LA Kings: Four defensemen worth trading 2021 first round pick for

LA Kings Rumors (Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports)
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LA Kings Rumors Mikhail Sergachev
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Mikhail Sergachev

I thought the LA Kings should have signed Mikhail Sergachev to an offer sheet last offseason, but he was re-signed by the Tampa Bay Lightning on a three-year contract at a $4.8M AAV cap hit. Two things. The Lightning are without a first, second, and fourth-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft, and I don’t see how they Houdini their way out of the salary cap this time without moving some pieces.

They were creative last year, placing Nikita Kucherov on long-term injured reserve. Between him and captain Steven Stamkos, the Lightning have $18M on LTIR. Per CapFriendly, without re-signing anyone, they are projected to exceed the $81.5M flat salary cap by just over $5M. The Kings might be inclined to take a look at a forward like Tyler Johnson or Alex Killorn to help with their second line scoring woes, but Sergachev would be the preferred option here.

He’d be costly, and the Lightning will do everything they can to keep him. But for the right price, there is a scenario where TBL general manager Julien BriseBois parts with the almost 23-year-old.

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Sergachev tallied four assists and 26 assists, playing in all 56 games. He was critical in the Lightning’s Stanley Cup run a year ago, tallying three goals and 10 points in 25 games. He’s an excellent facilitator on the powerplay, an area where the Kings could use a boost, as previously noted. Not to mention, Sergachev has a bombing shot from the point.