Flames LIndholm, Kraken Bjorkstrand

Kraken NHL Thursday: Festive All-Stars – Huge Trade

Kraken All-Star Journal

Today’s Kraken journal isn’t so Krakeny (new word!) thus far, although I will see Seattle NHL All-Star Oliver Bjorkstrand a bit later this afternoon at ‘Media Day’. Many of the All-Stars arrived / are arriving to Toronto Thursday, having to suffer through the usual nightmare traffic from YYC (Pearson International) to downtown.

By the way, travel tip from someone who once lived a ten minute walk away, if you’re coming to Toronto and you’re able, fly into Billy Bishop Airport, located on a little island in Lake Ontario downtown. Mega convenient, but likely requires transferring to a Porter Airlines twin-prop’ flight once in the region.

Anyhoo, had a nice chat with PWHL player, American Olympian and Boston captain Hilary Knight this morning after she skated with three others outside at Nathan Phillips Square. “Sun Valley(!)” I call her because of her part-time residence there at the beautiful Idaho resort town of Ketchum.

Bad snow apparently this year after an epic 2022-’23.

A quick visit to friends at the Hockey Hall of Fame was followed by guesting on a podcast in New Jersey, followed by a chat with a number of old media pals.

Found out a mostly amateur podcaster who specialized in getting everything wrong for The Hockey News and who basically slandered me three times last year was terminated four months ago. Karma.

Looking forward to connecting with the always delightful and efficient Kraken PR rep’ Lindsey Brown and ‘Ollie’ in a wee bit.

Nice temperature today in Toronto by the way. Not one of the most desirable winter locales for an All-Star Game, but it is essentially the center of the hockey universe and without a wicked breeze the weather has been rather nice.

Canucks Get Stronger

Holy moly, Vancouver is going for it. Wednesday night the Canucks announced a deal for top Calgary Flames center Elias Lindholm. They actually gained cap space by dealing Russian winger Andre Kuzmenko in the trade. Vancouver also gave up two prospects (one really), a 2024 1st-round pick and a conditional 4th-rounder.

“Koozy’s” lack of a 200-foot game never really fit into Canucks head coach Rick Tocchet’s plans this season and the forward’s style doesn’t really fit a team taking strides toward a Stanley Cup run. Toughness and solid two-way games throughout the line-up are essential.

Lindholm brings a more complete game and 32 points this season, which was 4th most on the Flames and would be 6th most on the Canucks. He’s also right-handed, another bonus to the lefty top centers Vancouver has already.

“Tock” now has 33 games to experiment with all of this strength up the middle. Elias Pettersson could move to a wing, something center J.T. Miller did earlier this season on “Petey’s” line.

Do they break up the “Lotto Line” [649 is a national lottery in Canada and the three players make up those numbers – Brock Boeser (6), Pettersson (40) and Miller (9)]?

Again, plenty of time to play with the abundance of skill, including trying to find the best power play combinations.

It’s a luxury that Canucks management has built over a short span of time. They also have a bit of cap space to add another body for depth along the blueline between now and the early-March NHL trade deadline.

Previous Kraken:

— Kraken Hangover: “Be A Goldfish”, Ollie’s Trip

Simmer with Oliver Bjorkstrand.

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.
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