Minor trade

For those waiting for big trade news… well, keep waiting. For now, there’s this:

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The Los Angeles Kings have acquired a fifth-round draft choice in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft from the St. Louis Blues in exchange for defenseman T.J. Fast, it was announced today by Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi.

Fast, 20, was selected by the Kings in the second-round (60th overall) in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. He played in 71 games this past season with Tri-City of the Western Hockey League where he recorded 54 points (17-37=54) and 92 penalty minutes.

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  • gary

    This is very bizarre. TJ had a hell of a season and I was expecting him to be in the AHL (for the Kings) next year. Any way to elaborate on this Rich? any explanation?

  • Rich Hammond

    Since Fast just completed his over-age year in juniors, I would have to assume that he just wasn’t in the Kings’ plans. I might be able to ask at some point this week.

  • anthony

    Those are pretty impressive numbers for a defenseman.
    Also, being a second round pick is not bad at all.
    Heard he was descent payer and a good prospect.
    Trading a former 2nd round pick (with good numbers) for a future 5th round pick doesn’t make much sense to me.
    For that matter, not too many of DL’s moves make any sense at all.
    I assume that they weren’t going to sign him to an entry level contract – which would make him a free agent or opt to re-enter this years draft. This way our gentle G.M. got something.
    Which only proves my point that DL is madly in love with draft picks. He has a hard on for draft picks.

  • voice of reason

    anthony–those impressive numbers you speak of need to be looked at in a certain context. tj fast was 20 years old, with college experience under his belt, playing against a bunch of teenagers. It was his also his second year in the league. Numbers like those were expected.

  • JDM

    I wonder if since they have no 5th round picks there is a player they expect to still be available then that they really want, allowing Lombardi to move a 3rd or 4th rounder. What do you think Rich?

    I am curious to hear the explanation because I agree with gary that he had an impressive season. I can only see trading a 20 year old second round pick for an unknown fifth rounder as a positioning move.

    Either way its refreshing to hear of some activity for us info-fanatics.

  • Irish Pat

    Umm… I thought Manchester’s big weakness was defense. I’m surprised Lombardi wouldn’t at least give the kid a shot at making the Monarchs. I agree with Anthony’s perception that Lombardi has a hard on for draft picks, but what’s weird is he also has a penchant for puck moving defenseman that can skate well. It’s not like anyone is clamoring for T.J. Fast to hit the bigs, but this just seems like an odd move. A 5th rounder? Thank God the Kings have another pick in that round. Phew!

  • petey

    This looks to me like a case of “I want 1st round money cause of the season I had.”. It really wouldn’t surprise me with the way he jumped ship from the NCAA to the CHL. Better to get something for him, rather than lose him altogether. Just another case of a greedy player looking for more money than he is worth.

  • Anonymous

    I forgot…was the conditional 5th round pick we took from the Caps for Steckel for this year’s draft or next year’s??? Either way it’s good for the Kings…and would that be two or three 5th rounders for us next year???

    I also see this Fast trade to be something similar to the opening up of the floodgates come draft day… Some of our 15 picks this year should also come into play for the right player…but seriously doubt #2 (where I hope it’s Doughty) will come into play…

  • TeamHasHoles

    I know I don’t have to rehash all the great players over the last 10 years drafted in the 5th round or lower. The following were 5th round picks or lower for Dean Lombardi in SJ:

    Marcus Ragnarsson
    Alexander Korolyuk
    Evgeni Nabokov
    Mark Smith
    Mikael Samuelsson
    Niko Dimitrakos
    Ryane Clowe
    Joe Pavelski

    He hasn’t done too poorly with late round picks and Fast (who was not one of his picks) was an over-age guy last year who didn’t show enough improvement playing against teenagers. He was not going to be in their plans. Maybe Andy Murray can do something with him.

  • Daniel

    On the surface the swap looks bizarre but there are a few things to take into consideration:
    1. Fast bolted college at Lombardi’s behest. DL has a track record of urging college player to join CHL-type leagues to get more experience and ice time. Despite the number, apparently there was something about his game they were not sold on.
    2. Given Fast had a good year statistically, his agent was probably looking for more money than DL was willing to part with. Sure, what ever amount that was would be peanuts compared to what he paid for Blake but he has to make it fit within all the other RFA’s, this summer and next, and this year’s crop of draft picks.
    3. DL didn’t draft Fast, nor did Futa/Yanetti. So, they most likely have a different set of criteria than the guys who did.

    Also, can we stop with the erectile imagery. Leave poor Sid (see: Ice Age) alone already.

  • brianguy

    what petey and Daniel said both make perfect sense… have fun T.J., nice knowin’ ya

  • anthony

    Some of you guys give DL more credit and pardons than he deserves.
    It’s amazing and laughable to see these many Lombardi-worshipers giving him a free pass and turning a blind eye to everything.
    Unbelievable!

  • voice of reason

    Anthony,

    Lombardi-worshipers? Not quite. I believe Lombardi has a plan. Whether or not it is the right one we aren’t going to know for years. You can’t judge these things the instant they happen. Years from now we can look back on the Lombardi regime and say he sucked or he was great.

    As for today, you continue to solidify the belief that you don’t know what you’re talking about. TJ Fast spent a year (his second at that level) playing against a bunch of teenagers when he was 20 years old–he is expected to put up those kind of numbers. If you think DL shipped him off merely because he has a hard-on for draft picks then I don’t know what to tell you because it would just be a waste of time.

    There are almost half a dozen other puck-moving dman prospects in our system, and all of them are ahead of Fast on the depth chart. DL was able to move him for something that has potential. The potential to be great, the potential to fill a solid role, or the potential to flame out. Point is, we don’t know and we won’t know for years.

  • TeamHasHoles

    You’re right anthony… TJ was the second coming of Ray Bourque and we messed it up again! Damn that DL!! :-P

  • Anonymous

    Other than Cloutier…McAuley and bringing Modry back (even though it DID give us a second first rounder) DL hasn’t done so bad… I’m not saying that he’s done a good job…but it isn’t bad either… His drafting seems to be well above average…yet his pro-level scouting needs work…

  • anthony

    I meant in general, not particularly speaking about this trade. I know nothing about TJ Fast, nor do I want to.
    Never mind. I shouldn’t expect most of you characters to understand.

  • Anonymous

    We may know more when the draft is done and the dust settles. TJ Fast was not a top four defenseman. Therefore he was expandable. Why stack pile players in the minors that are not going to be impact players for the kings. As the team stands it has so many holes to fill. I think this trade was the tip of the ice berg. Let’s wait and see where DL is going with this.

    Roger

  • Anonymous

    so would you be hartbroken or question your favorite college team if it didn’t give a scholarship to a HS senior who still plays JV and puts up decent numbers against younger competition? Or would you be more concerned about those seniors who play varsity?

    while he might have been drafted in the 2nd round, his current value was no longer worthy of a 2nd rounder. if he’s no longer in the plans get what you can rather than letting him walk.

  • nykingfan

    Anthony…this is what you said

    “Those are pretty impressive numbers for a defenseman.
    Also, being a second round pick is not bad at all.
    Heard he was descent payer and a good prospect.
    Trading a former 2nd round pick (with good numbers) for a future 5th round pick doesn’t make much sense to me.”

    That doesn’t sound like you were speaking in general.
    I agree completely with Voice of Reason
    Why have a knee-jerk reaction to a 20 yr old marginal prospect being traded away for something that may be helpful in the future? If you could get a Nabakov type player in the 5th round of the draft, would you be ok giving up player who apparently doesn’t impress the scouts?

    Admit it Anthony…you hate DL and no matter what he does, you’ll always disagree with him.
    There’s no arguing with his free agency pick ups so far..they’ve been horrible..but this teams future will depend strictly on his draft picks. Let his rebuilding process play itself out to its conclusion and then we can all make a fair judgement on his job.

  • anthony

    Agreed nykingsfan.
    Lets see what this GM will do this off season.
    What he does via trade, draft picks, free agency will be crtical.
    This kool-aid most of us are drinking is starting to wear off and wear thin.

  • Anonymous

    this offseason i’m not expecting DL to turn water into wine.

    this is what i think will happen…

    FA – he will not get a top tier free agent. top tier FAs are either looking to sign with teams that win (ie playoff teams, not the Kings) or are looking for a big payday (DL will not want to blow out the team’s salary structure and will save the big $$ for our own current young players – Kopitar, Johnson, Bernier, etc). What he will go after are maybe one or two FAs who are 3rd line and 4th line defensive forward types. On defense he will be looking for a # 3/4 and will probably have to pay a little more (sorry no Oprik because he would be insane to come here). Kings fans will complain about the FA signing because of A)the contract price, B)length of the contract, C) the player’s injury history, D) player is more defensive rather than having offensive numbers, E) all of the above.

    Draft – fans will complain about who he drafts and what he does with both 1st round picks. Half will be pleased, half will say he sucks. From the 2nd round on down DL will draft solidly. Except for a handfull of fans, most won’t know who these kids so there won’t be much complaining.

    Trades – people will complain because DL didn’t move up to a top ten spot in the draft for Cammy, Dallas’ 1st rounder, and a prospect. There is no way a team trades out of the top ten unless they get a whole lot more. Generally teams only like to drop down no more than 5 spots. If Cammy does get traded at the draft it will most likely be for another team’s current roster player or DL will hold on to him until the trade deadline. As for the team’s other needs, this will be really interesting. I believe DL’s trades so far have been for prospects. It will be interesting to see how he does when trading for current NHL players.

  • metalmaster

    team has holes
    DL was not the GM when Nabakov or Pavelski were drafted. Mikael Samuellson played agrand total of
    4 games in san Jose before DL shipped him to NYR
    for Christian Gosselin (who?) and a over the hill
    Adam Graves.Ragnurrson was drafted in 92 before
    DL was GM (96-02). Smith (23 goals in 377 games)
    and Dimitrakos could hardly be classified a great
    players or great picks. DL has been able to find
    NHL players in mid to late rounds but has yet to
    find an bonafide NHL star in thse round. Few do.

  • Mark

    Unfortunately the problem that the Kings have is most players don’t want to come to LA unless there’s a huge contract so we’re stuck with what we can get. Why wouldn’t you stock up on draft picks and build the stars and roll players from scratch? I can understand if we were Detroit and couldn’t get star players to come here but there hasn’t been much for DL to work with and the pieces that he’s putting together so far are making the picture a whole lot better.

  • typicaljs

    Anthony, your crazy.

    Fast was almost nominated for defense man of the year, who did he lose out to ? Karl Alzner. If your gonna be pissed about something get pissed about the Hickey > Alzner selection if all you care about is stats and trophies. But your narrow mindedness and only caring about individual stats and trophies is the same reason why this team has been in the cellar for so long. Hockey is a god damn team game anthony and you need team players. not 18 players who all won player of the year for their position from their respective league. 18 ego’s don’t win the stanley cup. The penguins couldn’t beat the wings and the wings only have Zetterberg and Datysuk. DL is putting together a TEAM. With TEAM players. Not some kid who jumps ship to play more games against younger competition in hopes of getting 1st round type money because of one good season against younger competition. Hickey is still and always will be a year younger than Alzner, but Hickey, in Lombardi’s eyes, had more potential to be a greater piece of the puzzle than Alzner could develop to be. IMO Alzner’s potential has topped out, while Hickey is still making strides in his development. NHL players don’t top out and are always getting better. Maybe the combination of the amount of money Fast wanted and the lack of professional development he made over the course of the season was more than enough for the kings to be willing to lose him for nothing. And hey if they’re gonna lose him for nothing, might as well get a n extra share in the ’09 draft. And Anthony, I’d be pissed if it was Det that gave up say a 3rd or 4th round pick for him. But I guess this is one of those where your just gonna have to trust the people that know a little something about hockey. Like the fact that there is more to winning than just individual statistics and honors. Just in case you didn’t hear the interviews with Anze and Brown they didn’t give a fuck that they set new career bests for themselves this season, they wanted to be playing the post season.

    But just because I never looked at your response last time, what are you still doing on here Anthony I thought you were a Flyers fan now ?

  • Ed

    I remember some people complained that we signed too many players. That we have reached our limit of allowed players.

    So what is wrong of getting rid of people that we don’t need? To free up space so we can acquire people we want/need? Especially we are coming up to the draft, and then the trade deadline.

    Now we have room to add the pieces we need.

  • Jon

    typicaljs said:
    “and the wings only have Zetterberg and Datysuk” Are you for real?
    How about two top goalies? How about the best defenceman in the last ten plus years named Lidstrom, soon to get his 6th Norris? How about Johan Franzen, who missed six games in the playoffs and still had 13 goals, same as Zetterberg in 22 games? Don’t forget the stopper line, Draper, Malby, McCarty. Oh yea,Dan Cleary,Tomas Holmstrom,and Johan Franzen were 20 plus goal guys in the regular season.

    You (I hope) get the point, TOP LEVEL TEAM, TOP TO BOTTOM!!!!

  • EJ

    Anthony, do you really believe that you know more about hockey than DL and his staff??? If so, how about letting us know how many pro and amateur teams are lining up to sign you as their GM.

    There’s no koolaid being sipped here. I have no illusions about being a GM. I know beyond any doubt that I don’t know enough about the pro players of the world (thousands when you consider AHL, ECHL, Europe), the amateur players of the world (several thousand more worldwide), the leagues, the teams, the execs, GMs, coaches, scouts, agents, economic structure, pay scales, CBA, league politics, player development strategies, bargaining, and psych factors.

    Who’s sipping the koolaid, Anthony? You really think you have what it takes? You really think you’re qualified to judge? You really think you know everything that’s going on with this level of asset management? How are those colors, Anthony?

  • DellaNooch

    Just to make sure everyone catches this, it’s a 5th round pick in the 2009 draft, not 2008.

    Not sure why DL did this trade, but I think some of the assumptions had to be true. One thing is for sure, I’ve seen a lot of people on this blog upset about us having a defense that is soft, focusing on too many puck moving defenseman, including those that oppose this move. Is it a bad thing we clear space for stay at home hard hittig defenseman, no. Do I think we could have gotten more value for Fast, yes. But I’m on the outside looking in. Maybe more will surface on this.

    Also, as for late round drafting, Metalmaster was pretty close to the mark on this, it’s a roll the dice thing and I haven’t seen too many teams be consistantly good at it, with exception being Detriot. Believe it or not, but Datsuyk was a 6th round pick and Zetterburg was a 7th round pick.

  • metalmaster

    Yes some find serviceable role players in later rounds
    but the Wings have found two superstars and it will get
    even harder in the future. DL early King drafts cannot
    properly be assessed until 2010. It is way too early
    now. As for San Jose he had mixed drafts with 2002 draft being a absolute disaster. Ironically that was the year that he was fired.

  • Goon Squad

    Rich,

    You mentioned possibly being able to ask about Fast at some point. It looks like the Kings have been doing a mini house cleaning – Joe Ryan, Andersen, and Fransson were all not signed as deadlines passed. If you do get a chance to talk to someone in the Kings front office, could you ask them about those guys as well? Thanks.