The two names I’ve heard popping up the most recently that are linked to the Kings are Mike Fisher of the Ottawa Senators and Dustin Penner of the Edmonton Oilers. I have no idea if there is any truth behind the Kings’s alleged interest in these guys, but I can analyze the possibility of a potential trade for these guys.
First off, I have no idea what the Kings would offer up for either of these guys. I’ve heard just about every name on the roster rumored to be trade bait since the start of this season outside of Kopitar. Seriously, I’ve even heard Quick and Brown’s names bandied about. The trade deadline is likely to be the best time for the Oilers and Senators to try to move those players since their prices will be inflated.
Why would they get traded?
For the Oilers, Penner is suddenly expendable due to the influx of young talent. His numbers are down this season, but the trade deadline might get them a decent return for the winger with 1 year left on his contract.
For the Senators, the dirty “rebuild” word has been passed around recently and Fisher could be shipped off for picks and prospects. Fisher has 2 years left on his contract, but his numbers drag his value down a bit as well. However, in fairness to Fisher, nobody on the Senators is having a good season. Daniel Alfredsson leads the team with 30 points in 52 games and only 2 Sens skaters don’t have a minus rating. Defenseman David Hale has a plus-3 in 13 games and rookie center Colin Greening has a plus/minus of zero in just over 8 minutes played in one game.
For Penner, it’s obvious the Kings biggest drama has been finding a 1st line left wing. Penner would fill that role better than anyone else the Kings have gone through, although he’s not necessarily ideal. Penner leads the Oilers in points but is on pace to finish with 10 less points than his career-year of 63 from last season. Penner has received knocks on his weight and conditioning; the big man is 6’4″ and 245 lbs. However, a 28-year-old former 30 goal scorer with another year on his contract is nothing to sneeze at.
As for Fisher, he also fits one of the Kings big needs as a 2nd line center. Fisher has 4 20-goal seasons under his belt and is on track to eke out a 5th. Scoring from a 2nd line center is a must for the Kings. Outside of hockey, Fisher is married to country star Carrie Underwood who apparently has a house in L.A. That could potentially be a draw for Fisherwood.
Is it right for L.A.?
Let’s talk about all of the little factors. Is Penner a position the Kings need? Yes, left-winger. Is his contract attractive? Not really, it has another year. So if he’s a flop, the Kings are stuck. Is he a long-term solution at the position? I’m gonna vote no, which exacerbates the problem of having multiple years on his contract. Is Edmonton an ideal trading partner? Not really since they are in the Western Conference, but the Oilers aren’t direct rivals with the Kings, plus they are near the bottom of the conference, so it’s not a huge deal.
Is Fisher a position the Kings need? Yes, a center. Is his contract attractive? No, in that it has 2 years left, but yes in that he’s relatively affordable for his track record of production. Is he a long-term solution for the Kings? No, because Andrei Loktionov and Brayden Schenn are knocking really loudly on the door. Is Ottawa an ideal trading partner? Yes, they are in the Eastern Conference and they are toward the bottom of the pile.
Eric’s Mantra #1: I don’t like to make predictions. However, based on the fact that neither of these guys are rentals, nor are they long-term solutions, I doubt either of them comes to Los Angeles. Stoll is a comparable piece to hang onto in lieu of Fisher, as well as being younger and cheaper. As for Penner, I’d expect a rental if anything at the deadline over a player with years on a contract. If Lombardi is still serious about a top-flight left winger, I think he’d shoot a little higher than Penner as a long-term addition to the team.
About the Author
Written by Eric Cooney
Eric Cooney was born in Pennsylvania, grew up in North Carolina, and lives in Los Angeles, CA. He shares his thoughts on the NHL as one man who is a northerner, southerner, east coaster, and west coaster. Follow him on Twitter @EricCooney