A long-rumored trade inched closer towards completion Monday night when the Los Angeles Kings agreed to acquire veteran stay-at-home defenseman Robyn Regehr from the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for second-round draft picks in 2014 and 2015. The trade becomes official once Regehr passes his physical.

To make room on the roster, forward Dustin Penner was placed on injured reserve. Penner, who skated with Mike Richards and Jeff Carter in Sunday’s 3-2 win at Dallas and recorded an assist on his first shift of the roadtrip after sitting out the Chicago, St. Louis and Minnesota games, apparently suffered an injury late in the win.

During the Regehr courtship, there were sentiments expressed against acquiring the 13-year NHL veteran, some of which used advanced stats to indicate that his play dragged down a team’s possession numbers. I’m not endorsing or discounting those evaluations.

With the reduction of the salary cap to 64.3 million dollars next year, eight players heading towards restricted free agency on July 1 – including Slava Voynov – and the expiration of Dustin Brown’s contract after the 2013-14 season, the Kings’ ability to acquire a player linked to a contract that extends past this season without trading away a player from its core is somewhat hindered.

With many players signed to longer, weightier extensions off the table for Los Angeles, an experienced sizeable defenseman capable of rugged play whose contract expires after the season became a chief consideration in the absence of Willie Mitchell and as Matt Greene recovers from injury. Regehr fits that bill. Greene resumed light skating last week and could potentially rejoin his teammates late next month.

One player bound for unrestricted free agency I considered as an interesting trade target during the Kings Live pregame show yesterday evening was Ladislav Smid; within four hours of my comments, the 27-year-old defenseman signed a four-year, 14-million dollar extension with Edmonton.

Regehr isn’t likely to see top-pairing minutes, though he is an experienced penalty killer that can aid a shorthanded unit that has fallen to 15th place this year after residing at fourth place the last two seasons – a drop can be partially attributed to the team missing Mitchell and Greene’s size and shot-blocking presence in front of the net. L.A.’s blue line would also be stretched quite thin in the event another defenseman was injured.

Considering no roster players or prospects were touched by this trade, and that this does further open L.A.’s title window – already quite open at this point – this is a positive step towards solidifying the team’s blue line depth in the preparation of a playoff run, which was one of the chief objectives leading up to Wednesday’s trading deadline.

I’ll have more updates and quotes from tomorrow’s morning skate.

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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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