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Kings Make an Offensive Push

Times Staff Writer

The Kings, looking to improve their offense, acquired forward Mark Parrish and versatile defenseman Brent Sopel from the New York Islanders on Wednesday, giving up a piece of their future in return.

The chance to not only make the Stanley Cup playoffs but have an impact in them spawned the deal, which brings experience and help up front. The price was defenseman Denis Grebeshkov, forward Jeff Tambellini and a conditional third-round draft pick; the Kings give up the pick if they make the playoffs.

“With the mix we have and the parity in the Western Conference, we think we have added a couple of very good hockey players to give us the depth and balance to make a good run,” King General Manager Dave Taylor said.

Taylor was able to make the moves without disturbing the current roster. The Kings, with 19 games to play, have won five in a row and are sixth in the Western Conference, tied with Vancouver with 75 points.

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While Grebeshkov, 22, and Tambellini, 21, are first-round picks with high ceilings on talent, the Kings felt they could make a win-now move because of the organizational depth, particularly at forward.

The trade should certainly help the Kings on the power play, where they have struggled and are ranked 25th in the NHL.

Parrish, 29, is a proven goal scorer, one who has the ability and the will to work in front of the net. That has made him effective on the power play. He has 24 goals this season, 13 on the power play.

“It is exciting to be back in the playoff hunt,” Parrish said. “This is a team that is really in the thick of things and whatever form they want me to contribute, at this point in my career all I care about is the winning.”

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Sopel’s impact on the ice, however, won’t be immediate. He will be out at least a week because of a knee contusion. In fact, the conditional draft pick that is part of the trade is also tied to the number of games Sopel will play. Parrish, who signed a one-year $1.9-million contract last summer, will be an unrestricted free agent after the season. Sopel, also 29, has one year left on his contract and will make $2.4-million next season.

Taylor spent the last two weeks trying to work a deal, and even made a play for Florida goaltender Roberto Luongo. In the past week, Taylor had zeroed in on Parrish and Sopel.

“We feel we added two major pieces here,” Taylor said. . “We’ll look at other possibilities from now until noon [today], at the same time we feel comfortable with the lineup moving forward.”

TONIGHT

at Detroit, 4:30 PST, FSN West

Site -- Joe Louis Arena.

Radio -- 710.

Records -- Kings 35-23-5, Red Wings 41-15-5.

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Record vs. Red Wings -- 0-2-1.

Update -- The Kings did not practice Wednesday, but defenseman Mattias Norstrom was absent from the team’s off-ice workouts. Norstrom left Tuesday’s game against the Minnesota Wild with what Norstrom confirmed was flu. Forward Pavol Demitra will be examined by a team doctor today and probably will be cleared to play if the blood behind his right eye has dissipated. The Kings have lost nine consecutive games to the Red Wings, two in overtime.


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