Rangers target Alex Wennberg held out of Kraken lineup for ‘trade-related issues’: report

NHL: Minnesota Wild at Seattle Kraken
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

A move that could have implications for the New York Rangers ahead of the NHL trade deadline Friday is taking shape with the Seattle Kraken.

Reportedly, Alex Wennberg will not play for the Kraken on Monday against the Flames in Calgary. Seattle Times beat reporter Kate Shefte quoted Kraken coach Dave Hakstol as saying Wennberg will be out due to “trade-related issues.”

The 29-year-old center is a sought after player ahead of the deadline. The Rangers are among several teams that have expressed interest in Wennberg, but there’s nothing yet that specifically ties the Blueshirts to this latest development.

Related: Rangers weigh ‘high’ price on Frank Vatrano, check in on Alex Tuch ahead of deadline: report

Rangers among several teams interested in Alex Wennberg ahead of March 8 deadline

NHL: Seattle Kraken at Buffalo Sabres
Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Wennberg is a two-way center that plays a top-six role with the Kraken and on each of their special-teams units. He has 25 points (nine goals, 16 assists) in 60 games this season, averaging 18:49 in ice time. He’s winning just 46.7 percent of his face-offs.

He scored an NHL career-high 17 goals in 56 games with the Florida Panthers in 2020-21 and had 13 in 82 games with the Kraken last season. He’s in the final season of a contract that pays him $4.5 million annually, and can become an unrestricted free agent when this season is over.

The Rangers are in the market for a third-line center since Fili[p Chytil is out for the season with an upper-body injury believed to be a concussion. Jonny Brodzinski has filled in admirably as the 3C and has 15 points (four goals, 11 assists) in 42 games.

If the Kraken trade Wennberg, it could be a sign that they’ve given up realistic hope of making the Stanley Cup Playoffs for a second straight season. Seattle is 10 points out of third place in the Pacific Division and nine points behind the Calgary Flames and Nashville Predators for the final two wild card spots into the playoffs from the Western Conference.

Jim Cerny is Executive Editor at Forever Blueshirts and Managing Editor at Sportsnaut, with more than 30 years of... More about Jim Cerny

Mentioned in this article:

More About: