Ok, so let’s get this out of the way first: Kopitar and Drew Doughty aren’t going anywhere.
Everyone else in this section probably isn’t either, but a trade isn’t impossible. And if any of the other Kings veterans have increased their trade value this year, it’s Dustin Brown.23
Brown is leading the Kings with 13 goals this season, and his once toxic contract now only has one year left on it. The Kings may need to pay down some of his $5.875 million hit, but if there’s a team who’s interested in Brown, they could work something out.
Brown has a limited no-trade clause that allows him to block trades to seven teams, which still gives LA a lot of potential partners to work with. However, given Brown’s status with the organization and how long he’s been there, it seems likely that Blake would discuss a potential trade with Brown anyway and not just blindside him with a deal. Brown has deep roots in LA at this point and may not be interested in going anywhere, but if a legitimate contender has an interest in him, maybe he’d want to take a shot at a third ring.
At first, it may not seem like there would be as much interest in a 36-year-old Jeff Carter, who has just five goals and 14 points in 27 games this season. Unlike Brown, though, Carter’s ability to play center could appeal to teams, even if he’s mostly been a winger this season. Carter also leads the Kings with 79 shots on goal, and maybe there are teams out there who think his 6.3 shooting percentage is due for some positive regression — especially if he could play with some more talented linemates.
Carter is in a similar contractual position as Brown. He has one more year on a deal that carries a $5.272 million hit. He doesn’t have a no-trade clause, but like Brown, it’s possible that the Kings would still take his wishes into consideration out of respect for all he’s done for them. Carter also has deep ties to LA at this point and has maintained throughout the Kings’ rebuild that he had no interest in going anywhere, but if he’s presented with a chance at another Stanley Cup, it could be hard for him to turn it down.