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Seattle Kraken Starting to Play Role in 2021 NHL Deadline Deals

Expect the Seattle Kraken to start playing a role in this year’s NHL Trade Deadline. The ask to make “deals” with GM Ron Francis his high.

As per a report by Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic, expect to start hearing the Seattle Kraken name come up a bit more frequently when it comes to this year’s NHL Trade Deadline. As teams try to make sense of who they can acquire, what to spend and how that will affect their expansion draft plans, conversations with Kraken general manager Ron Francis may become critical to a smart trade.

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What LeBrun writes is that Francis is becoming a popular man as the deadline rolls around. He notes that sources around the league say some teams “are trying to feel him out to see what his price might be to appease some protection list issues ahead of the July expansion draft.” In other words, playoff contending GMs want to know what Francis might be thinking when it comes to who he drafts or his willingness to be steered in a different direction.

Essentially, trades that are made between now and this year’s deadline could affect what a playoff team does after the season. For rentals and pending UFAs this isn’t an issue, but if a team trades for a player with term, what does that mean for their other assets? Well, someone potentially becomes available to the Kraken that wasn’t before the trade took place. As such, GMs who are about to spend big money or use multiple assets to acquire the piece they think they need for a playoff run want to make sure they aren’t opening themselves up to losing a really good player to Seattle.

LeBrun uses Mattias Ekholm as an example. He writes that the ask for Ekholm is three assets, including a first-round pick. That’s already a lot to pay. But, if a team acquires him and then feels the need to protect him at the expansion draft because they gave so much up to get him, they’ll make another player available. That means talking to Seattle about leaving that player alone.

Mattias Ekholm Predators rumors
Mattias Ekholm Predators rumors

What is Francis Asking For In Return to Look the Other Way?

GMs have reached out to Francis about this type of agreement and LeBrun notes the ask from the Kraken is a first-round pick and a prospect, maybe another piece as well. Thus, in the case of a player like Ekholm, it could potentially mean a team having to give up five or six assets to land him (three to Nashville and three to the Kraken).

This will certainly take some teams out of the running and doing deals becomes extremely expensive. Either teams will need to be ok with losing a good player or reorganizing the expansion draft plans.

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