Faced with an oversupply of good goaltenders, the Kings on Wednesday traded Ben Scrivens to the Edmonton Oilers for a third-round pick in this year's entry draft.
The move, announced after the team practiced at El Segundo, wasn't surprising because of Jonathan Quick's return to top form after a groin strain and the emergence of rookie Martin Jones as a capable NHL goalie. Jones was recalled from Manchester (N.H.) of the American Hockey League and was expected to meet the Kings in St. Louis for the start of their four-game trip. The Kings are also expected to call up forward Linden Vey.
Scrivens, who can become an unrestricted free agent this summer, is from Spruce Grove, near Edmonton. The Kings acquired him from Toronto last summer in the Jonathan Bernier trade. He was 7-5-4 with a 1.97 goals-against average, .931 save percentage and three shutouts in 19 games with the Kings.
Scrivens declined to comment before joining his new team in Minnesota, saying he would fulfill media requests later Wednesday or on Thursday. A few hours earlier, the Oilers traded goalie Devan Dubnyk to Nashville for center Matt Hendricks.
The Vancouver Canucks' intensified physical play against the Kings on Monday created a buzz around the NHL, especially Tom Sestito's being credited with one second of ice time before he instigated a fight and got a game misconduct. Will that start a trend among the Kings' opponents?
"I hope they take dumb penalties, yup," Coach Darryl Sutter said. "It's always better when one team takes dumb penalties. I highly doubt that a team like St. Louis is going to tell somebody to go and get kicked out of the game one second in. I don't think there's any team in the league that will play like that."
Defenseman Drew Doughty said he expects the Blues to play their usual hard game Thursday and said the Canucks had special motivation for their tactics.
"I think with Vancouver, we had won three of the meetings before that game so they needed to do something to get their team emotionally involved and, I guess, make us scared or scare us away and get us off our game," he said. "We didn't capitalize on what they gave us in the power plays but we still won the real battle, and that's the game."
Doughty also said the Kings' strong defensive play, physicality, and "guys that get under people's skin" often annoy opponents.
"When they're getting frustrated with not creating chances, that just boils over, all those things put together," he said. "I'm sure we're going to see that a lot more from other teams, but we're prepared for it."
Winger Tyler Toffoli's scoring drought got him assigned to Manchester, a message Sutter reinforced on Wednesday. "I was telling the guys out there, Tyler got to go down to work on his game," he said. "Some guys get to go to the press box. Some guys get to go to the end of the bench. There's not much I can do about it. It's based on performance."
AT St. LOUIS
When: 5 p.m. PST.
On the air: TV: NBCSN; Radio: 1150.
Etc.: The Kings and Blues split their previous two games this season. The Kings won, 3-2, at home on Dec. 2 and the Blues prevailed, 5-0, on Jan. 2 at St. Louis. Blues center Alex Steen, who had 38 points in 35 games before suffering a concussion, has resumed practicing but isn't ready to return.
Times staff writer Lisa Dillman contributed to this storyCopyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times