It’s the biggest football day of the year! Super Bowl LVI will take place today at 3:30PM in Inglewood, California. But this is a Kraken blog, so why are we talking about the Super Bowl?
Well, I had an idea. One day, when watching football after a Kraken practice, I wondered to myself, what would it look like if the Kraken formed a football team? What if their skills on the ice translated seamlessly onto the football field? It was a fun thought experiment, so I decided to pursue it. Now, this does take some imagination. It’ll be a creative interpretation. Obviously none of the Kraken players play professional football but I’ll try to picture each player’s particular skills on the ice translating directly to the football field. So let’s get right to it. I present to you, the Seattle Kraken Football Team:
Quarterback – Alex Wennberg
We all know Alex Wennberg is a passer. He sometimes likes to pass too much, to many Kraken fans’ frustration. But as the QB for our Kraken football team, he can now pass to his heart’s content. His talent as a distributor will help this offense use the many weapons it has at its disposal. At 6’2 he has decent quarterback height and should have no problem seeing over his large O-line.
Running Backs – Marcus Johansson, Ryan Donato
In football, you want your running backs to be shifty, elusive, and creative. Donato and Johansson have all those qualities in spades. On the ice, Donato is aggressive in getting to the tough areas of the ice, busting through defenders to drive the net. He can use those skills to slash through the defensive line and drive forward for extra yards. Johansson will the the 3rd down back, as he has good hands and his net-front presence on the powerplay, where he has to read puck movement and adjust his body, should translate well to pass protection.
Wide Receivers – Jordan Eberle, Jared McCann, Jaden Schwartz, Joonas Donskoi, Colin Blackwell
I really like this group of receivers. In the modern pass-heavy game, you want your best playmakers slotted out wide to use their talents in space. What’s the football equivalent of a dangerous sniper in hockey like Jordan Eberle and Jared McCann? A dangerous wide receiver who can stretch the field and keep defenders on their heels. Eberle and McCann will win one-on-one matchups on the outside.
At a similar 5’10 and 190lbs, Jaden Schwartz is the Tyler Lockett of this offense. You can move him around anywhere on the field and he’ll create mismatches with his speed, intelligence, and route running.
Joonas Donskoi will play a similar role, but as a 4th receiver. Try to lose defenders with his tight turns and use his instincts to find gaps in zone coverage.
Colin Blackwell is the perfect slot receiver. 5’9, 180lbs, smart, shifty, and scrappy. Think Hunter Renfrow or Julian Edelman. Need a go-to option on 3rd and 5? He’s your guy.
Tight End – Morgan Geekie
What’s the football equivalent of a big two-way center with some offensive upside? A tight end who’s a good blocker but can be a dangerous red zone option with his size and ability to box out a safety or linebacker. Geekie checks all the boxes there and profiles as a George Kittle type. He’ll be a strong blocker and his size+speed combo will cause matchup nightmares for defenses.
Offensive Line – Adam Larsson, Carson Soucy, Alexander True, Haydn Fleury, Chris Driedger
Any good football team needs some big bodies on the O-line protecting the quarterback and thankfully we have a lot of those on the Kraken. At left tackle we have Adam Larsson, which is a natural fit. There’s no one on the Kraken better at physically engaging with an opponent and stopping him from getting somewhere. Yes, Larsson may take the occasional holding or unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for a block that goes a little too far, but nobody is going to work harder to protect his fellow Swede’s blindside
Moving on to the rest of the O-line we have Soucy, True, Haydn Fleury, and Driedger. All of those guys are at least 6’3 and would be tough guys to move out of the way. That’s especially true if Driedger keeps his goalie gear on.
Defensive Line – Calle Jarnkrok, Jamie Oleksiak, Will Borgen, Mason Appleton
Let’s start with the defensive tackles. Jamie Oleksiak will be the perfect run stuffer. I mean, he’s 6’7 and 255lbs. Good luck getting past that if you’re an opposing running back. Will Borgen will be the pass rush option up the middle. He’s big and heavy but sneaky athletic and can use his motor to get to the QB consistently. On the ends, we have Calle Jarnkrok and Mason Appleton. Jarnkrok will be a versatile pass rush option who can set the edge or even drop back and play coverage for some more exotic blitz looks. Mason Appleton is tenacious on the ice driving to the net, and he’ll be tenacious on the football filed driving to the QB.
Linebackers – Joey Daccord, Riley Sheahan, Mark Giordano
In the middle, we have the Kraken’s top purely defensive forward this year. Sheahan knows his role, which is simply: shut down the opposing offense. He’ll do that well from the middle linebacker spot, as his intelligence and defensive instincts will allow him to respond quickly to the developing play. On the outside, Mark Giordano is a fast, mobile defender on the ice and he’ll play a similar role here. Whether it’s blitzing the opposing QB or covering a tight end or slot receiver, his mobility will allow him to tackle any assignment. Joey Daccord can be a good run-stuffing linebacker, especially if he keeps the goalie pads on.
Cornerbacks – Philipp Grubauer, Yanni Gourde, Karson Kuhlman, Vince Dunn
I’m extremely confident in the Kraken’s pair of shutdown corners on the outside. Yanni Gourde was an elite shutdown center for two Stanley Cup winning teams, and he’ll translate it to shutting down star wide receivers on the football field. Who better to complement Gourde in shutting down offense than the Kraken’s starting goalie? Philipp Grubauer may want to take his pads off for this assignment, but the German Gentleman can stifle offense whether it’s on the ice or the football field. This pair could be the Kraken’s Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner.
Karson Kuhlman and Vince Dunn will serve as 3rd and 4th corners, handling slot duties with their speed and agility.
Safeties – Brandon Tanev, Jeremy Lauzon
Brandon Tanev would be the perfect ballhawk safety He’d be everywhere on the field, covering ground with his trademark energy physicality. Think a mix of Troy Polamalu, Kam Chancellor, and Jamal Adams (Jets Jamal Adams).
Jeremy Lauzon is in the same position here as he is with the Kraken. He has the potential to be a steady, hard-hitting defender but defensive lapses could prove to be his undoing. I could see him making a great hit to force a fumble one play, then getting burned for a 50-yard touchdown the next. We’ll see how this one goes.