For those who are still interested, I’ve been able to piece together most of what went on from the Kings’ side of the Kovalchuk situation.

The essential reason that a trade didn’t get done, and never really got close — and basically why I found information so hard to come by in recent days — is that the Kings and Thrashers never really moved beyond the initial sticking point. When I first addressed about the subject, around 10 days ago, I wrote the following: “The issue, for the Kings and other teams, is going to be the willingness to give up players currently on the NHL roster. Atlanta isn’t necessarily looking for a prospects-and-picks rebuild, a la Dean Lombardi. They have franchise viability issues, and they need to keep their NHL team looking reasonably strong.”

That remained the sticking point. In the end, the Kings simply didn’t want to take players out of their locker room for a rental. Atlanta sniffed around Dustin Brown, Jack Johnson and Wayne Simmonds, at least one of whom would have had to have been the center of a trade package. Atlanta wanted NHL players. The Kings offered prospects. There wasn’t going to be a fit unless one side budged, and neither did. In the end, I think Don Waddell did pretty good for himself under the circumstances, getting two NHL players, a prospect and a first-round pick for a rental player, albeit a fantastic one.

When it came down to it, Lombardi simply didn’t want to break up the locker room, especially for a player who might walk in three months anyway. There’s still, of course, the option that Kovalchuk could sign during the summer, presuming he intends to keep playing in the NHL. It’s been a fascinating story, and it’s definitely not done yet.

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Alec martinez

#27 | 6′ 1″ | 210 lb | Age: 29

Born: July 26, 1987
Birthplace: Rochester Hills, MI, USA
Position: D
Handedness: Left

Bio

Bio: Martinez was drafted by the LA Kings in the 2007 Draft, while playing for Miami University. He has since become a two-time Stanley Cup champion and the 17th man in Stanley Cup playoff history to score the Cup-winning goal in overtime.

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Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

Born: August 24, 1987
Birthplace: Jesenice, SVN
Position: C
Handedness: Left

Bio

As the 11th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Kopitar became the first Slovenian to play in the NHL. Kopitar has spent his entire NHL career with the Kings, and following the 2015–16 season, was named the Kings’ captain. Noted for both his offensive and defensive play, Kopitar was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the NHL in 2016.

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Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

Born: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Right

Bio

Bio: Doughty is a Canadian defenceman who was selected second overall by the Kings in the 2008 Draft. Doughty made his NHL debut in 2008 as an 18-year-old and was named to the All-Rookie Team. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Kings, a two-time Olympic gold medallist with the Canadian national team, and a Norris Trophy finalist.

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Tyler Toffoli

#73 | 6′ 1″ | 200 lb | Age: 24

Born: April 24, 1992
Birthplace: Scarborough, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right

Bio

Toffoli is a Canadian professional ice hockey forward, drafted by the Kings in the second round of the 2010 Draft. Toffoli scored his first career NHL goal in his second game in a 4–0 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes in 2013. He was also named the 2012–13 AHL All-Rookie Team.
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Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

Born: January 1, 1985
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right

Bio

Carter began his hockey career playing in the Ontario Hockey League in Canada before joining the AHL and playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. He was then traded to the Colombus Blue jackets before joining the LA Kings in 2012, where he has since won two Stanley Cups with the Kings.

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Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

Born: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Milford, CT, USA
Position: G
Handedness: Left

Bio

Bio: Quick is the current goaltender for the LA Kings and was selected by Los Angeles at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Previously, Quick was a silver medalist with USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics. He’s won two Stanley Cup championships with the Kings, along with being the most recent goaltender to be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.

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