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Kings, Blake Rejected Trade Leaves Questions About Offseason

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A proposed big trade between the Los Angeles Kings and Boston Bruins was rejected by one player involved, and the trade itself raised a few eyebrows.

The move would have fixed some of Los Angeles’s issues and given some promise that it would head into the off-season. The trade would have been the Kings sending center Pierre-Luc Dubois to the Bruins for goaltender Linus Ullmark. There is no word on whether any picks, prospects, or salary retained would have been part of the deal. The deal was rejected by Ullmark, who used his no-trade clause.

Does Nixed Kings Trade Give the League a Heads-Up?

Ullmark rejected the trade due to his not wanting to move to the West Coast. One cannot blame him for using that clause in his contract, but it does leave questions on the Los Angeles side. The Bruins could have used a player like Dubois after Patrice Bergeron and David Krecji, both centers, decided to end their careers after last season. Dubois is a big body who could fill in as the first or second-line center and can produce offense.

General Manager Rob Blake was trying to get out of the Dubois contract as he has not lived up to his massive 8-year/$68 million contract. His offense is not there this year; he has struggled mightily and was not worth the price the Kings gave up for him, so a change of scenery may have done him some good. Dubois has a cap hit of $8.5  million and could have landed in Boston for Ullmark, whose cap hit is $5 million. The Bruins have a projected cap space of $61 558.

EL SEGUNDO, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 06: General manager Rob Blake of the Los Angeles Kings attends the first round of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft at the Toyota Sports Performance Center on October 06, 2020 in El Segundo, California. The 2020 NHL Draft was held virtually due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Rob Koch/NHLI via Getty Images)

Blake and the Kings have stated that Dubois is available at the right price. They also let it be known they are looking for an all-star caliber goaltender and are willing to part with a big name. The current goaltending duo of Cam Talbot and David Rittich has been good but not great this season, not at the level the Kings need them to be for a playoff push in the Pacific Division.

Of course, this could set up a massive trade in the off-season. If the Kings are willing to trade Dubois and possibly eat some of that salary, there will be teams interested in his services. Ullmark would have given the Kings an elite goaltender between the pipes and solidified that position for a deep playoff run. For now, we wait to see what happens before next season.

(photo: lakingsinsider.com; Zach Dooley)
(photo: lakingsinsider.com; Zach Dooley)
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