Trade time?

Trade talk can be dismissed as just that — talk — 95 percent of the time, but the amount of proverbial smoke around the Kings these days suggests that something might be close.

1) Lots of talk out of Canada that a Kings-Ottawa deal might be close, although Ottawa GM John Muckler is denying it. Calgary is also looming as a potential trade partner. But don’t get too excited. When particular trades make their way to the meida…such as “Teams 1 and 2 have a deal in place to trade Players A and B for Players X and Y,” it hardly ever works out exactly that way.

2) GM Dean Lombardi isn’t shy. He pulled the trigger late in training camp on the deal with Carolina and he’s always looking to make moves, regardless of how far into the season the team is.

3) I hate to name names — generally I think it’s pointless, because almost EVERY player is mentioned in trade talks at some point — but you have to look at Craig Conroy as a guy who might get moved if a trade goes down. It’s no fault of his own, because he’s a tremendously hard worker and one of the best dressing-room guys a team could ever want, but trading him fits. He’s a veteran who might put a Cup contender over the top and his style of play hasn’t exactly meshed with Marc Crawford’s system, at least so far. That’s not to say that other Kings wouldn’t be involved in a deal…

A couple notes from the morning skate:

— Circumstantial evidence would suggest that Dan Cloutier starts in goal tonight. Very interesting, given how well Mathieu Garon has played of late and the fact that the Kings have two days off after tonight.

— Jeff Cowan, who took a header into the boards Monday night, will be out at least another week. Crawford said Cowan had soreness in the shouler/upper chest area but did not suffer a concussion.

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