Kings not yet adding to trade flurry
General Manager Dean Lombardi said he’s not sure why there has been so much activity so early but did not indicate he’s about to contribute to the trend by making an impact move. He remains interested in acquiring a scoring center and/or left wing and has looked at Edmonton’s Ales Hemsky and Florida’s David Booth. If the Dallas Stars’ slump and ownership uncertainty continue they might have to trade Brad Richards, who is eligible for unrestricted free agency after the season but would command a high price as a rental player for the last six weeks of the season and the playoffs.
One factor holding Lombardi back from any deal is that many of the general managers he talks to ask for prospect Brayden Schenn to be included in any potential trade and Lombardi isn’t willing to do that. Apparently he has not been able to get far with any other combinations of players.
“What’s the definition of progress? I don’t know,” said Lombardi, who rejoined the Kings before Saturday’s game against the new York Islanders after spending several days in Manchester, N.H., and Springfield, Mass., watching his top farm team, the Manchester Monarchs.
“I don’t think I’m close to anything. Everyone’s talking. We’re not rude. We return calls.”
“They had a great week. The development program’s working well. You can tell they’re having a lot of fun,” Lombardi said. “We’re really young down there. You can just tell when players love being together and playing hockey. We’ve got a great group. Every one of them seems to be improving.”
He said cited forwards Dwight King, Jordan Nolan and Corey Elkins as the most improved players and said the defense has been solidifying, led by Colten Teubert and Jake Muzzin. “Teubert is starting to figure it out,” Lombardi said. “All those defensemen, they’re all 23 and under, they’re all getting better.”
More in a bit about the Kings and their lineup for Saturday’s game.
Helene Elliott, reporting from Uniondale, N.Y.
Photo: Brayden Schenn is a top target of teams seeking a trade with the Kings. Credit: Harry How / Getty Images