Injuries happen to teams in all sports and happens to all players, regardless of stature. What happens when your team is faced with adversity due to half of their defense being injured? At first, the situation was solved by AHL Ontario Reign call-ups. The youngsters provided stability and played well, all things considered. Some made a name for themselves while others went above and beyond with their play.
With the trade deadline passed the Los Angeles Kings used some assets to bolster their blueline with a defenseman that has NHL experience. Welcome to Los Angeles Troy Stecher.
The price for most defensemen was an arm and a leg but the Kings got Stecher pretty cheap in the cost of a 2022 seventh-round draft pick. Stecher is not going to win a Norris Trophy but he is dependable, offensively capable, and does add some grit from the back end.
Although his size, 5-foot-10 and 185-pounds, does not scare the opposition maybe his play will. Stecher is not afraid of anyone wearing the opposite jersey. giving up height and weight he will still get in the face of opposing forwards and takes the body when need be.
A solid two-way defenseman Stecher can play on any defensive pairing and even play penalty kill and power play. His offense comes from his passing ability but he also has a hard, accurate shot as well.
Stecher is a defense-first defenseman but he will join the rush as he chooses to. He will not supply a lot of offense but he will get creative in the offensive zone. His speed allows him to both join the rush and get back on defense in the blink of an eye.
With teammates Drew Doughty and Mikey Anderson out longer than expected Stecher could play a big role in the success of the Kings from here on out. General manager Rob Blake needed to make a move for an experienced defenseman and he got one in Stecher. He will be a solid addition to a defensive core that is hurting right now.
The Kings also made trades to add depth to the organization, mostly for Ontario. The Kings acquired Frederic Allard from the Nashville Predators for Brayden Burke. They also acquired defenseman Nelson Nogier from the Winnipeg Jets for defenseman Markus Phillips.
(photo:nhl.com; Jack Jablonski) (photo: nhl.com; Brett McWethy)