Kukla's Korner

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Time For The LA Kings To Buy

from Jim Alexander of the LA Daily News,

The Kings have been sneaking up on all of us. The rebuild is over. And now it is time for them to take the next step.

The NHL’s trade deadline is less than two weeks away, on March 21. The Kings have put themselves in an enviable position, with eight wins in their past 10 games, three of four on the last road trip, and a .692 pace since Jan. 1 that has put them in second place in the Pacific Division, seven points clear of fourth place and comfortably in playoff position at 32-19-7.

That next milestone is when General Manager Rob Blake needs to be bold, use the assets at his disposal and make a big move that not only will be a statement now but will resonate in seasons to come. (And, shall we say, one that will be appropriate for a Los Angeles team.)

The type of move, in other words, that predecessor Dean Lombardi made a decade or so ago to turn an improving team into a champion. Remember? Dustin Penner for Colten Teubert and a couple of picks. Mike Richards for Brayden Schenn and Wayne Simmonds. Jeff Carter for Jack Johnson. And, later, Martin Gaborik for Matt Frattin and a couple of picks.

Yeah, that kind of deal.

It’s out there. There are more than 300 players who could be unrestricted free agents after this season ends, and the top of that list includes such names as Evgeni Malkin, Johnny Gaudreau, Joe Pavelski … and Filip Forsberg, a 27-goal scorer already this year for Nashville and strongly rumored to be on the move if the Predators can’t sign him before the deadline.

Arizona defenseman Jakob Chychrun is likewise a strong possibility to be dealt away, and the Kings are said to be strongly interested.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

 

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