Saturday, February 9, 2013
Update: Kings moves
By Victoria Matiash
UPDATE: As anticipated, the Los Angeles Kings have added to their defensive ranks. In exchange for the fifth-round draft pick acquired for Andrei Loktionov (New Jersey Devils), the Kings snagged 6-foot-5 Keaton Ellerby from the Florida Panthers.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the Kings are shelving any hope of having Willie Mitchell back in the lineup soon.
"Right now, we have to operate on the premise that Willie and Greener (Matt Greene) are done for the year," Kings General Manager Dean Lombardi said Friday morning. "And we have to deal with it. Nothing has changed [with Mitchell] either way. When you're missing a good player, the tendency is, 'When is he coming back? When is he coming back?' ... It becomes a crutch almost. As a team, players, management, coaches — it's what it is. If he [Mitchell] comes back, it's a tremendous bonus. But if not, we can't continue to rely on that. We've got to get in that mind-set so that when he comes back it's a total bonus, versus sitting and waiting and hoping."
Shipping center Andrei Loktionov to the New Jersey Devils for a fifth-round draft pick, the Los Angeles Kings may just be getting started with making personnel changes.
Lisa Dillman of the Los Angeles Times proposes the Loktionov trade could be a "precursor" to other moves -- perhaps some alterations to the Kings' blue line.
"Hey, we need (Jake) Muzzin and (Alec) Martinez and (Davis) Drewiske to be a lot better players for us," Kings coach Darryl Sutter said. "Otherwise we're gonna look at other players. That's the way I see it."
It's not clear whether looking at other players means promoting another AHL body (Andrew Campbell was recently brought up, while Andrew Bodnarchuck was sent down), or pursuing options outside the organization. However, with Willie Mitchell (knee) out for goodness-knows-how-long, and Matt Greene (back) done for the regular season, there has already been plenty of talk about the Kings looking to swing a deal for a quality NHL defenseman. With over $8 million available this season, salary cap space isn't a pressing issue in the short-term either.