past week. He seemed to stand out. He also proved himself this past season with the Peterborough Petes of the Ontario Hockey League, the team that won the league title and advanced to the Memorial Cup in Kamloops.
After the Petes were eliminated, Robertson told Seattle Hockey Insider that he was looking to sign his entry-level contract with the Kraken and starting to look at professional hockey in earnest. Although he might return to the OHL as an over-age player, mission accomplished thus far. His deal was announced on Thursday.
He was featured recently in an updated “Seattle Kraken of the Future” article.
ICYMI, A Cavalcade of Hockey Joy Joy:
— Kraken Friday: A Connor Bedard Look-a-like And Other Tantalizing Tidbits