The trade deadline is over a month away but trade talk is starting to heat up. Sellers like the Carolina Hurricanes have been moving pieces already, including former King Alexei Ponikarovsky, who is now a Devil. Barring some kind of epic meltdown, the Kings will most likely be buyers come the trade deadline. Later this week I’ll take a look at the players, or type of player, the Kings might be looking at picking up. For now, let’s take a look at some of the players that are more likely to be on the trade list, UFAs.
The Kings have 5 pending UFAs on the roster. Generally teams are much more willing to give up pending UFAs so we’ll take a look at those guys.
Trent Hunter -
Real World Contract Comparison: Street vendor hot dog. Dirt cheap and salty, but it’ll do the job.
What the Kings would lose: An experienced 3rd/4th liner. A hard worker but ultimately replaceable.
Why the Kings might keep him for next season: Maybe they feel he could be a permanent fixture of their bottom 6. Okay, even I know that sounds ridiculous.
Appeal for other teams: Like I said, he’s cheap and he’s experienced.
Scott Parse -
Real World Contract Comparison: 99 Cent Store item. It’s inexpensive and seems like a good idea but it’s likely to break and sit on the shelf.
What the Kings would lose: A very talented bench warmer. Often touted as one of the Kings most talented offensive players, Parse has yet to show that with consistency come game time. There’s a chance the Kings could be looking at another Matt-Moulson-egg-on-face type situation but it’s not likely a big deterrent.
Why the Kings might keep him for next season: Unless he finds a way to insert an “I” in between the “R” and the “S” in his last name, there isn’t much here.
Appeal for other teams: Maybe Parse just needs a change of environment. He is very affordable.
Real World Contract Comparison: All-you-can-eat Pasta at The Olive Garden. It’s kind of overpriced and definitely overweight. It could be satisfying but will likely just slow you down.
What the Kings would lose: Is it in poor taste to put a weight joke here too? Honestly, not a whole lot. Even when he has good games, Penner isn’t that effective for the Kings. His numbers are a far, far cry from where there were in Edmonton.
Why the Kings might keep him for next season: Penner agrees to come back for next to nothing. Dean Lombardi has a stroke.
Appeal for other teams: Maybe someone might think they can awaken Frankenstein’s monster.
Real World Contract Comparison: 2004 Toyota Camry. It’s steady, reliable, and worth the price but it’s best days are probably behind it.
What the Kings would lose: Stoll is a heart and soul guy who brings consistent effort and leadership. While he has been knocked down the depth chart, Stoll’s grit and experience is invaluable to the Kings, especially if they’re going to succeed in the playoffs.
Why the Kings might keep him for next season: If the Kings think they can move Loktionov to the wing (they don’t), or trade Loktionov for a winger (they won’t), Stoll might be kept as a 3rd line center behind Kopitar and Richards.
Appeal for other teams: Stoll is a decent price, brings a good all around game and experience. He’s a desirable piece for any team but remember, the Kings will value those things as much as any other team.
Real World Contract Comparison: Bottled water. You might be thinking, “I’m paying for this?” but there are no surprises. Consistent, reliable, and fairly priced.
What the Kings would lose: Experience, grit, and a top pair guy. Pretty much invaluable without a similar player in return.
Why the Kings might keep him for next season: The Kings are flush with NHL level defensemen but only Mitchell, Scuderi, and Greene fill the “stay at home role” and they can’t spare any of them.
Appeal for other teams: Mitchell is a solid top 4 D-man. He can play lots of minutes, go up against top-line guys, and can even fill in on the power play.
As you can tell, just because someone is a pending UFA doesn’t mean they’re going to get traded. However, it’s always said that you have to give value to get value and these are some of the pieces available. We all know that Lombardi isn’t always a trade deadline player. Everyone was excited that he pulled the trigger last season for Dustin Penner (and we know how that turned out). The year before, it was depth guys like Jeff Halpern and Fredrik Modin. Most fans would say the Kings need scoring (despite last night’s 4-1 effort vs. Ottawa). There’s still a lot of time before the deadline and if the Kings pick up the scoring Lombardi may not feel the need to add another forward.
Next time I’ll take a look at some potential trade targets for Los Angeles.
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