Good morning, internet!
Today’s the day: does Rob Blake let the trade deadline pass while only making a few minor moves? Or does he swing for the fences to start radically reshaping his team?
We’ll be here all day with you, giving you live updates of moves around the league, possibly engaging in wild speculation, and, of course, keeping you up to date on what’s happened with the Kings.
Hang out with us here in the comments as the trade deadline unfolds.
6:00 am Pacific
For your first update today, let’s rewind to all of the action from last night. The Kings made an AHL/ECHL-level deal, sending forward Spencer Watson to the Chicago Blackhawks organization in exchange for forward Matheson Iacopelli. The move represents a change in scenery for both players, who have struggled to live up to expectations.
The Anaheim Ducks also sent defenseman Brandon Montour to Buffalo in exchange for a first round pick and prospect Brendan Guhle, who will report to the AHL. They also did more work to shore up defensive depth for the San Diego Gulls, trading depth forward Brian Gibbons to Ottawa in exchange for defenseman Patrick Sieloff.
San Jose was also busy in the late hours of the night, finalizing a trade with the Detroit Red Wings (who they also played last night). The Sharks acquired Gustav Nyquist for a 2019 second and 2020 conditional third round pick.
Columbus looks to be making some goalie moves:
Kincaid to CBJ for 2022 5th-rounder.— Craig Custance (@CraigCustance) February 25, 2019
And this isn’t the first time we’ve heard Tyler Toffoli’s name in connection with Boston:
Boston and the New York Islanders will be watched closely today. The Isles could be a sleeper and the Bruins are still in on Stone, Simmonds and Toffoli as bigger options.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) February 25, 2019
And TSN is trying to capitalize on Gritty-mania with its own mascot. Yikes:
7:22 am Pacific
It’s been a quiet hour since we last checked in. I’m thinking about taking an ill-advised nap.
Names we’ve seen floating out there include: Ryan Hartman possibly on the move from Nashville ... the Blue Jackets may have interest in Detroit’s Niklas Kronwall ... Winnipeg is trying to acquire Kevin Hayes from the Rangers ... the Blue Jackets aren’t going to move Artemi Panarin for just picks ... the Flyers are still listening to calls on Wayne Simmonds, but also Michael Raffl and Brian Elliott.
And in Kings news:
5 hours until Deadline Day final whistle, my opinion on LAK landscape with understanding 1 call changes things:— Dennis Bernstein (@DennisTFP) February 25, 2019
Tyler Toffoli/Trevor Lewis - in play, solid interest.
Jeff Carter - little to no interest.
8:50 am Pacific
Ilya Kovalchuk gave the traditional “I’ll do whatever’s best for the team” answer when asked whether he would waive his NMC to be traded by the Kings, either at the deadline or around the Draft. The New York Islanders continue to pop up in connection with Kovalchuk, particularly due to his connection with Lou Lamoriello.
Matt Luff may or may not be recalled by the Kings today. He was practicing with the Kings earlier today. While the Reign are out of playoff contention, players must be on AHL rosters at 3:00 pm Eastern time today in order to be able to play in the AHL at any point over the rest of the season, so a Luff recall may involve some timing shenanigans.
Luff on the ice with the Kings. His status will be clarified later, per team. Kings opened the day with a 23-man roster...— Jon Rosen (@lakingsinsider) February 25, 2019
Former King Jordan Weal is on the move, heading to the Montreal Canadiens; in exchange, the Arizona Coyotes will receive Michael Chaput. ... Kevin Hayes is indeed a Winnipeg Jet now, traded for prospect Brendan Lemieux, a 2019 first round pick, and a 2022 conditional fourth round pick.
11:00 am Pacific
The most exciting thing to happen around here lately is the nachos and burrito I just had delivered for lunch.
BREAKING: Nachos and burrito have arrived at the rink. Nachos immediately slotted in on the top line. Burritos need further evaluation. In an additional side deal, we acquired a cheese quesadilla for future considerations.— sarah. (@goorgoahead) February 25, 2019
Per the AHL Transactions page, Matt Luff has indeed been recalled by the Kings. Precursor to another Kings move, or just giving the rookie another chance at making an impact in the NHL?
While the Kings are doing nothing, other teams are still making transactions. Derrick Brassard goes to Colorado for a third round pick. ... The Hurricanes acquired Tomas Jurco (on an AHL contract) from the Florida Panthers organization, sending Cliff Pu the other way. ... Multiple teams have expressed interest in Minnesota’s Jason Zucker. ... Columbus adds additional grit via Adam McQuaid from the Rangers for picks.
Columbus is all in, and unless they’re making some off-season deals, they’ll be making basically no picks in the upcoming draft:
After trading for McQuaid, #CBJ have just a 3rd-round pick and Calgary’s 7th-round pick in this June’s draft. Might not even have to fly Vancouver.— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) February 25, 2019
11:36 am Pacific
The Kings make their first move of the day, trading Oscar Fantenberg to the Calgary Flames for a 2020 conditional fourth round pick. No word on the conditions. We’ll have more shortly.
1:05 pm Pacific
The Fantenberg trade is official. The fourth round pick becomes a third round if the Flames reach the Western Conference finals and Fantenberg plays in 50% of the games.
With that, Rob Blake has confirmed the Kings are done today.
The AHL transactions page shows that Mike Amadio has also been reassigned to Ontario, so he could play either with the Kings or the Reign throughout the remainder of the season.
Elsewhere in the league ... Nashville receives Wayne Simmonds in exchange for a draft pick and Ryan Hartman, who is basically a younger version of the type of player that Simmonds is. ... In probably the biggest deal of the day, Mark Stone heads from Ottawa to Vegas, where he has already agreed to an extension. Stone can’t sign until March 1. Ottawa receives top defensive prospect Erik Brannstrom, Oscar Lindberg, and a 2020 second round pick. Moving Brannstrom makes sense for Vegas, who already have a fairly well-filled blue line and can spare parting with someone who will soon be an everyday NHL player, but it’s going to sting for their AHL affiliate.
Minnesota did, uh, stuff, and sent Matt Hendricks to the Jets and acquired Kevin Fiala from the Predators. Mikael Granlund goest to Nashville in exchange. ... The Ducks sent Michael Del Zotto to the Blues, which feels appropriate. ... Tanner Pearson looks like he’ll miss out on playoff hockey anyway; the Penguins sent him to Vancouver in exchange for Erik Gudbranson, who is bad. ... Marcus Johansson goes to the Bruins, less than a year after he was concussed on a hit by Brad Marchand.
Here are #NJDevils Marcus Johansson's unabridged thoughts on the Bruins' Brad Marchand hit that left him with a 2nd concussion in 3 months. This is one of the most honest, raw and thorough takedowns of another NHL player/a dirty hit as you'll see. pic.twitter.com/sjgTuLqHe8— Corey Masisak (@cmasisak22) March 26, 2018
Trades continue to trickle through the wire, particularly for minor deals, but that’s the bulk of them. As expected, Rob Blake is waiting until the summer to do his work on rebuilding the Kings roster.