Kraken Should Trade Brandon Tanev for Senators' Mathieu Joseph

Vince Carbonneau
June 21, 2024  (3:00 PM)

Mathieu Joseph in action
Photo credit: SportsNet

Senators Engaged in Trade Talks with Kraken for Brandon Tanev

The NHL's free agency season is just around the corner, but teams are already busy making deals. A notable recent swap between the Los Angeles Kings and Washington Capitals saw Pierre-Luc Dubois heading to Washington and goalie Darcy Kuemper moving to Los Angeles. Now, it has been revealed that the Ottawa Senators have engaged the Seattle Kraken in discussions about acquiring Brandon Tanev. What might such a trade entail?
Tanev's Tenure with the Kraken
Brandon Tanev has been with the Seattle Kraken since their inaugural 2021-22 season, joining the team via the expansion draft in July 2021. Although not a top-line player, he has averaged 13:46 of ice time throughout his career and played a crucial role in helping three franchises reach the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Tanev contributed to the playoff runs of the Winnipeg Jets, the Pittsburgh Penguins, and most recently, the Kraken in the 2022-23 season.
Tanev's most productive season came in 2022-23 when he played all 82 regular-season games, scoring 35 points with 16 goals and 19 assists. However, his 2023-24 season was hampered by injuries, limiting him to just 66 games.
At 32, Tanev has one year left on his $3.5 million contract before becoming an unrestricted free agent in July 2025. The Kraken face a decision: retain Tanev while integrating prospects from their AHL affiliate, the Coachella Valley Firebirds, or save cap space by trading a player who might not fit into their long-term plans.
Potential Trade Partner: Mathieu Joseph
With the NHL's financial calendar soon resetting, teams are focused on managing cap space. Tanev's $3.5 million salary for the 2024-25 season contrasts with the Kraken's projected $23.4 million in cap space (excluding pending free agents), while the Senators have just $12.4 million available. To acquire Tanev, Ottawa might need to offload a similarly costly player, such as Mathieu Joseph, who they are reportedly shopping around.
Evaluating Joseph as a Trade Target
Mathieu Joseph could be an appealing target for Kraken GM Ron Francis. Joseph, like Tanev, is a reliable lower-line player. He's younger at 27 and has shown potential with seasons of 25 and 35 points, along with several near-20-point campaigns.
Financially, Joseph's contract is attractive: he has two years remaining at $2.95 million annually, making him a less expensive option than Tanev. This move could save the Kraken $550,000 and provide a younger player with similar on-ice contributions.
However, trading for Joseph isn't a clear-cut decision. The Kraken might prefer draft picks to players, given their five picks in the first three rounds this summer and a new head coach, Dan Bylsma, known for player development.
#### Conclusion
While a Joseph-for-Tanev trade seems sensible, it's not a guarantee. Joseph offers similar performance at a lower cost and with less mileage, which might make him a valuable addition to the Kraken. Ultimately, the decision will hinge on the Kraken's broader strategy and future aspirations as they navigate the offseason.
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Kraken Should Trade Brandon Tanev for Senators' Mathieu Joseph

Should the Kraken trade Brandon Tanev for Mathieu Joseph?

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