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Kraken Preaching Patience as Trade Deadline Approaches

The Seattle Kraken are in a position to improve their team now, but are they ready to start making trades to ensure a playoff spot?

The Seattle Kraken are in an interesting position as the 2023 NHL Trade Deadline gets a little closer. There are still weeks to go before final decisions absolutely have to be made, but the franchise is not just in a playoff spot, they sit second in the Pacific Division with the Los Angeles Kings and Edmonton Oilers breathing down their neck. As perceived deadline buyers, one has to wonder if the NHL’s newest team — one that few expected to be winning as often as they are — will look to make a move and boost themselves up the standings again before some red-hot teams overtake them.

The Kraken are also in a position to do something if they start to falter. 7-2-1 over this recent stretch of games, Geoff Baker of The Seattle Times writes that general manager Ron Francis is loaded up with three second-round picks and he’s got some cap space he can use to improve his roster. The question is, will he use them to get better now? Or, will Francis continue to take the patience and slow approach to building his team, stockpiling picks, and being good for years to come?

Ron Francis Seattle Kraken NHL trade deadline rumors
Ron Francis Seattle Kraken NHL trade deadline rumors

From the sounds of it, Francis is not quite ready to make that decision yet.

Baker suggests the concern is on the blue line where their depth is fairly thin. When Jamie Oleksiak was sidelined, the team took a step backward. Following a seven-game road winning streak, many saw the team as ready to make a move into a contender’s slot. But, if a losing skid is poorly timed, the Kraken could just as easily fall out of the running as they did put themselves near the top of the standings when they went on a run. Could a defenseman help?

Baker wondered if Anaheim Ducks defenseman John Klingberg would be a good fit and suggests he’s been linked to the Kraken in the trade rumor mill. Klingberg has a $7 million contract that expires this season and he is a pending UFA. The blueliner is simply waiting to be traded, but also only wants to move to a contender. Should Seattle come calling, it might be best to do so when Klingberg sees them as a group that has a legitimate shot at being competitive. Klingberg is also likely a rental, so the Kraken are giving up assets for a player they might not keep.

The Ducks are trying to secure a first-round pick for Klingberg, but it’s not clear if they’ll get that much, especially considering the offensively-gifted defenseman has struggled this season.

Francis Wants to Wait a Little Longer Before Making Trades

Francis preached that there was still time to make a decision on how active the team would be. He noted:

“It’s two months, so there’s time. It’s not like this is coming today or tomorrow. There’s time to see where we are and how we’re playing, what the lineup looks like. And then all the other things at that point, and then making that decision.

And, if the Kraken are eyeing Klingberg, maybe they want to know for certain he’s the guy. Waiting a bit longer to make that determination might be the wise decision.

The Kraken have also been loosely linked to Bo Horvat, but questions about what this club will do at center with Matty Beniers and Shane Wright projected to be their top-two pivots means knowing for certain that the Kraken want to go all-in on Horvat. Should they trade for him and sign him to a long-term contract? That’s what a lot of teams are thinking as they kick tires with the Vancouver Canucks.

Next: Don’t Overlook Flames as Trade Deadline Buyers For Top Scorer

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