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What is the Kings Strategy at the Trade Deadline?

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The Los Angeles Kings are three days away from the 2024 NHL Trade Deadline and there are a number of possibilities for them to become buyers and sellers. Will they be buyers? Will they be sellers? We will now shortly.

Kings face important trade deadline

Los Angeles comes into this weekend facing a number of questions surrounding the roster as it stands. Coming into this season, the  two biggest needs were  goaltending and a left-handed defenseman. While they signed goaltender Cam Talbot, who became an all-star this season, to address the situation in net, the move did not necessarily work out as planned. As for the defensive position, they are loaded with right-handed defensemen who could be moved this week as part of a big package to acquire either a goaltender or a left-handed defenseman.

The Kings have a surplus of free agents this off-season who could also be moved this week. Unrestricted free agents (UFA) include forward Trevor Lewis, dwefenseman Matt Roy, and goaltenders Talbot and David Rittich. Restricted free agents (RFA) include forwards Blake Lizotte, Quinton Byfield, Arthur Kaliyev, Alex Turcotte, and JAret Anderson-Dolan. Defensemen Jordan Spence and Jacob Moverare are also RFA’s.

With only $1,941 of projected cap space, this roster could look dramatically different, either this week of this off-season, as General Manager Rob Blake looks to get creative to make a deal. Changes have to be made, not only to make this team better, but to retrieve some cap space.  With goaltending and left-handed defensemen needed, it may be a struggle to acquire those positions as they are two positions that teams do not let go cheap.

 

One player who could be attractive to Los Angeles and Blake is Philadelphia Flyers defensemen Nick Seeler. He will be a UFA after this season but his last contract had an average annual value (AAV) of $775,000 and quite affordable. He is exactly what the Kings need on the back end as he is physical, defense-first, left-handed, and brings size at 6-foot-2 and 205 pounds. While he is already 30 years old, he checks all of the boxes for the Kings and immediately fills a big void on the team.

While Montreal Canadians goaltender Jake Allen has been rumored to Los Angeles, Minnesota Wild goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, Calgary Flames goaltender Jacob Markstrom, and Boston Bruins goaletnder Linus Ullmark could also be a fit between the Los Angeles pipes. Latest reports say that Fleury is no longer available but that could change by Friday, If Markstrom is indeed moved, it may not be to the Kings, as they are in the same division. Although the Flames could be attracted to some of the young talent in the Kings system to retool their own prospect pipeline.

Friday, March 8th is trade deadline day and should be interesting as many teams will be looking for that missing piece and the Kings are no different. Not many changes to the forward group  are needed but the goaltending and defense need some tweaking. Will Blake make more than one deal? Or will he stay put with the roster he has and hope for the best?


(photo: latimes.com; Jack Harris)

(photo broadstreethockey.com; Thomas Williams)
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