Kraken, Ron Francis

Kraken NHL Friday; 2 Trades Made, Other ‘Sellers’ Wait

The Kraken went 5-3-and-1 in the abbreviated month of February coming out of the NHL All-Star break and their bye week. They’ve picked up points in six of their last seven games, five of those being victories, the other being an overtime loss.

Despite the 2-0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday night, the Kraken didn’t gain any ground on the Western Conference wild card positions with both the Los Angeles Kings and Nashville Predators also being victorious.

The win did hop Seattle past the Minnesota Wild in the pack and put them in a three way tie with the St. Louis Blues and the Calgary Flames with 63 points. All three teams have played 59 times.

That’s it, above those three clubs remains 7 points of daylight to the Kings (59 games played) and Preds (61 games played) in the wild card spots with 70 points.

Kraken Hospitality 

Welcome to March. It’s a dream come true if you believe in ‘home ice advantage’. Ten of the Kraken’s 14 games in the month are at Climate Pledge Arena, including the Predators coming in on Saturday, March 16th.

The issue for Kraken General Manager Ron Francis is that the NHL trade deadline arrives next Friday, March 8th at 3 pm eastern. Seattle hosts the Edmonton Oilers and visits the Calgary Flames and Winnipeg Jets between now and then. Not an easy set of tasks.

Francis will need to decide if he thinks the playoff chase is legitimate, and if he can get anything juicy for any of his four pending unrestricted free agents (UFA’s).

Last year, while legitimately in the race, Francis chose to stand pat and make a run. This season is obviously different, and his GM mettle will be tested this next week.

Trades Made

Two of the more highly regarded NHL defensemen that were on the ‘available’ list ahead of the deadline changed teams in the last few days.

The Dallas Stars picked up 34-year-old right-shot Chris Tanev from the Flames on Wednesday — note that this Calgary team, tied with the Kraken and winners of four games in a row, has already been in “sell” mode — and Thursday the Toronto Maple Leafs acquired 29-year-old right shot Ilya Lyubushkin from the Anaheim Ducks.

Both deals involved a third team operating as an intermediary, with some salary cap gymnastics done to make the trades possible.

Tanev is the older brother of Kraken forward Brandon Tanev.

Earlier Kraken

— Kraken Game Day 58; Similarly Desperate Pittsburgh Penguins

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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