Loktionov, Penner, Martinez, Voynov: Roster Musings

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 03: Ryan Smyth #94, Drew Doughty #8 and Dustin Penner #25 of the Los Angeles Kings skate back to the bench after celebrating a goal by teammate Jarret Stoll #28 (not in photo) against the Phoenix Coyotes in the third period during the NHL game at Staples Center on March 3, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. The Kings defeated the Coyotes 1-0. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)

 

One Or More L.A. Kings Players May Get Traded Or Waived Before Christmas " Surly & Scribe
I am struggling to wrap my head around one potential scenario – The L.A. Kings sending Andrei Loktionov to Manchester upon Dustin Penner’s return. I just can’t do it.

Neither can I, but I'm also wondering if Penner will even be healthy by then. Loktionov appears to have a week or so at least left on his visit. 

Unless the Kings hate Charlie Sheen (read: Winning!), Dustin Penner has been rendered obsolete as a top 6 left wing absent an injury to a current top 6 player (biting my tongue) and we are left without any other option or [besides?] a trade / waiver that puts Loktionov firmly in the third line center position.

I wouldn't rule out a Stoll trade sometime this season. He's struggling, scoring depth is a recurrent issue (and that's code for "third line why do you suck?"), his contract is up after this season and nobody seriously thinks Stoll is going to resign in LA to play on the fourth line. I would even go so far as to say that Anze Kopitar - Mike Richards - Loktionov down the middle appears to be the plan going forward, starting next season (if not sooner). 

Could Dustin Penner be traded before the end of the year? Yes.

I can see Penner for a 2nd round pick or a prospect or something. Which would -- need I point out? -- create 4.25MM in coveted cap space. For, you know, one of those deadline day acquisitions. 

So, if Loktionov stays with us, who do we lose? My bet – Trent Hunter. I see a waiver or a trade but a trade would have to include a package unless we take future considerations (read: free tickets to Breaking Dawn) .

I assume he means, who do we lose if both Penner and Stoll stay put. The problem with losing Trent Hunter (or Ethan Moreau, or Colin Fraser, or Brad Richardson, or Trevor Lewis) is that he is (they all are) useful pieces that you have to have if you're going to go deep in the playoffs. And Loktionov is not going to stay with the club only to be a healthy scratch. I actually find the scenario in which we lose one of the guys in this paragraph less likely than the Stoll or Penner scenario.

Is a bigger trade coming? The depth scoring is awful. Nobody in the bottom 6 can bury the biscuit. While I put a large part of that on Terry Murray (where would we be in the top 6 without 10 and 11?), Murray, at the risk of repeating myself from previous articles, isn’t going anywhere absent a melt down.

I agree, unfortunately. Because I think Stoll and Penner are both victims of Acute Murrayitis. 

But who? And at what price? A lot of teams need defense and we have a treasure chest of defensemen. If Slava Voynov sticks, I can see one or more of Alec Martinez (my last choice on this list), Thomas Hickey, Jake Muzzin or Matt Greene packaged.

A big trade could easily involve Martinez, since he's a legitimate pro. Hickey is an unknown to the rest of the world. I personally would have considered dealing Greene if the Doughty-Johnson pairing had been better. But it's hard to imagine Doughty, Johnson, Voynov, Martinez, Scuderi and Mitchell as the --

-- wait. That sounds pretty good. 

Those of the "screw Doughty, trade him" persuasion, talk to me when common sense has penetrated.  

Who says such things? That's crazy talk. 

With Stoll and Penner both UFA next summer, Loktionov ready for prime-time, Tyler Toffoli going pro in 2012, and Martinez and Voynov both occupying the same coordinates in space-time, something's got to give. 

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