For those who haven’t heard, the Kings today traded center Craig Conroy to Calgary for center Jamie Lundmark, a second-round pick in 2008 and a fourth-round pick in 2007.
It’s far from a shocking move, as Conroy’s name has been floated in trade rumors for several months now. After a while, it became a question of only where Craig would go, what the Kings would get and when it would all go down. Lundmark, who is 26 and joining his fourth NHL organization in four seasons, isn’t a franchise player, but Kings GM Dean Lombardi loves his draft picks and is set upon improving the Kings’ depth.
Plus, there’s the simple fact that Conroy hasn’t been very good this year. He is, quite frankly, one of the nicest people, inside or outside the sports world, you’d ever meet, but his production and ice time dropped off this season big time. I asked Dean Lombardi what the problem was, and his answer was along the lines of, “If you figure it out, let me know.” Conroy is 35 — even though the Kings’ press release tried to give him an extra year — so it’s possible that his level of play is simply falling off because of age, but he just never seemed to mesh with Marc Crawford’s system.
The bottom line is, when a guy like Craig Conroy is getting third- and fourth-line minutes, it’s time for him to move on, regardless of the reason.
So that’s that.
Also, I asked Dean about more potential deals, and he indicated that he will remain active in the market. Knowing how open Dean is to making bold moves, I asked him if any guys on the team were considered untouchable, and he gave a refreshingly honest answer as he explained that it’s his job to listen to all offers that come his way and might improve his team. He related it to the recent rumors that the Kings might trade Visnovsky.
Lombardi said: “If a guy calls you up and says, `Would you move Visnovsky?’ well, what kind of question is that? How do you answer that? I’m not doing my job if I don’t listen. Do I want to move him? No. But I say, `What are you offering?’ and the next day it’s in the papers that I’m shopping Visnovsky.’ That’s exactly what happened with that. You always listen. I mean, Chris Pronger got traded. Who thought that would happen?”