Dean Lombardi has salary-cap room to make moves for the Kings.
The Los Angeles Kings made a critical, and sensational, deal prior to last year's trade deadline when general manager Dean Lombardi acquired Jeff Carter for Jack Johnson from the Columbus Blue Jackets.
At the time, the Kings seemed to be quite strong defensively, but desperately needed to get their offense going. The trade was ideal. Carter was the key who, not only became an offensive force for the Kings, but also seemed to jump-start the rest of the offense.
The defending Stanley Cup champions appear to have strength in depth on their roster this year, but Lombardi addressed a need on the defensive end by acquiring Robyn Regehr from the Buffalo Sabres two days before the trade deadline.
Matt Greene (back) and Willie Mitchell (knee) are out and that means the Kings could use some help on the blue line. Neither Greene nor Mitchell are superstars, but they are competent defensemen who know how to play in their own zone when they are healthy.
Regehr is a hard-hitting and physical defenseman, but he has struggled to play consistently this season. He'll have to cut down on his mistakes if he is going to help the Kings.
Trading Season in Calgary
When the Flames traded Jarome Iginla to the Pittsburgh Penguins, it finally signified that Flames general manager Jay Feaster was looking at the future instead of trying to cling to the slimmest hopes that his team would make the playoffs.
The Flames have several veteran players who will be talked about prior to the April 3 trade deadline.
Los Angeles Times veteran hockey writer Helene Elliott surmised that the Kings were interested in adding Jay Bouwmeester, but he was traded to St. Louis about the same time the Kings acquired Robyn Regehr.
Backup goalie Jonathan Bernier is a very attractive trade target for a number of teams which are in need of upgrading their goalkeeping.
However, while trading Bernier could probably bring the Kings viable assets—draft picks or depth players—he is too valuable to trade at this point.
The time is not right
Jonathan Quick won the Conn Smythe Trophy last year, but he has not been as good this season. Quick has a 2.51 goals against average and a mundane .895 save percentage. As things stand, head coach Darryl Sutter knows he can call on Bernier to get relief. Bernier has been sensational this season with a 1.94 GAA and a .923 save percentage.
If Quick is not on his game down the stretch or in the postseason, Bernier is capable of taking over. The Kings can't afford to trade him at this point in the season.
While the Kings were listed as one of the teams that Jarome Iginla would approve in a trade, the Kings were never seriously interested in pursuing the former Calgary star.
Iginla, who was ultimately traded to Pittsburgh, certainly was familiar with the Kings and Sutter, who had coached the Flames from 2002 through 2006.
Iginla's goal-scoring talent and team play would have allowed him to fit in on the ice, but the Kings were not interested in bringing him in and then having to deal with his big salary-cap number, according to Lisa Dillman of the Los Angeles Times.
Iginla is in the final year of his contract that pays him $7 million. He will certainly command a big salary-cap number in the offseason