In a recent article for LA Hockey Now, Austin Stanovich wrote that forwards Carl Grundstrom and Blake Lizotte could be “movable pieces” if the Kings want to make any changes to their roster before the start of the season.
Grundstrom, 25, appeared in 57 games this past season, where posted new career highs in goals (12), assists (7), and points (19). It was a notable step in the right direction for the 2016 second-round pick, but given Los Angeles’ limited cap space and strong forward depth, he could be expendable for the right return.
Grundstrom has the tools to emerge as a solid third-line forward, and perhaps a change of scenery could be the spark he needs to take that next step in his development. This is especially so if he joins a club that provides him with more playing time and power-play opportunities.
The salary cap has created tough decisions for the Los Angeles Kings
Grundstrom also carries a $1.3 million cap hit until the end of this upcoming season, and freeing up that kind of cap space could be beneficial for the Kings.
Lizotte, 25, is another name that makes sense as a possible trade candidate for the Kings. With the addition of Pierre-Luc Dubois, Lizotte is now expected to be the club’s fourth-line center, and that is not an ideal role for him in the slightest. As a result, it could make sense for the Kings to move him.
Lizotte also just had the best season of his five-year career, as he had 11 goals, 23 assists, and 34 points – all new career highs. Due to this solid offensive season, there certainly could be some clubs out there willing to add him as a possible third-line center.
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The Kings do not necessarily need to trade Grundstrom and/or Lizotte, but it is also understandable why Stanovich views them as potential trade pieces. Alas, time will tell if either of these forwards gets dealt.