Let’s be honest, as Kings fans we all want to be buyers at the deadline, and not Fredrik Modin/Jeff Halpern buyers. We want to be big time buyers. Like, what-we-all-expected-Dustin-Penner-to-be buyers. We all know the Kings could use some offense, yet it’s not always so easy to tell what Lombardi is going to do when it comes to acquiring players. However, if you twisted my arm I’d wager the Kings will be in the market for a goal scoring forward.
Let’s not waste any more time. Here are some of the players who might be on the market:
Why he might be available: His contract is up at the end of the season and with the Devils money situation and the fact that they have approximately 900 players to sign this summer, Parise might be out of their budget.
Why he might not: Well, apparently the Devils aren’t going to part with him at the deadline. At least that’s what they said, however I feel like this might be a ploy to raise his value.
How awesome it would be to trade for him: Parise is the Prize Chicken this year. He’s a former 90+ point guy and will make bank this summer.
How much the King will have to give up: A lot. We’re talking 3 Ps (Player, Prospects, Picks).
Why he might be available: He’s a pending UFA and the Caps aren’t too pleased with Semin’s hot and cold streaks. Or his playoff disappearances.
Why he might not: On a team without Ovechkin, he’s the best Alexander. He’s a point per game talent. Plus the Caps will be in the thick of the playoff race and will likely need him.
How awesome it would be to trade for him: Semi-awesome. Semin is like a trailer for a movie that really excites you. It could be an amazing movie, or it could end up sucking. It’s hard to tell with Semin. I shudder at the thought of another Penner on this team.
How much the King will have to give up: A decent bit. Probably 2 Ps.
Ha! Kidding. Next!
Why he might be available: With the glut of young talent in Edmonton, Hemsky has seen his importance drop markedly. He’s a UFA option for the Oil that they can replace much cheaper with a prospect.
Why he might not: Sentimentalism? Lunacy?
How awesome it would be to trade for him: Pretty cool. Hemsky is a very talented player and can add offense. However, he’s more of a right wing (the Kings need left wings) and he hasn’t been playing so hot recently.
How much the King will have to give up: Not a ton, but possibly 2 Ps. I don’t think the Oilers want to give him up for nothing this summer, nor will they keep him. So, the price will likely be fair.
Why he might be available: He’s had a rough go of it in Buffalo and it’s doubtful they’ll want him back when Pegula can waste money on another Ville Leino.
Why he might not: Pegula may want to waste more money on him.
How awesome it would be to trade for him: Meh. He hasn’t been setting the world on fire the past few years. Another right wing.
How much the King will have to give up: I don’t think a ton. Maybe even just 1 P. You pay for what you get.
Why he might be available: He’s a pending UFA and Carolina is no doubt a seller. Lots of youth in Carolina looking for roster spots.
Why he might not: He’s a fan favorite in Carolina and the organization likes him too.
How awesome it would be to trade for him: Pretty cool. Ruutu is a power forward with some scoring ability. He loves to hit. He’s sort of in the Dustin Brown ilk, but thankfully a left wing. He is a tad injury prone though and they already have Gagne for that.
How much the King will have to give up: Decent bit. 2 Ps. Carolina is looking to rebuild (or something close to it), so they’ll want pieces for their puzzle.
These are just a few of the options off the pending UFA list. It’s always possible the Kings could go after a player under contract, but those are harder to predict. There aren’t a lot of top-flight options this year for the Kings, especially with the lack of left wings available.
Who knows. I was one of the people who said Lombardi wouldn’t sign Penner because he’s too slow. I was wrong on one of those points.
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