As a trade seems more and more likely from Lombardi and company, the question must be asked, who is on the trade block for the Kings? With Kaberle’s no trade clause kicking back in on August 15th, Brian Burke will have to move him soon, if he’s going to unload him this off-season. The impending deadline has led to significant rumors that the Kings are one of the prime contenders, as even Ruben’s previous article illustrates. Fortunately it looks like Lombardi is sticking t0 his guns and refusing to give up the farm for a defender who is NOT one of the top 10 defensemen in the league (not even close).
So if he’s not going to unload his superstars in the making, who is on the trade block? Well by my count there are only a handful of players that can legitimately be considered “on the block.” Though of course nobody is untouchable (literally, the very idea is ludicrous) if the right offer comes knocking. The players on the block with some analysis, are below:
Erik Ersberg – Poor guy just doesn’t fit on the team. He’s a talented keeper, if a bit on the small side. Unfortunately he got squeezed out by a unexpected performance by Quick a couple years back, and with Bernier knocking on the door, he’s on his way out. It doesn’t look like he’ll be worth much on the trade market, but they might swing a late draft pick for him. Otherwise I’d expect to see him on waivers come fall.
Scott Parse – The kid needs to step up this season. As we’ve pointed out before, this year he may get a legitimate chance to perform as a top-6 player, and if he shows up he could be crucial this season. However he’s not of much value at the moment, which tragically also limits what he can bring in a trade. I don’t see him being actively shopped (like Ersberg), but he is a strong bet to be in a larger package deal for an established scorer or potentially defenseman.
Oscar Moller -Maybe the most shoppable prospect in the ranks at the moment, Moller has shown glimpses of real offensive potential. He’s not a big guy, which is what has hurt him the last few times he has made appearances in the NHL. Despite that fact, he’s got some real leadership potential, and is a legitimate “winner” at every level. He’s the kind of talented youngster who may make a push for the roster this fall, but could just as easily be dealt in a package for Kaberle or another talented veteran.
Justin Williams – I really don’t see Williams being moved, and his injury history makes him another example of a player who is not at the apex of his value. That being said, he’s a viable candidate to be moved in a deal that brings back a stronger winger for the top lines. In the end I still think we see him with the Kings in October, but is definitely a candidate for movement.
Those are all players I’d be alright saying goodbye to, depending on what we get back of course. Are there any I missed? Who should the Kings be dealing now?