Deadline Moves Show Kraken's Intent On Building For The Future
WITH the Trade Deadline now passed it's time to look back at the work of Ron Francis and the Kraken management.
Lets get this out of the way early, I don't think I'm surprising many people when I say this season hasn't exactly gone to plan. Whilst most Kraken fans (and I'm sure the management too) were not expecting to be world beaters they certainly didn't expect to be quite where we are.
This however is where we are, and it was something that Ron Francis did not shy away from talking about in the lead up to the deadline.
"Its' obvious the way the season has gone, we're not going to make the playoffs, I think at this point, you look at the team and which pieces you want to keep and believe are core pieces" Ron Francis - Interview with the Athletic
So with all that in mind, lets run through the trades that Seattle made, giving our grades and thoughts
TRADE 1: Calle Jarnkrok moves to Calgary
The first move of the window saw forward Calle Jarnkrok move to the Calgary Flames for a pretty sizeable return.
SEA Sent: Calle Jarnkrok (retaining 50% $1m)
SEA Received: 2022 2nd (FLA), 2023 3rd (CGY), 2024 7th (CGY)
At the time of the trade Jarnkrok had 26 points in 49 games and had been a reasonable producer for the Kraken. Calgary are having a good year this year and his ability to be a scoring third liner, possibly fourth line is what made them want to make the move. Weirdly it also sees him line up with family and fellow countrymen in Markstrom and Lindholm.
In terms of the return for Seattle I thought that it represented a fair market price. He's not a point per game player, neither is he a goal machine and for that reason I felt a 2nd and a 3rd were fair.
TRADE GRADE: B+ (Good Solid Trade)
TRADE 2: Gio & Blackwell leave for Toronto
Mark Giordano's departure has been coming, and neither him, nor the franchise has tried to hide that fact. What wasn't known though was his destination.
After much speculation and plenty of rumours it was announced that Mark Giordano and Colin Blackwell would be traded to Toronto.
SEA Sent: Mark Giordano (retaining 50% $3.375m) & Colin Blackwell
SEA Received: 2022 2nd (TOR), 2023 2nd (TOR), 2024 3rd (TOR)
This trade unlike the one previous cuts the room in half.
A lot of people had seen the trades earlier in the week for Ben Chariot etc. and felt that Giordano was worth more than two second round picks. There are a lot of people, I know I've seen the messages, who feel like Toronto won this trade easily by not having to give up their first round pick this year.
Personally, I feel that the trade represents a few factors.
One, GM's are valuing 1st round picks highly at the moment. Whether that's because of the sheer quality due to come through in the next few years I can't be sure, but what I can be sure of is we saw a lot less 1st round picks being traded in general, and those that were traded all had lottery protection.
Two, Mark's numbers and general performance. The hardcore fans among us might hate me saying this but Gio's numbers tell the story of a poor season, his on ice play whilst not awful hasn't been anywhere near his best. You can blame lots of things for this, whether that's poor goal tending, awful line mates etc. but the reality is he's having a rough year and for that reason his value would be less.
The example I always like to use when discussing the trade market is it's comparison to the housing market. With the housing market whether you *think* you're house is worth X or Y it doesn't really matter. What matters is what people are willing to pay for it, and that's the same in the world of trades.
So whilst I can completely understand why some fans will think we didn't get enough of a return here, I think that we got the best deal in the market that was available to us, and that's all a GM can ever do.
TRADE GRADE: B+ (Good Solid Trade)
Trade 3: Jeremy Lauzon moves to Smashville
Now if people thought we got to little for Gio and Blackwell, they were pleasantly surprised when this trade was announced.
I've made no secret on the podcast (and check it out by the way) that Lauzon's performances this year have been nothing short of terrible. In all honesty I don't know the times I've seen the Kraken let in a goal and then I've noticed 55 is on the ice.
So trading him for me was a must, and in terms of return if you'd of asked me pre-moves I'd of estimated we'd get a 5th, maybe a 4th for him if we're lucky.
Ron did quite a bit better than expected...
SEA Sent: Jeremy Lauzon
SEA Received: 2022 2nd (NSH)
Getting a 2nd round pick here is absolutely huge, and shows that Nashville must be all in this year. Whether or not that sacrifice from their side proves to be worth it, time will tell but for the Kraken this was a great trade.
TRADE GRADE: A+ (Fantastic Trade)
Trade 4: Mason Appleton moves back to Winnipeg
If Lauzon's trade was the best of the night, this move was probably the worst. Mason Appleton was one of the more exciting youngsters chosen in the expansion draft. He'd had a good solid season the year before and people around the NHL were expecting good things from the young forward.
SEA Sent: Mason Appleton
SEA Received: 2023 4th (WPG)
His performances though didn't transfer over to the Kraken and whilst a fan favourite he didn't set the world alite in either numbers or performances. Scoring 17 points in 49 games.
That being said this trade for me felt weak.
A 4th round pick for a guy who still has potential and is importantly an RFA not UFA at the end of the season seemed undervalued. Maybe it wasn't, maybe this was the best that Ron could get, but for me as an outsider looking in I felt this was the one trade whereby the Kraken lost out
TRADE GRADE: C- (Below Value Trade)
Trade 5: Marcus Johansson heads out to the Capital
Another fan favourite in Marcus Johansson is our next trade for the Kraken. Johansson has proved a worthy player for the Kraken this season, moving up and down the line up where needed and on every line he played he's always been noticeable.
Whilst not setting the world on fire with his numbers (23 points in 51 games) he's a guy fans love. He gives 110%, he's always giving his best and he'll do whatever is asked of him. I'm sure the coaches love this guy as much as the fans, and I know personally I was sad to see him go.
SEA Sent: Marcus Johansson
WSH Sent: Daniel Sprong, 2022 4th, 2023 6th
Return wise this feels okay and to be honest Daniel Sprong has looked solid since joining the Kraken. When Sprong was drafted the thought was he'd become a solid top 6 forward, in reality though that hasn't happened and whilst Seattle maybe the place Daniel finally finds his mojo, stats would say that's highly unlikely.
For that reason I felt that this trade was slightly below my expectation.
TRADE GRADE: C- (Below Value Trade)
In summary, this was a trade deadline which saw the Kraken take a turn on their route to a Stanley Cup. Realising that this wasn't the team to do it we saw a lot of trades, which included a lot of picks coming back.
We've talked on the podcast about the lack of depth in the organisation, due to it being an expansion team, and this does begin to help correct that.
Whether this was a successful deadline day or not though depends on the scouting team now. Utilisation of those acquired picks just became Ron Francis' main objective!