Wennberg sitting out of Monday's game in Calgary for "trade related issues"

Seattle Kraken v Washington Capitals

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 11: Alex Wennberg #21 of the Seattle Kraken looks on against the Washington Capitals during the third period at Capital One Arena on January 11, 2024 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)Photo: Patrick Smith / Getty Images Sport / Getty Images

Seattle Kraken center Alex Wennberg will not play on Monday night’s 6:30pm PT road game against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome, scratched for what head coach Dave Hakstol termed “trade related issues.” 

What we know: 

·      Wennberg is in the final year of his three-year contract, worth $4.5 million annually. 

·      The Kraken are nine points out of the wild card spots in the Western Conference with 22 games remaining. 

·      Wennberg, 29, has not missed a game since the inaugural season for the Kraken in 2021-22, appearing in 80 games. He has nine goals and 25 points in 60 games this year. 


It’s the first game Wennberg will miss since the Kraken expansion season two years ago, and his removal from the lineup is a clear indication that a trade is imminent. Sitting for protection reasons would avoid risking injury before the Friday trade deadline at Noon PT. 

Where Wennberg heads is a question, but reports have surfaced that the Colorado Avalanche and New York Rangers have expressed interested in Wennberg, per Chris Johnston of The Athletic.  

The veteran center, creeping up on 700 career games, was originally signed by Francis during the summer prior to the team’s expansion season on a three-year deal and last season tied a career-high with 13 goals, adding seven points in all 14 playoff games. He would likely fit a contender in need of depth at the center position, with Wennberg carrying experience as an intelligent forward with valuable penalty kill experience.  

Pierre LeBrun of TSN reported that Francis and Wennberg’s camp, led by agent Pat Brisson, engaged in talks about a contract extension, but a decision was made to move Wennberg. Trading him opens the possibility of adding to a strong Kraken farm system with more prospects or draft picks, allowing the Kraken to extend the depth of their prospect pool or use the picks in a separate trade rather than lose Wennberg for nothing when the season is over and he becomes a free agent. 

The Kraken entered Monday nine points out of a playoff spot in the Western Conference with 22 games to go. 

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