On May 15, 2023, Mike Salk provided an update on Brock & Salk, Seattle Sports from 6-10 AM. The focus was on Seattle Kraken’s playoff performance. Salk asked the listeners about their feelings towards the team’s recent success. He wondered if they felt the excitement that comes with cheering a successful team and if the energy generated by a good hockey team permeated inside the building when the fear of overtime erupts with jubilation of a sudden death winner.
ESPN’s Greg Clarke analyzed how the Seattle Kraken has delivered excellent hockey throughout its sophomore season, achieving significant growth despite losing in the Western Conference Semifinals to the Dallas Stars. The Kraken showed resilience in their play style, often beating teams with better-known stars. Head coach Dave Huxtle’s system worked well as he trusted and developed some young players in the lineup. Matty Beniers proved to be the core element of the team, but newcomers Oliver Björkstrand, Ili Truvanen, and André Brakowski joined a veteran group that includes Jared McCann, Jordan Ebel, Yanny Gould, Adam Larsson, Jaden Schwartz, and Vince Dunn.
The Kraken achieved success without giving up future resources as they still have ten picks in the next draft and have not traded their stock of young players in development in the AHL and juniors. The team has also established its legitimacy, showing the rest of the NHL that they are a team to take seriously, not just a fad with nifty nicknames and cool gear. They beat the reigning champions, the Colorado Avalanche, in the first round, took a very strong Dallas team to seven games, and hopefully learned what it means to move up to the next level.
The Seattle Kraken is an important part of the Seattle sports world, gaining more buzz and ratings this year and doing everything right in their community by engaging children about the game. Despite the successful season, there are questions about whether they can continue to perform at this level. Some pessimists believe that they are likely to outperform their level of talent this season and that questions still remain about the net and the lack of a true scorer/power play presence that can make the unit work.
Seattle Kraken general manager Ron Francis needs to find a way to give the team a horse to go further into the playoffs. Fans are already eagerly anticipating the next season, hoping that the team will continue to achieve success and grow.