Hearsay: No timetable for Kesler return

February 7, 2013, 1:44 AM

The Los Angeles Times indicates what could be the precursor to a bigger move was the small deal between the Stanley Cup finalists.

Kings General Manager Dean Lombardi made his second trade since the lockout ended, sending the once-promising Andrei Loktionov to New Jersey for a fifth-round draft pick in 2013. In fact, it was the first trade between Lombardi and one of his early mentors, Lou Lamoriello of the Devils, since Lombardi joined the Kings in 2006.

With the Kings’ logjam at center, there was no fit for Loktionov. They tried to move him last season with minimal interest, and his agent, Igor Larionov, had been wanting a new location for his client for a long time.

Loktionov had three goals and seven points in 39 games with the Kings last season, and his status was reinforced when they did not invite him to training camp after the lockout ended.

“You’ve got the issue that after his contract is up he could go back to Russia,” Lombardi said. “You just try to make the best deal you can.”

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