The Seattle Kraken must raise some draft capital to expand their prospect pool. Although some of the pending free agents will be moved, Chris Driedger could be a good choice to move to a team that is desperate for a goaltender. Although he does not have a ten team no-trade list at this time, the chance to play in the playoffs and be a goalie might make it tempting enough to accept a trade.
The Kraken have already locked up starter Philipp Grubauer long-term, so it doesn’t make sense to have a second goalie making $3.5 million per season for the next two seasons. Management must turn a strength into assets in the future. If he is available, here are three potential teams interested in the ex-Florida Panthers goaltender.
Edmonton Oilers We urgently need a goaltender. Mikko Kolkinen is having an awful season, which has cost him wins. Mike Smith has been hurt the majority of the campaign. He will be 40 in March. Driedger could be a solid addition to the Oilers’ crease over the next few seasons, while Stuart Skinner develops into a full-time NHL player.
For this deal to work, the Kraken would likely have to take on Koskinen’s or Smith’s salary, which shouldn’t be a problem since they are flush with cap space. However, the Oilers would have to throw in a prospect like 2018 sixth-round pick Michael Kesselring or 2019 second-round pick Raphaël Lavoie in return. The Oilers might find it worthwhile, considering Driedger was acquired. Solidifying the goaltending role The next three seasons could be the one they need to move past the first round in the playoffs.
Although the Colorado Avalanche are expected for a long playoff run but their goaltending has been a problem. Pavel Francouz, Darcy Kuemper, and Pavel Francouz are doing well but not at a level that the Avalanche require to win the Stanley Cup. Both goalies are available as free agents in this offseason, with very few NHL-ready goalies. Driedger could be a competitive addition to the team and provide a solid starter for the two following seasons.
The irony here is that if Grubauer hadn’t left the Avs for the Kraken in the offseason, Colorado wouldn’t be in this mess. As long as Colorado is able to find a way for the move to clear some cap space, a deal between these two teams would make sense. One way the Kraken could do this is by taking on Kuemper or Francouz’s salary, as neither has a no-trade clause. The Kraken could request a return in exchange. prospect like Jean-Luc FoudySampo Ranta, a 2018 third-rounder, was either drafted in the third round of 2020. Justin Barron, the Avs’ 2020 first-round pick, would be a nice addition, but the odds Colorado would give him up are very slim.
The Minnesota Wild are one of the most difficult NHL teams to face. They boast one the best defense units in the league with stars Krill Kaprizov (Kevin Fiala) and Mats Zuccarello (Mats Zuccarello). This season, they have gone with the goaltending duo of Cam Talbot and Kaapo Kähkönen. Both goaltenders are solid, but they haven’t lived up to their expectations. This could be a problem in the playoffs.
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Talbot is the main concern. He would need to be part of the deal in order to ensure that the Wild remain cap-compliant. His 3.00 goals-against is the lowest among all starting goalies. This is a serious concern. Kähkönen, on the other hand, does not seem ready to take over the starting job and has only started seven games this season. The Wild Jesper WallstedtHe is currently in their system but could still be three to four more years away from the NHL.
Driedger may be just the player to help backstop the team to a playoff spot and further, and prospects like 2020 fifth-round pick Pavel Novák or 2018 third-round pick Jack McBain would likely be whom the Kraken would seek in return. The Wild can’t squander their chance, and a change in goal may be exactly what they need.
Kraken Should Take Advantage of This Chance
The Kraken are currently inactive. two starting goaltendersThey need to make one of them a future asset. Moving Grubauer will be difficult due to his contract, but Driedger’s contract is perfect for a contending team that is close to the cap. They should trade Grubauer to a team that is interested if the Kraken are able to do so.