At first glance it looked as though the trade of
That's accurate, of course.
But there were other less visible business issues. There is the waiver factor.
"[We] have a number of guys needing to clear waivers next year," said Kings assistant General Manager Rob Blake, via email from the
By trading Vey, the Kings avoided the possibility of getting boxed in on that front next season -- losing a player on waivers -- and acquired a highly regarded asset in return. With the draft pick from the Canucks, they selected defenseman Roland McKeown of Kingston of the Ontario Hockey League at No. 50.
Draft analysts immediately praised the move, noting McKeown could have gone in the first round. McKeown's favorite player is said to be Kings defenseman
The 22-year-old Vey will be reunited with a former junior coach. Willie Desjardins, who was recently hired by the Canucks, coached Vey when he played for Medicine Hat of the Western Hockey League.
Kings fans and management had been excited about the possibilities of a line of Tanner Pearson-Vey-Tyler Toffoli at the NHL level. They excelled in a big way for the Kings' minor-league affiliate in Manchester, N.H. Instead the marquee, game-breaking line -- which excelled during the playoffs -- will be Pearson-