Seattle Kraken, Ron Francis

Kraken NHL Sunday: Tough Night, Seattle GM’s Deadline

It couldn’t have ended any worse for Kraken and Red Wings fans.

For Seattle fans, we suggested you watch the Detroit at Vegas game on Saturday evening to see if the Red Wings could open a sliver of hope for the Kraken by beating the Golden Knights.

Not only did Detroit lose, they gave up the game winning goal with 2:44 remaining in the 3rd period and then gave up an empty-netter. The Red Wings lost their fifth straight game while the Golden Knights snapped a four-game losing streak.

It also gave Vegas an eight point lead on the Kraken for the 2nd wild card spot in the Western Conference, meaning that even if the Kraken were to win the head-to-head match on Tuesday night at Climate Pledge Arena, they’d still be six points behind with the number of games on the schedule dwindling. After the head-to-head versus Vegas, Seattle will have 18 games left and would have to win 13 or 14 of them to make the playoffs.

We’ll leave it there.

Kraken Deadline

Seattle General Manager Ron Francis spoke of his trade deadline efforts and the state of the team during a press availability on Friday morning.

“Where we’re sitting right now is probably the worst spot to kind of be sitting as you head into the trade deadline, because you’re trying to weigh, can we get in, can we not get it,” he said. “And so you’re looking at everything from strength of schedule and probabilities and what you may be able to do to add … if you don’t think you can get in what you do to subtract.”

The Kraken definitely weren’t adding given the low likelihood of not making the postseason, especially considering they didn’t add anyone last year and they knew they were getting in.

He’s right about the timing. By winning last Monday and Tuesday on the road against the Flames and Jets it only added to the GM’s indecision.

As for the Alex Wennberg trade, the club was left with no choice. The two sides couldn’t come to an agreement that worked and Francis picked up a 2nd-round and a 4th-round draft pick for the pending unrestricted free agent (UFA) who helps the New York Rangers with their center depth.

Another UFA Jordan Eberle decided to sign and stay in Seattle where his family likes things, rather than chase a Stanley Cup with a contender.

“Character guy, not only a good player on the ice with a tendency to play well in the big games, good leader in the locker room,” Francis said. “He and his family are good in the community, so we felt it was important to keep him on board as we try to build this thing the right way.”

Eberle spoke again about he and his family’s love for Seattle. Unfortunately I didn’t make that availability, and he wasn’t asked about pursuing or not pursuing the Cup, something he’s never won, with a legitimate contender at age-33.

It’s very unlikely he’ll get there over the next two seasons with this Kraken club that is still building things out.

One presumes there would have been some level of demand from around the league.

Winger Tomas Tatar, acquired early in the season from the Avalanche, and D-man Justin Schultz, both 33, remain UFA’s and will play out the season while potentially looking to re-sign.

Whether through fee agency and/or the arrival of top prospects, a huge summer of mandatory talent improvement lies ahead.

Earlier Kraken Efforts:

— Kraken Lose A Game Of Shinny To The Jets, 3-0

— Kraken’s Dave Hakstol Hits 500, Who Is This Guy Really

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.