Los Angeles Kings

Breaking Down the Latest Kings-Devils Trade Rumors

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 25: Jack Johnson #3 of the Los Angeles Kings has his shot turned wide by goalie Johan Hedberg #1 of the New Jersey Devils at Staples Center on October 25, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.   The Devils won 3-0.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Jason LewisCorrespondent IINovember 17, 2011

If you have been paying attention to the hockey trade rumor world lately, there have been some interesting surges in the Kings and the Devils talking deals.

First of all, yes, the Kings have had scouts at the Devils/Sabres game, and the Bruins/Devils game. The Kings have already played the Devils twice this season and won't meet them again.

But before you read into that, scouts go to a lot of games, and you never hear about it and nothing comes of it. Also, the Kings minor affiliate, Manchester, is semi-close to both Boston and Buffalo. Maybe they wanted to catch a game, who knows.

Obviously the idea of getting Parise is the first thing that flies into a Kings fan's mind, and the more insane one probably goes to Kovalchuk.

Let's break this down a little bit though, shall we?

What do the Kings lack?

Bottom six offense, and skilled forward depth.

What does New Jersey lack?

Scoring, defensive depth and goaltending depth.

So obviously, I think we can rule out Parise, and Kovalchuk—I am sorry to burst your bubble, fan who is still living in the 2010 off season.

Both teams lack offense, so trading Parise doesn't make a whole lot of sense for NJ, nor does it make a lot of sense for L.A., seeing as they would probably have to give up a lot of NHL ready players, and that wouldn't exactly help them either.

If you look at this from the Kings point of view, you're targeting bottom-six or young forwards.

Ergo: Zubrus, Clarkson, Zharkov, Tedenby, Josefson, Henrique.

Considering that Clarkson and Zubrus are two guys that are actually producing on a low scoring team, I don't see them leaving unless an NHL ready forward is coming back (Penner?). The same goes for Henrique, he is too valuable.

The Kings also really don't need a player like Clarkson or Zubrus, considering they have a slew of players somewhat similar in Trent Hunter, Ethan Moreau, Brad Richardson, Kyle Clifford, etc.

This kind of leaves the Kings looking at a pool of young prospects in Zharkov, Tedenby and Josefson. But if the Devils are a stones throw from rebuilding, why move young pieces?

NJ desperately needs young defensive depth or a young goalie, both of which the Kings have.

With the likes of Nick Deslauriers and Derek Forbort on the way to the pros, maybe the Kings can live with getting rid of former first rounder Thomas Hickey, or defensemen Jake Muzzin, in exchange for someone like Tedenby. 

There are a ton of possibilities here given the idea of trading from strength for a weakness in the Kings' position. However, none of these really scream blockbuster like a lot of people are thinking.

If anything goes down, and that's a big 'if,' It's not likely to be Bernier, Penner, Stoll and a first rounder for Parise. It's more or less going to be Hickey for Zharkov, or Muzzin for Tedenby.

But who knows, maybe L.A. loses the next three to five games horribly, and we see the aforementioned killer trade for Parise. NHL GMs can be unpredictable.

Who saw that Flyers blow up coming? Not I. But still, I just don't see either team really unloading anything valuable this early in the season.

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