Breaking down the Los Angeles Kings ahead of NHL Trade Deadline Day.
The Los Angeles Kings will be: Buyers
Unrestricted: 6 | Restricted: 8 | See full list
The Kings are a surefire playoff team in the Western Conference. Coming out of the break, they sit in third place in the Pacific Division and are loaded with talent across the roster. What’s most impressive about the Kings is that they have the bulk of their core talent locked up and do not have to worry about re-signing any of their top players this off-season. Most of the players scheduled to hit free agency this summer are replaceable role players.
This season, the Kings are certainly in a position to add and can afford to take some salary if need be. Looking at the current roster, it’s clear that the Kings could use help up front — ideally another scoring winger. On the backend, the club has elite talent. The Kings have allowed the least amount of goals in the Western Conference, and only the Boston Bruins have allowed fewer goals so far this season. Between the pipes, the Kings are set with starter Jonathan Quick. The depth is strong too as Martin Jones (and even Ben Scrivens before he was dealt to Edmonton) performed admirably when Quick missed time earlier in the season with an injury.
As mentioned above, scoring remains a major issue with the Kings. Even with a number of talented forwards on the roster, the Kings rank 13th (second last) in the Western Conference in goals scored. Only Calgary, Buffalo, and New Jersey have scored less in the NHL. This needs to be addressed before the NHL Trade Deadline if the Kings want to make another deep playoff run. Relying on goaltending and defensive prowess can only go far. They could use an upgrade at left wing where Tyler Toffoli is getting significant minutes on the top line beside Anze Kopitar and Jeff Carter. A move there would upgrade two spots as Toffoli could help boost one of the bottom-two lines.
Adding depth at centre and right wing would certainly help as well. They are not getting enough offence from Mike Richards and Dustin Brown this season and need secondary scoring. The ideal move may be to add a veteran rental player — someone who is an unrestricted free agent after the season — where the price would be minimal and it would not handcuff the Kings long-term. GM Dean Lombardi could afford to part with some mid-round draft picks to help boost the team’s immediate chances.
Matt Moulson, Buffalo Sabres
Mike Cammalerri, Calgary Flames
Ray Whitney, Dallas Stars