The Los Angeles Kings and general manager Rob Blake did not want to wait until the Stanley Cup was awarded to get busy with roster moves.
He knew things had to be done, and players had to be moved to create additional cap space for the upcoming season.
Blake traded goaltender Cal Petersen and defensemen Sean Walker and prospect Helge Grans in a big, surprising 3-team trade on Tuesday.
The full trade is as follows:
- The Columbus Blue Jackets acquire defenseman Ivan Provorov
- The Philadelphia Flyers get goaltender Petersen, Walker, and Grans, a 2023 1st round pick (from CBJ), a 2025 2nd round pick, and either a 2024 or 2025 2nd round pick.
- The Kings get defenseman Kevin Connauton, forward Hayden Hodgson and retain 30% of Provorov’s salary.
Connauton is a left-handed defenseman who has played in the NHL with the Dallas Stars, Arizona Coyotes, Blue Jackets, Florida Panthers, Colorado Avalanche, and Flyers. He is 6-foot-2 and 205 pounds, giving the defense a bit of size.
His NHL totals are 360 games played, with 28 goals and 52 assists for 80 points, and he is a +5. He may not make the opening night roster, as he is primarily a depth piece that is likely to start and play most of the season with AHL Ontario Reign; he is a decent pickup but nothing to write home about.
Hodgson is a 6-foot-2 and 208-pound right-winger who has been a minor league forward, spending most of his career in the AHL. He did make his NHL debut with the Flyers, accounting for one goal and two assists for three points in seven games.
He has played in the OHL with the Saginaw Spirit, Sarnia Sting, and Erie Otters. Like Connauton, He will be with the Reign most of the season, with the odd call-up likely.
This trade was necessary to allow free-agent defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov to be re-signed. The trade of Petersen and Walker opens up more cap space to fit him into the lineup for next season. As of right now, the Kings have $13.211 million in cap space for this offseason. This will be the time for Blake to re-sign some of his free agents and get them ready for training camp.
This move is hard to take because Petersen and Walker genuinely loved hockey in Los Angeles. However, Blake had no choice but to make a move due to Petersen’s contract and recent performance.