Kings allow trade deadline to pass without making a major move
Any possibility of a big shake-up of the Kings’ roster died shortly after 12 p.m. at their El Segundo headquarters.
The NHL trade deadline passed Monday and the Kings made one lower-tier move in the trade of defenseman Oscar Fantenberg to the Calgary Flames for a conditional fourth-round draft pick in 2020.
General manager Rob Blake indicated he wasn’t close on anything else.
“We talked about a lot of different things here the past few days,” Blake said. “But it hasn’t worked out. This is what took place … the ones that we have in place right here now.”
Blake referred to previous trades of Jake Muzzin, Nate Thompson and Carl Hagelin. The last two were players on expiring contracts, along with Fantenberg. The Kings could have moved integral pieces from their past such as Alec Martinez, Tyler Toffoli, Jeff Carter, Jonathan Quick, Trevor Lewis and Kyle Clifford, especially after the first waves of trades as other teams went to their backup plans. Ilya Kovalchuk was also a distant possibility.
But Monday’s lack of activity from the Kings suggests that their major moves will be made this summer. Blake said he will have conversations with the remaining players in the coming week after nothing came to fruition on deadline day.
“We looked at different options, contract structure and different things come into play, obviously,” Blake said. “But again, it’s an ongoing process. It’s not a quick process. It’s not an easy process. You deal with some really good guys and some really good players. It makes for a difficult process.”
Fantenberg was part of a solid free agent class for the Kings in 2017. He went through growing pains in his rookie season but built off that and proved he could be an NHL player on the back end of a defense. Blake said he attempted to re-sign Fantenberg.
“As far as our negotiations, or our talks, prior to [that] we did discuss a contract with him, but nothing came to fruition in that,” he said.
The fourth-round pick in the Fantenberg deal becomes a third-round pick in 2020 if Calgary reaches the conference final and Fantenberg plays in at least 50% of the postseason games.
His departure, coupled with an injury to Alec Martinez, leaves the Kings with two rookies, Sean Walker and Matt Roy, and sophomore Paul LaDue, on defense, in addition to Drew Doughty, Dion Phaneuf and Derek Forbort.
Martinez could return from an injury in a week, Blake said.
The Kings will continue to be sellers this summer, a big contrast to previous springs and summers.
“We’re used to the other way around because we’re usually, [at] this time of year, playing well, and we’re looking to add a piece or two,” Jonathan Quick said. “So, obviously it’s different from that standpoint and it’s just tough. It’s tough to see guys go.”
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