The Kings sent a pick and a prospect to the Carolina Hurricanes to get veteran winger Kris Versteeg on Sunday. Versteeg is a well-traveled one, having played for the Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks, Florida Panthers, Philadelphia Flyers and Toronto Maple Leafs during a nine-year career. He was a member of the Blackhawks’ Stanley Cup championship teams in 2010 and ’15.
“He’s been around,” Kings center Anze Kopitar said of the 29-year-old Versteeg. “He has two (Stanley Cup wins), so obviously he knows what it takes. From playing against him, I know he’s got good kill and he’s got some edge to him too, which certainly fits with this team (the Kings).”
The Kings sent prospect Valentin Zykov and a conditional fifth-round draft pick to Carolina to get Versteeg, who had 11 goals and 33 points in 63 games this season.
Defenseman Rob Scuderi had an assist and played 19:07 Saturday during his return to the Kings after Friday’s trade from the Chicago Blackhawks. He played 26 shifts and was paired with Alec Martinez to start the game. Near the end, with the Kings hanging onto a 2-0 lead and Buffalo goalie Robin Lehner on the bench in favor of a sixth attacker, Scuderi was on the ice with Drew Doughty.
“It feels good,” Scuderi said. “I know exactly what’s expected of me. It suits my style. I thought I fit in pretty good. There are probably little things I’ve been doing on different teams the last 10 weeks that maybe they’ll iron out and show me in video. But for the most part I felt pretty good about the one game.”
Asked if he expected to play as much as he did, Scuderi said, “I didn’t really expect anything. That’s up to them. As a player, your job is to be prepared physically and mentally, and I was. But as far as how much they use me and how they use me, they’re the coaches, it’s their call.”
Playing at the end with Doughty was “a big confidence boost,” Scuderi said.
“I think the biggest thing that’s been hurting in my game for a couple of months isn’t so much the physicality of it as is the confidence of it, the mental side,” he said. “So, any time you can be used in those types of situations, it gives you a little boost, knowing the coaching staff trusts you to do those things. It goes a long way.”
Here’s some of what Kings defenseman Rob Scuderi said Saturday about Friday’s trade from the Chicago Blackhawks: “It’s pretty special for me. It’s been kind of a long 10 weeks since my first trade out of Pittsburgh and getting bumped around a little bit, so it’s nice to come back to some familiar faces and a familiar environment where I had some success and I’d like to have some more.
“I was in Cleveland with Rockford (Ill., of the American Hockey League) and we were going to play Lake Erie for a couple of games. They called in the afternoon. I guess there was a pretty good chance it was going to happen and I was nervous. Is it going to happen? Is is not going to happen?
“Then I got a call about an hour later that it was pretty much official, that I should pack my stuff and start to go. I was definitely the happiest guy in Cleveland, that was for sure. I was hoping for an opportunity anywhere in the NHL, but to come back to a place that I know people, respect people, have a chance to regain success was very, very special for me.”
The deal is done. The Kings swapped defensemen with the Chicago Blackhawks, acquiring Rob Scuderi and parting with Christian Ehrhoff. Scuderi helped the Kings win the Stanley Cup championship in 2012. He has been playing with Rockford of the AHL. Ehrhoff has been with Ontario of the AHL. Scuderi is 37. Ehrhoff is 33. Scuderi was scoreless in 17 games with the Blackhawks. Ehrhoff had two goals and 10 points in 40 games for the Kings. Scuderi can be an unrestricted free agent after next season. Ehrhoff can be a UFA after this one.
The Kings sent defenseman Kevin Gravel to Ontario to make room for Scuderi on their roster.
According to TSN:
The Kings are finalizing a deal to re-acquire defenseman Rob Scuderi from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for defenseman Christian Ehrhoff. Scuderi no longer plays for the Blackhawks, but has been with Rockford (Ill.) of the AHL for three games. Ehrhoff no longer plays for the Kings, but has been with Ontario of the AHL for five games. Scuderi, 37, is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent after next season. Ehrhoff, 33, can become a UFA after this season.
Scuderi was a member of the KIngs’ 2012 Stanley Cup championship team.
Check back for updates.
The Ducks traded speed for snarl Thursday, when they sent left wing Jiri Sekac to the Chicago Blackhawks for left wing Ryan Garbutt. Sekac had only one goal and three points in 22 games this season. Garbutt had two goals and six points in 43 games with the Blackhawks. Each player has been traded twice in the last 12 months. The Ducks got Sekac from the Montreal Canadiens last season. Garbutt went the other way in the trade that sent Patrick Sharp to Dallas from Chicago.
Sekac is eligible to become a restricted free agent at season’s end.
Garbutt has one season left on his contract, with a cap hit of $900,000.
Slowly but certainly, defenseman Luke Schenn is starting to feel at home in Southern California. He swapped the East Coast for the West when the Kings acquired him and center Vincent Lecavalier from the Philadelphia Flyers on Jan. 6, trading a cold winter for a warm one.
Schenn has since grown accustomed to seeing the Pacific Ocean now and then. He’s used to wearing T-shirts and shorts and flip flops to the Kings’ El Segundo practice facility. He’s learned to navigate the freeways, with Lecavalier acting as his carpool partner for trips to Staples Center.
Now if he could just find a good cheesesteak in Los Angeles, then he’ll be all set.
And if he has the time and the inclination, he’s up for a maiden voyage to In-N-Out Burger.
Most of all, Schenn is happy to be playing for the Pacific Division-leading Kings.
“It’s been a bit of an adjustment,” Schenn said Monday, one day before the Kings faced the Dallas Stars at Staples Center, his sixth game since the trade. “I’m just getting familiar with the guys on the team, the trainers, the coaches. I’m really enjoying it so far. It’s a great bunch of guys.
“The whole organization is unbelievable. The whole set up is second to none.”
Hours after the Ducks took a 4-2 victory from the Dallas Stars on Friday at the Honda Center, the team announced it had traded left wing Carl Hagelin to the Pittsburgh Penguins for left wing David Perron and defenseman Adam Clendening. The trade was announced a few minutes before midnight.
Hagelin, 27, scored four goals and 12 points in 43 games with the Ducks, including an assist during Friday’s victory over the Stars. He had not produced as expected or needed for the underachieving Ducks (19-17-7), however. He had been playing on a line with fellow Swede Jakob Silfverberg on right wing and center Ryan Kesler.
“I think our line, we’re very good defensively, but we should have the skill to score some goals,” Silfverberg said Friday. “Lately, we’ve been finding some opportunities and putting some pucks in the net. I feel like this is a step in the right direction. If we keep playing like this we’re going to be a dangerous line.”
Perron, 27, had four goals and 16 points in 43 games this season with the Penguins. He is a more physical player than Hagelin and was second on the Penguins with 105 hits this season. He also is a three-time 20-goal scorer, and had a career-best 28 in 2013-14.
Clendening, 23, has score one goal and five points in 30 games in the NHL with the Penguins, Vancouver Canucks and Chicago Blackhawks. He made his NHL debut with the Blackhawks last season.
The Ducks acquired Hagelin last summer from the New York Rangers in exchange for Long Beach native Emerson Etem, a left wing.
Key play: Defenseman Jake Muzzin whistled a shot through traffic and past Toronto goaltender James Reimer less than three minutes into the third period and the Kings went on to take a 2-1 victory from the Maple Leafs on Thursday at Staples Center.
Pivotal performer: Center Vincent Lecavalier made his Kings debut a memorable one with an assist on Muzzin’s goal. Lecavalier and defenseman Luke Schenn were acquired Wednesday from the Philadelphia Flyers and arrived Thursday morning in Los Angeles. Lecavalier played 9:26 in his first game with the Kings.
Quote, unquote: “It feels great,” Lecavalier said after his debut. “Honestly, it was just a good team effort tonight. The way they play, it’s just impressive. So, it was nice to be a part of today. Everybody worked really hard and it paid off. … Great bunch of guys. You can tell already. … Everything was on adrenaline tonight.”
Quote, unquote (part 2): “I just tried to soak a little bit in before the game and just tried to shake hands and get to know a few of the teammates,” Schenn said. “I’m not too familiar with a lot of the guys. It was kind of nice and you don’t over-think things. You just go out there and play.”
Welcome back: Kings center Jeff Carter returned to the lineup after sitting out for five games because of an upper-body injury and scored a third-period goal that made it 2-0. Carter was hurt on the opening faceoff of the Kings’ 4-3 overtime victory Dec. 26 over the Arizona Coyotes.
Game misconduct: Maple Leafs defenseman Roman Polak drew a five-minute boarding major and was ejected from the game after driving Kings winger Tyler Toffoli head-first into the boards at 19:26 of the first period. Toffoli was shaken up on the play, but returned to the game.
Here’s what Kings center Vincent Lecavalier said when asked Thursday about the importance of finishing his career on a high note, after Wednesday’s trade from the Philadelphia Flyers: “It’s really important. Like I said, I’m excited. All I want to do is help out this team as much as I can. I still have confidence in my game and what I can bring. The most important thing is winning in this organization. It’s not a guy or two guys. It’s everybody. That’s what’s exciting about it. It’s just a great team. Everybody that has talked to me in the last 24 hours, they’re all excited about me coming here and helping out. I just can’t wait to get going.”