Kings stand pat on NHL trade deadline day - LA Kings Insider

Kings General Manager Rob Blake said that he believes the team as constructed should push for the postseason and ultimately this was why he didn’t make a move on trade deadline day, Monday.

“We think we’re in a position here to compete for a playoff spot and that’s going to be up to these players now and we’ll go from there,” Blake said shortly after the noon deadline expired.

Blake noted that the return of forward Jeff Carter, who played in his first game since October on Saturday, should stabilize a lot of areas for the Kings.

“I thought we owe it to this group, coming in here we haven’t seen them with Jeff Carter, we haven’t seen Pearson and Toffoli with Jeff Carter, we haven’t seen Lewis with Jeff Carter in this lineup yet,” Blake said. “So we’re going to get that here shortly when Trevor comes back and I think it’ll give us a real sense.”

Also, just because the Kings weren’t active on trade deadline day, doesn’t mean they didn’t make moves to shore up positions of need on their roster in the previous weeks. Los Angeles added defenseman Dion Phaneuf and forward Nate Thompson from the Ottawa Senators on Feb. 13 in exchange for forwards Marian Gaborik and Nick Shore. Last Wednesday, the Kings added speedy forward Tobias Rieder from the Arizona Coyotes along with goaltender Scott Wedgewood for goaltender Darcy Kuemper.

“I think we put a plan in place a few months ago. We wanted to acquire depth on defense. We wanted to make sure we took care of that. We wanted to get a little speed in our lineup up front and we did what we thought was there,” Blake said. “You come into today and you listen and different things and you kind of have your gameplan in place. Again that can get thrown out with different phone calls, but we were pretty content knowing what we had coming in here today.”

Blake had been adamant that it would take a lot for him to trade his first-round pick to add a current NHL player. He said if the right deal was in place it could have been an option, but such a pick was an asset he didn’t want to part with.

“I think we understand the value of that first-round (pick),” he said.

Monday was Blake’s first trade deadline day as Kings GM, and he said he came to the team offices at around 7:30 a.m., having already corresponded with other general managers on the East Coast.

“It’s they want to see what’s going on ‘are you hearing anything’ and different things,” Blake said. “If you had big players that were available I’m sure you’d field a lot more calls.”

Blake made sure to point out that he had faith in the team’s younger players, saying that forward Michael Amadio and defenseman Paul LaDue would likely be with the team the rest of the season.

“I think it’s safe to say Amadio and LaDue are here,” he said.

Now the key for the Kings is to focus on trying to get Carter along with their new faces to gel with the guys who had played a majority of the team’s schedule. And they have to do it quickly with a back-to-back, home-and-home against the Pacific Division leading Vegas Golden Knights set to start tonight at Staples Center at 7:30 p.m.

Los Angeles is currently two points out of the final Wild Carts spot in the West and three points out of the final Pacific Division playoff spot.

“It does take some time. I mean, if you put some of the new faces – you add Jeff into that mix and then you have Dion and Nate in there, you have Tobias Rieder in there, you have Jack Campbell in there as a new face in this lineup so yeah, there is a lot and we need to speed things up for sure,” Blake said. “We have one of the best teams in the league coming in tonight and tomorrow. We don’t have a lot of time to kind of tiptoe into that. We need to see it.”

Lead photo via Dave Sandford/NHLI

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Adrian Kempe

#9 | 6′ 2″ | 195 lb | Age: 21

Born: September 13, 1996
Birthplace: Kramfors, SWE
Position: LW
Handedness: Left


Kempe was selected by the Kings in the first round (29th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft.

Alex Iafallo

#19 | 6′ | 185 lb | Age: 23

Born: December 21, 1993
Birthplace: Eden, NY, USA
Position: C
Handedness: Left


Iafallo was signed by the Kings as an unrestricted free agent on April 18, 2017.

Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

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


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.

Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

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


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.

Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

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


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.

Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

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


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.