A different look to the lineup came from the winds of change.
On Wednesday evening, those trade winds began to blow.
With Calle Jarnkrok removed from the lineup due to a trade 90 minutes before puck drop with the Calgary Flames, and captain Mark Giordano scratched for the first time since December, the Seattle Kraken dropped a 4-1 defeat to the Tampa Bay Lightning before a sellout crowd at Climate Pledge Arena.
Jarnkrok was dealt to the Flames on early Wednesday evening in exchange for a substantial haul: three draft picks, including a second rounder this year and a third rounder next year. The Kraken, who also reportedly retained half of Jarnkrok's salary (which will come off their books at the end of this season), now have nine draft picks covering the first two rounds over the next three years, and also received a seventh rounder in 2024.
“He’s an outstanding two-way player and well respected player in the dressing room,” said Kraken head coach Dave Hakstol. “Absolutely no maintenance as a player.”
“He’s going to get a good opportunity and I’ll believe have a good chance to play a role on a good team.”
With the Kraken out of the playoff picture and eighth in the Pacific Division, Jarnkrok reportedly commanded competition for a trade destination spot, providing the first place Flames with a versatile two-way game, four goals off his career high of 16. Spelling a forward group that includes Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk, he will be reunited with cousin Elias Lindholm, tied for the Flames lead with 30 goals, along with Andrew Mangianpane.
It also signaled the first move of a transition phase for the Kraken.
“It’s part of the business,” said forward Jordan Eberle. “We understand the situation we’re in. Guys are going to get traded so it should be no surprise.”
Giordano, saluted with a ten minute ceremony before puck drop with video tributes across the NHL including Hall of Famer Nicklas Lidstrom, was accompanied by his parents and enjoyed the ceremony suited up in full gear, previously taking warmups but not playing in the game.
With a trade deadline conversation involving general manager Ron Francis 16 days in the past, Giordano exited the ice surface to a line of fist bumps from his teammates on the bench.
Tampa Bay swept the season series after rallying down 1-0 with four unanswered goals and a three-assist night from Steven Stamkos, playing in the 900th game of his NHL career. Matters started out on an upbeat note for the Kraken, assuming a 1-0 lead just 2:38 into the game on Yanni Gourde’s one-timer from the right circle past Andrei Vasilevskiy, shocking the Lightning who took a pair of penalties in the first 2:26 of the game.
But the Lightning were sparked after Nikita Kucherov finished a two-on-one with Stamkos at 6:26 and went 2-of-6 on the power play.
“You give them that many opportunities on the power play, they’re going to get a couple,” said Eberle. “It’s that simple, they’re lethal.”
“We were in that game the whole time until the start of the third.”
Defenseman Victor Hedman, who scored twice, teed up a 94-mile per hour one-timer at 8:48 of the second period and Anthony Cirelli cleaned up a loose puck at the crease just 23 seconds into the third period for a 3-1 lead.
Hedman then hammered his second goal with 5:34 left in regulation for the 4-1 cushion.
Eberle earned an assist on Gourde’s goal, now with points in three of four games. But after the game, the alternate captain’s mind was on a bigger picture of growth.
“At the end of the day, we’re still trying to build here; we got 20 games to see who wants to be here,” said Eberle.
Philipp Grubauer made 35 saves for the Kraken, who return to play on Saturday to host the Detroit Red Wings at 7pm PT (KJR / Kraken Audio Network).