Seattle Kraken, Alexander Wennberg

Seattle Kraken Trade Talk Picks Up, Wennberg’s Name Pops

It was inevitable as the Kraken show signs of inconsistency and waver in their attempt to secure a Western Conference playoff spot, that pre-NHL trade deadline talk would heat up.

Alexander Wennberg’s name has come up, according to New York Post and New York Rangers reporter Larry Brooks, whose talent we happened to tout last week in our piece about inconsistency and parity.

It’s been five days since “Brooksie” reported the Rangers and maybe even the Boston Bruins were targeting the Kraken’s 29-year-old Swede, a 10-year NHL veteran on an expiring contract with unrestricted free agency (UFA) looming.

That’s the perfect scenario for what’s called “a rental” in hockey terms, a player that could step in and acclimate with a contender over the final month of the season and then, in theory, help that team win a Stanley Cup. Both New York and Boston would fit the bill and both could use depth up the middle, particularly with the Blueshirts losing center Filip Chytil to a concussion.

Wennberg is a bit off his usual scoring pace, but he has shown a strong 200-foot game, with more determination than expected from watching previous campaigns. These things happen in contract years.

The Stockholm native does have 42 games of playoff experience at hockey’s highest level, and he’d need to show the grit and intestinal fortitude that has sometimes come into question.

Since the report in the the Post, the Kraken have beaten the Vancouver Canucks and lost to the Minnesota Wild. Wennberg is the Kraken’s 8th leading scorer with 8 goals and 14 assists.

Kraken Availability?

Seattle’s other UFA’s that might garner interest in this seller’s market include forwards Tomas Tatar, Jordan Eberle, and D-man Justin Schultz, all savvy veterans.

All but Tatar have modified no-trade clauses where the player presents a 10 or 16 team no-trade list.

If things don’t work out for the Kraken in the playoff chase prior to the March 8th deadline, and the demand for a player of Wennberg’s ilk increases, it’s been suggested Kraken General Manager Ron Francis could garner a 1st-round draft pick in exchange for that strength up the middle.

The price goes up particularly when one considers the fact that the Kraken would have to retain some of Wennberg’s salary to allow the acquiring club to fit under the cap.

There are five games on the schedule for Seattle prior to the deadline. Five games that will force Francis to make a decision one way or the other and determine whether or not some familiar faces are walking out the door.

Earlier Kraken:

— An Ugly Night For The Kraken Across The Board

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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