The NHL Trade Deadline is often the craziest, or at least hyped up as the craziest time in the NHL Calendar that doesn’t involve the words “Stanley”, “Cup”, “Playoffs”, or “Overtime”. And with the Kraken being quite a few dozen points out of the wildcard, the priorities for Seattle are quite different from “get a depth guy” or “get a center”. They could still do that (and frankly should do that), but for their first ever deadline, the Kraken have at least three big goals for their upcoming deadline.
I’m not gonna lie. There are some players on the Kraken who could do with being re-homed.
And I’m trying not to pick on specific players (although believe me there is a specific one I very much want to) but a team as loaded down with defensemen as the Kraken are organizationally really shouldn’t be having the defensive issues that they have unless the system itself is flawed (which it is, but that’s an offseason problem), or the players within it are not suited for said system, and I can positively identify at least a couple of players that are not necessarily suited for said system. The Kraken need players who are far more capable of seeing plays develop around them and seeking out ways of shutting them down with well placed sticks or bodies instead of just big bodies. There are players who could be better served as penalty killers on fourth lines elsewhere. There is simply no reason that the Kraken need to be loyal when the season is all but over. Ron Francis is in a position where defensemen is a wanted commodity, especially, and even though this is somewhat heartless to do, for Kraken captain Mark Giordano. Getting the best of a bad season unfortunately means breaking up the band as it stands
And hey! It’s not like these guys are getting a boot in the rear! There are some teams who could really use some of these big bodies and I’m sure will love to see them! And the Kraken should try to be humble boy merchants as much as possible.
Get draft picks like they’re running out of style
Look, a team with the Kraken’s record and injury luck is going to be selling at the deadline. That’s just how it is.
That means a lot of bittersweet feelings, a lot of guys you have never heard of before playing the remainder of the season, that means some more losing (yeah, I know. I’m not excited either)…but it also means a shot at some of the better talent in this upcoming draft.
In the NHL, drafting for position is sort of a fool’s errand; There’s too many positions on the ice to fill at once in one draft and it’s usually best practice to draft as much talent as humanly possible as high as humanly possible just to get a shot at an NHLer between two to four years from that date in early August. Given how interesting this draft’s first round could be, there’s a good opportunity here to make the future of the Kraken happen in short order. But that means gouging your trade partner for every pick you can squeeze out of them.
In short, Ron Francis should be working every single team in a playoff position like a punch press.
Identify the Core, and make sure they stick.
Matty Beniers, among any number of new prospects that enter the Seattle system must have vets to help them understand and grow the Kraken into a contender. This is known. What hasn’t been positively identifiable has been the Kraken’s “Core” group of players; the group of which all work the Kraken do and want to do goes through. The Kraken’s cap situation gives the impression that uh...
...there will be some vacancies next year, and that means no matter what, the turnover for the 2022-23 Kraken will be dramatic. What you can’t do right now is get overly attached, that will create problems for later. What you can do is make it clear who is and who isn’t going to be the first “Old Guard” of the Kraken. Does McCann for how well he played up until getting injured count? Is Gio even going to make it past the deadline? How many of those UFA players are going to stick?
It’s a tough question that Ron needs to answer. For the good of the Kraken’s future.