Here’s one man’s perspective on the winners and losers at the trade deadline. OK, it’s not my view, but give it a look, anyway. There is some solid analysis courtesy of Yahoo Sports: https://ca.sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nhl-puck-daddy/nhl-2015-trade-deadline-report-card–puck-daddy-s-winners–losers-150357318.html
The NHL’s trade deadline is at noon Monday (Pacific time). Last year, Kings general manager Dean Lombardi pulled off a major move to get veteran winger Marian Gaborik from the Columbus Blue Jackets. Gaborik scored a team-leading 14 goals during the playoffs, helping to guide the Kings to their second Stanley Cup championship in three seasons. Can Lombardi swing another deal that will benefit the struggling club? There was a rumor early Monday that the Kings would attempt to deal suspended defenseman Slava Voynov, but that was shot down quickly.
Last week, Lombardi acquired puck-moving defenseman Andrej Sekera from the Carolina Hurricanes for a draft pick and a prospect, a move designed to fill a void created when Voynov was suspended indefinitely Oct. 20 by the NHL over a domestic violence charge at his Redondo Beach home. The addition of Sekera means the Kings are prepared to move on without Voynov.
Andrej Sekera met with reporters during the Kings’ game Thursday against the Ottawa Senators. He wasn’t in the lineup, but said he would play in Friday’s contest against the Ducks. Here’s some of what he said about his trade Wednesday from the Carolina Hurricanes.
Question: Where were you when you heard the news?
Sekera: “I had the day off, so I was sitting on my couch watching TV and I got a phone call that I was traded. I’m happy going to a great organization, a club that has had a lot of success the last couple of years. I’ll just try to blend in and play hard and help this team try to win as many games as possible.”
Q: How did you deal with trade rumors and are you relieved the deal is done?
Sekera: “You hear it and you pay attention to it a little bit. You never know where you’re going to end up, so you take care of the business on the ice and whatever happens will happen. That’s part of this business. You get traded and it’s time to move on. Wherever they got the best offer, that’s where they were going to ship me, so I’m happy I’m here right now.”
Q: What have you heard about your role?
Sekera: “I haven’t talked to the coaching staff. I just met them. … It’s a high-end club. Losing is not an option. It’s an honor, and it’s going to be a challenge.”
The Kings on Wednesday afternoon acquired the puck-moving, offensive-minded defenseman they’ve lacked since Slava Voynov was suspended indefinitely by the NHL over a domestic violence charge involving his wife in October.
They gave up a prospect and a draft pick in order to get Andrej Sekera from the Carolina Hurricanes, another bold move by Kings general manager Dean Lombardi in a week that’s already seen two players signing long-term contract extensions.
Sekera had 19 points, including 17 assists, in 57 games for the Hurricanes this season. He has 155 points in 470 career games in the NHL, playing the most recent 131 contests with the Hurricanes. He also played with the Buffalo Sabres during a nine-year career.
To get Sekera, a 28-year-old Slovak, the Kings sent prospect Roland McKeown and a conditional draft pick to Carolina. McKeown, 19, was the Kings’ second-round pick (50th overall) in the 2014 draft. The pick was acquired in the deal that sent Linden Vey to Vancouver.
Tuesday, Lombardi signed physical forward Kyle Clifford to a five-season contract extension worth an average of $1.6 million. Monday, Lombardi signed another hard-nosed forward, Jordan Nolan, to a three-season extension worth an average of $950,000.
Lombardi was scheduled to speak with reporters later this afternoon.
Damien Cox of Canada’s sportsnet.ca, one of the best in the business, offers a few thoughts about the state of the Kings leading into the March 2 trade deadline. It’s worth a look. Here’s the link: http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/deadline-decisions-can-kings-afford-to-boost-blueline/