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Friday, March 22, 2013

NHL Trade Deadline Preview: LA Kings

Wild on Sports
NHL Trade Deadline Preview:
LA Kings
By Wild on Sports Analyst Brian Peirce
The excitement seems to have worn off in the city of angels and once again the small amount of hockey fans in the land of setting sun seems to have turned to the Ducks. In a full season there would be no doubt in my mind that the Kings would make the playoffs, but in this short season there is a chance they miss out. They are on the inside as of right now but there is talk of them gunning it for the silver challis yet again. I feel that if the general manager did ask the owner for permission to go to the cap, then they are clearly buyers, but should they be selling?

They were sellers earlier moving Gagne, whom they never should have resigned in the first place, in a brilliant trade. I have faith in the organization to make decent trades now, although they might pay through the tooth. The Kings really shouldn’t be selling the farm, even if they do have one of the best farm classes around right now and could be one of the best teams if they do not overdo the trades. I feel like they need to concentrate more on moving away people they do not figure into their long term plans rather than bring on more short term pieces.

They should be looking to move Dustin Penner, another player who should not have gotten resigned, for whatever they can get. His rental value isn’t high, but they could get something and possibly more cap space if they want to make multiple moves. I don’t think they need the cap space this year as much as next year when they will have roughly 1.5 million per player to sign about 10 players. They could possibly try to move Willie Mitchell who is the elder statesman on the backend and also has another 3.5 million due to him next season.

Another player that needs to be dealt with is Rob Scuderi, a UFA who was a crucial part to two Stanley Cup runs in recent years and is currently 34 years old. I would imagine that the current Kings roster needs him to make a deep run, but they could lose him for nothing in a year his value might be as high as it will ever be again. They are talking to him about a contract, but if it falls apart he might be moved. I highly doubt they move any of these guys unless it is part of a deal to bring in an upgrade. Muzzin and three other solid RFA guys, including Martinez and Voynov, will make it easier to go without the two old guys. I would think Drewiske would be resigned in short order as well.

This team is really well balanced and deep, they could add anything as a luxury in my mind. Yet there are many rumors around the team, and the biggest is Iginla. What a luxury he could be as a veteran who has grit, leadership, a snipers kill shot, and wants the cup. His presence in the top six of the Kings would be scary on paper. Mind you that his best days are behind him and he is a very expensive rental with a NMC but the Kings can afford him in asking price and cap space. He is a hot player right now with 21 points in 28 games who is a proven veteran scorer. The big rumor is a trade centered on Bernier going back as the future goaltender for the Flames. That could be enough to start the ball rolling, but it would also cost likely at least two picks and another top prospect.

This would be a steep price to pay but it is in the eye of the beholder if it is worth it to get this line up.



Boston is also hot on him if you listen to rumors, and the Red Wings have been heard to be interested in him for a long time. However, I would consider every team in the league that is a buyer to be a potential stop if it wasn’t for the NMC. He will have the choice to veto any trade so I would consider Eastern teams with a strong roster as potential spots. He also has never played with an amazing set up center, so he might feel intrigued to see what he could do on a great line and Richards/Kopitar would provide him two options to succeed with.

They could go after every single other rumored name out there and it wouldn’t surprise me either. Until the biggest seller in Calgary and the biggest buyer in LA make their moves, I wouldn’t expect any major movement in the trade market. It is my opinion that the Kings should hold onto their treasure and aim for dynasty instead of just a back to back championship. If that doesn’t satisfy you, some other rumors include them going after Robyn Regehr or Lasidlav Smid. Those would make sense if they are replacing one of the older boys on the backend and giving up minimal returns. I don’t think that can be done in my mind, but the Kings would love to replace Willie with Regehr for a serious cup run.


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