The LA Kings are seven points out of a playoff spot, but if they win these next two games against San Jose, they may decide to stand pat at the deadline.
The April 12th trade deadline is now only three days away, and many expect the LA Kings to be big sellers. Names Like Alex Iafallo, Dustin Brown, Adrian Kempe, and Andreas Anthanisou have surely garnered interest from teams looking to make a run for the Cup. However, the King’s position right now is very complicated.
After LA split the two games against Vegas, they lost three in a row, and it looked like any chance at the playoffs was fading fast. Yet, after a recent come-from-behind win against the Arizona Coyotes, the Kings are still clinging to a playoff hope.
The Kings will most likely not be buyers at the deadline. They will probably either sell or ride this team the rest of the season and see where it takes them.
In the last two years, the decision had been obvious…sell. The Kings were far out of the playoff picture and had no chance of getting back in it. This year is different; there is still a slight possibility of being ahead of schedule with this team and actually making it to the playoffs.
LA Kings are running out of time.
With 18 games remaining, the Kings will have to go on a heck of a run to have a chance, but trading guys like Iafallo, Brown, Athanasiou, or even Kempe would be like throwing the white flag on this season.
Also, if they win the next two, LA would be on a three-game winning streak, and making a trade that sells one of the team’s top players this season will be more difficult to justify. They are not desperate for assets like they were in past years. The organization is filled with prospects and draft picks. So, logically, if the Kings win the next two games, they should hold onto the guys thought to be in play for a possible trade (especially Dustin Brown) unless they get blown away by an offer.
The question is, what would be worth trading the lifelong King they have in Dustin Brown and the experience and tenacity he brings to the lineup? The former captain of the Kings is having a great year and is leading the team in goals with 15. Brown will also be extremely valuable in his role as a mentor to younger players over the next few years.
These next two games at San Jose will dictate if the Kings sell. They have another chance at the Sharks after losing four consecutive games to them. If the Kings lose both of these games or even one of them, they are expected to consider a deal that trades for yet another prospect or draft pick. But If LA can manage to get four out of four points, the decision suddenly becomes much more difficult for Rob Blake and the King’s front office.