RUMORS: Kraken Linked to Patrik Laine in massive trade

Vince Carbonneau
June 21, 2024  (2:55 PM)

Patrick Laine in action
Photo credit: NBC Sports

Kraken Eyeing Patrik Laine for Scoring Boost

With Patrik Laine officially on the trade block, Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet suggests that the Seattle Kraken are a team to watch in the race for the scoring winger (audio link to «32 Thoughts»). It's unclear how much Kraken general manager Ron Francis has pursued a move, but Friedman believes there's a «real push in that organization to be more aggressive» this summer as the team enters its fourth season.
Few expected scoring to be a major issue for the Kraken this season after their potent offense tallied 289 goals last year. However, their shooting percentage plummeted, resulting in a 29th-place finish in goals. A major setback has been the health of top-six winger André Burakovsky, who has missed nearly half the season with injuries for two consecutive years. While effective when healthy last season, Burakovsky struggled in 2023-24, recording just 16 points in 49 games, the lowest points per game of his 10-year NHL career.
Acquiring Laine, despite his recent health issues, would bring a high-ceiling scoring option to the roster. The Kraken have relied on Jared McCann as their top sniper, averaging 32 goals per season, but Laine's impressive career 14.7 shooting percentage is hard to overlook.
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Laine's availability has been a concern, missing 47.6% of regular-season games over the past three seasons. This season, he played only 18 games, spending much of the year in the NHL/NHLPA Player Assistance Program after an early upper-body injury.
Despite these issues, Laine was worth his $8.7MM cap hit during his two seasons with over 50 games in Columbus, where he projected for 38 goals and 82 points in 2021-22 and 33 goals and 78 points in 2022-23. These would have been career-best point totals, though not surpassing his 44 goals with the Jets in 2017-18.
If Laine can stay healthy, he has breakout potential in the Kraken's puck-possession system. Under head coach Dan Bylsma, Seattle is expected to maintain strong even-strength puck possession, providing Laine with more shooting opportunities and a chance to reach the 40-goal mark, especially if paired with a playmaker like former teammate Oliver Bjorkstrand.
Laine's power-play prowess would also boost the Kraken. He led the league with 20 power-play goals during his sophomore season, and his presence could energize a Kraken power-play unit that has struggled at 18.4% over the past three seasons, ranking 28th in the league.
The Kraken are cautious with big cap hits, with defenseman Vince Dunn as their highest-paid player at $7.35MM annually. Laine's $8.7MM cap hit is justified by his scoring ability, but his recent injury history makes it a tough call for many teams.
However, the Kraken need scoring, and with a coaching change signaling a clear intent to return to the playoffs in 2025, they have the financial flexibility to make a move. With $23.424MM in projected cap space, they can accommodate Laine, though they still need to secure new deals for notable RFA forwards Matthew Beniers and Eeli Tolvanen.
21 JUIN   |   24 ANSWERS
RUMORS: Kraken Linked to Patrik Laine in massive trade

Should the Seattle Kraken trade for Patrik Laine despite his recent injury history?

Yes833.3 %
No1666.7 %
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