Defenseman Luke Schenn didn’t have to do any serious reconnaissance work when he found out he had been traded to the Kings from the Philadelphia Flyers.
After all, the Flyers had been in the Los Angeles area for a few days last week and played (and lost) to the Kings on Saturday afternoon.
“We were all talking after the game about how it was probably the toughest team we played all year, against the Kings,” Schenn said on Thursday shortly before the Kings played Toronto at Staples Center.
“To get traded to a team like that, they’ve got respect around the league, it’s a pretty good feeling.”
Schenn and the veteran center, Vinny Lecavalier, were dealt to the Kings on Wednesday in exchange for rookie forward Jordan Weal and a third-round draft choice in 2016. The move, the Kings hope, will address some deficiencies up the middle and shore up their third defensive pair.
The Kings have been missing the physical element on the blue line, which was once supplied by Matt Greene (shoulder surgery) and the now retired Robyn Regehr.
“It’s part of my game, to be physical,” Schenn said. “When I’m most successful is when I’m physical. I don’t want to say I’m going to replace Matt Greene or this guy or that guy. I’m going to try to help the team and try to fill whatever role they want me to fill.”
Lecavalier, who said he will retire after this season, found himself in a greatly diminished role in Philadelphia. He hasn’t played since Nov. 12 and appeared in seven games this season, recording one assist, which came in the Flyers’ season opener.
“The decision for me to go there was mainly for Peter Laviolette, and he left after three games,” Lecavalier said of the 2013-14 season. “He got let go and the mentality kind of changed and I wasn’t really part of their plans after that. Very frustrating, but I’m happy I’m here now.”
Schenn, whose younger brother Brayden was drafted by the Kings in 2009, praised Lecavalier for how he handled the difficult turn of events.
“You know what? I think if you ask any guy on our team in Philadelphia, a guy with that career, and the way the situation was the last couple of years, he’s nothing but a true professional,” Schenn said. “He’s handled it better than anyone possibly could.”