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Kraken keep veteran Jordan Eberle at trade deadline after agreeing to 2-year extension

SEATTLE (AP) — Veteran forward Jordan Eberle stayed put at the NHL trade deadline. He’ll be in Seattle a little longer.

Eberle and the Kraken reached agreement on a $9.5 million, two-year contract extension on Friday that will keep one of the originals for the expansion franchise in Seattle for a couple more seasons.

Eberle was slated to be an unrestricted free agent after this season and was viewed as one of the top options going into the final hours before the trade deadline. But Eberle had indicated his desire was to remain in Seattle.

“It’s a relief. I mentioned quite a bit that I wanted to be here. My family wants to be here. And more than anything, just have it over with,” Eberle said after morning skate on Friday. “Get back to what we're doing and get back to trying to win some games and put ourselves in position to get in.”

Seattle was in a challenging spot of finding balance at the trade deadline. The Kraken entered Friday night’s game against Winnipeg six points out of a playoff spot in the Western Conference behind Vegas, but with two games remaining against the Golden Knights.

Seattle traded Alex Wennberg to the New York Rangers. Wennberg was also on an expiring contract and seemed unlikely to re-sign with the Kraken.

But the 33-year-old Eberle was one of the foundational picks made by Seattle during the 2021 expansion draft ahead of the first year of the franchise. He scored 21 goals in Seattle’s disappointing inaugural season and last year had 20 goals and 43 assists playing in all 82 regular season games in helping Seattle to the playoffs.

In the postseason, Eberle added six goals and five assists — including a memorable overtime winner in Game 4 of Seattle’s first-round series against Colorado.

After a slow start to this season, Eberle has 14 goals and 23 assists in 58 games — 10 of those goals have come in the past 25 games since Jan. 1.

“I’m happy the way it got done. Excited for the last 20 games here that we have," Eberle said. "We continue to play meaningful hockey and that’s what it’s all about.”

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