Seattle Eyeing Ducks Defenseman As Trade Deadline Looming

The Seattle Kraken has been quiet as the rest of the NHL has been making noise. There has been trade after trade as big names have swapped teams. It has indeed been one of the craziest trade deadlines in recent memory. Now with the 2023 NHL Trade Deadline less than 48 hours away, it seems general manager Ron Francis may make a trade after all. He has stood pat through it all as he lets the market settle to ensure the Kraken do not overpay for a player they do not need. This has been a smart approach; even with their success this season, he realizes this is still just their second season as a franchise, and the future is bright. There is no need for the Kraken to mortgage the future when they are just getting started.

While the Kraken have chosen to stay quiet, it seems they could be making some noise very soon as they have been linked to one of the remaining veteran defensemen on the market. Now that the Hurricanes have made their move by acquiring defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere, the Kraken are left as the top team interested in Anaheim Ducks defenseman John Klingberg.

While Klingberg has had a down year in Anaheim, he is also not playing with a great team. He is still a solid veteran capable of playmaking and producing offense from the blue line while using his big body to block shots. Even at 30 years old, he can still log top-four minutes as he has done for the Ducks all season long. He has recorded eight goals, 16 assists, and 24 points in the 50 games while having a minus-28 rating.

What makes acquiring Klingberg an ideal trade target is that he’s on an expiring contract, so Seattle will not have to commit past this season if they do not like the fit. When it comes to acquiring the right-shot defenseman, the price should be a pick and a prospect, but with the deadline so close and the prices other teams have been getting for their top defensemen who are better than Klingberg, it should not cost the Kraken too much.

Acquiring Klingberg would address one of the Kraken’s biggest needs, as their defense has been a problem this season. Klingberg also has playoff experience, as he’s skated in 59 playoff games, recording seven goals, 28 assists, and 35 points. His experience in the playoffs alone would be helpful to this season as the Kraken look to hold onto a Wild Card spot and make their first playoff berth.

If Ron Francis decides to pull the trigger on a Klingberg trade, he would join a defensive group that consists of Vince Dunn, Adam Larsson, Jamie Oleksiak, William Borgen, Carson Soucy, and Justin Schultz. Klingberg and Oleksiak did play together during their time in Dallas, and reuniting the pair could pay off for Seattle.

It has been a crazy deadline and will only worsen as the big names have been moved, and the market is wide open. If the Kraken wish to make a move, these next 24 hours will be the time to do it as teams work around the clock to iron out deals to help with their playoff push.

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Kevin Santangelo

Co Host of Cue' the Duck Boats Podcast Writer for Inside the Rink

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