Kraken Trade Options, Rangers’ Shesterkin & More

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In this edition of NHL Talk, the Seattle Kraken could move a big name at this year’s trade deadline, New York Rangers’ goaltender Igor Shesterkin picks up where he left off after returning from COVID-19 protocols, and the Vancouver Canucks make a push for the playoffs under new head coach Bruce Boudreau.

Kraken Might Consider Trading Captain Giordano at Trade Deadline

Mark Giordano, Kraken captain, is having a strong season with 11 points (4 goals, 7 assists) in just 30 games. Seattle currently sits 29th overall in the NHL, and is in last place in Pacific Division. This suggests that it will be a buyer at the upcoming trade deadline. With Giordano’s contract expiring at the end of the season, making him an unrestricted free agent, it is possible the Kraken could look into moving its first captain in franchise history.

Mark Giordano, Seattle Kraken (Amy Irvin/ The Hockey Writers

“I think that Mark Giordano could be going back to Calgary,” says THW’s Sean Raggio. “On Nov. 17, The Hockey Writers’ Rob Couch wrote an article saying that Calgary should bring him back. He’s [an unrestricted free agent]. He’s getting up there in age, so he might have one or two kicks at the can left. And if that’s the case, I definitely think he should exercise his right, his ability to be moved.”

Giordano was a former Flames player for 14 full seasons. He served as team captain for 8 years before being fired. Selected by the KrakenAt the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft.

“[The Kraken] need to be bringing back draft picks or, if it’s going to be a prospect, it has to be a very enticing prospect right now,” says Raggio. “They should be bringing in draft capital and this prospect has to knock your socks off, to be completely honest with you.”

The Kraken have a disappointing record of 10-22-4 this season. It seems that many players, including captain Giordano could be available for trade. The team will try to get big in free agency this offseason and will be looking at the 2022 NHL Entry Draft as a way to build its future.

Rangers’ Shesterkin Returns From COVID-19 Protocols, Posts Shutout

Shesterkin, Rangers goaltender, has been nothing but stellar this season. With a .939 save percentage (SV%) and 1.99 goals-against average (GAA) across 22 games and 21 starts, the 26-year-old is claiming the Rangers’ crease as his own. On Jan. 2, he recorded a 38-save shutout versus the Tampa Bay Lightning. He returned to the team on Thursday and immediately got back to work. He was ready for a 37-save shutout versus the San Jose Sharks.

Igor Shesterkin New York Rangers
Igor Shesterkin, New York Rangers (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers

“Henrik [Lundqvist] was the king, and Igor is the prince,” says Raggio.

Prior to Thursday’s shutout performance by Shesterkin, Raggio said, “[Shesterkin’s return] is going to give them a jolt and they could come out flying tonight.”

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Raggio was correct in his prediction as the Rangers defeated the Sharks 3-0 on the road. With Shesterkin back in the Rangers’ crease, the optimism surrounding the organization continues to grow. Rangers are currently third in the NHL, first in the Metropolitan Division and appear to be on track for the postseason.

Canucks are aiming for a playoff spot under new head coach Boudreau

Since the Canucks Bruce Boudreau has been hiredAs its new head coach, the team has an impressive record of 9-2-1, with only one loss to the Florida Panthers. Vancouver is now focused on the playoffs after a difficult start. The Canucks are just six points away from a wild card spot for the Pacific Division.

Bruce Boudreau Vancouver Canucks head coach
Bruce Boudreau, Vancouver Canucks Head Coach (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images).

“I love Boudreau’s style of hockey, and even in that Panthers game (a 5-2 Canucks loss on Tuesday), they looked really good even at times when the score didn’t say they did,” says THW’s Matthew Zator. “But, they still looked like they were fighting. They still look like a team.”

On Friday, the Canucks lost a second consecutive game to the Lighting. However, they are on one of their most difficult road trips this season.

“I looked at the record of all the teams that are playing up on this road trip,” says Zator. “It’s insane what these teams are. They have a combined record of almost 100 wins. It’s going to be a tough road to the playoffs and this road trip is going to really test their mettle.”

Vancouver will travel to the Washington Capitals, Carolina Hurricanes, and Nashville Predators before returning home to face off against the Panthers on Jan. 21.

“They still need some stuff to go right for them to to make the playoffs, but they’re definitely back in it.”

We are grateful that you enjoyed this edition of NHL Talk. You can also listen to the THW Podcast and hear all the latest topics from the league by your favorite hockey writers.

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