Seattle Kraken Trade Candidates If Struggles Continue

The Seattle Kraken have gotten out to a bit of a tough start and it's only supporting the narrative that they will miss the playoffs this season. While it wasn't luck that got them to the postseason and on to the second round in 2022-23, it is very tough to replicate the depth scoring they had with new bodies in the lineup and to dominate without star players. The closest thing they have at the moment is second year Matty Beniers, Jared McCann, and Vince Dunn. I for one don't think it's their year to get back to the playoffs with teams like the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames having their sights set there too.

The Kraken have started 0-2-0 and although it could be seen as somewhat of an overreaction to just losing two games, for fringe playoff teams to begin with two losses means a fair bit, even at the start of the season. They have scored one goal and both losses came against Western Conference teams that may directly impact their playoff chances. If the team continues to struggle and isn't in the playoff picture by the trade deadline, I believe they will make some changes. Not to impact the long-term future, but to clear out some aging players.

The Kraken have six forwards making at least $5 million AAV. While they aren't paying anyone crazy money yet, they are able to spread the wealth around a bit. But if the players getting third line minutes and getting paid over $5 million AAV aren't contributing like they're supposed to, there will have to be a change. The players that stand out to me for the Kraken to move are Alex Wennberg and defenseman Justin Schultz. Both are on expiring contracts, so that makes a lot of sense if they might just leave in free agency anyways. The Kraken have good center depth and removing Wennberg from the future plans would allow for Shane Wright to earn a spot later this season on the team, and definitely next season.

While the defense of the Kraken doesn't produce a ton of offense, Schultz is in a third pairing role and making $3 million AAV. He isn't the go-to man on the power play with Dunn in town, so he's a second option. He's best when put in a better situation. He is also replaceable in the coming years for the Kraken. I expect the team to start winning, but not enough to pull themselves into the playoffs. Watch for these two players to be moved this season.

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