NHL Trade Rumors: The Kings want Regehr, but Toffoli won't be traded for a rental
The Kings may be targeting a stay-at-home defenseman, but they shouldn't give up the farm for him.
The Kings are on the hunt for another defenseman, and one report even claims that Regehr and the Kings are destined to be together. Another claims that Buffalo wants top prospect Tyler Toffoli in return.
Is there really a fit? As the trade deadline approaches, here's a closer look at what a trade for Regehr could mean for the Kings.
Slow, tough, and mean
Robyn Regehr is a mean, nasty SOB who can deliver bone-crushing checks--just ask Justin Williams, who once spent the playoffs in a sling because of this guy. Regehr took on tough minutes in Calgary for years, so Darryl Sutter is familiar with him. However, scouts say the 32-year-old defenseman has lost a step, and his possession stats this season raise red flags. (Robert's so dismayed by his stats, he's even rooting for him to go to a rival.)
I'm wary of adding a slower defenseman when skilled, speedy teams like Chicago already give LA plenty to handle. Though Regehr's possession stats would likely improve on a strong Kings team, especially with a partner like Doughty or Martinez, he is not a perfect fit.
However, the Kings may overlook his footspeed issues out of a desire to add another stay-at-home type. Willie Mitchell and Matt Greene both averaged over three minutes per game on the PK last season, and they are missed. Voynov, Doughty, and Ellerby have all taken on more responsibility, but the brunt has fallen on Rob Scuderi. So far, he's logged the most shorthanded minutes of anyone in the NHL. And the Kings clearly value size and physicality to clear the front of the net and balance out the defense pairings.
Several teams are on the hunt for top four defenseman, but they are rarely available, often expensive, and tough to acquire. The Kings may view Regehr as the best low-cost option available. His contract expires at the end of the season, so it would not tie their hands.
Darryl Sutter may also have some influence here.
What would the Kings give up?
Lombardi has been very active at the trade deadline in the past, but has never moved a major asset for a rental. The Sabres may be interested in Tyler Toffoli, but I'd bet my dog Lombardi isn't listening.
In many ways, Toffoli rumors remind me of the furor around Brayden Schenn. The Kings' prize prospect was the subject of countless trade rumors in 2011, but Lombardi was adamant that he'd only be moved for a "special player." Tambellini even joked that he heard a click every time Schenn's name was brought up in trade talks. Despite reporters trying to drum up interest and excitement, there was never any chance he'd be traded for a rental like Ales Hemsky.
Nothing has changed about the Kings' philosophy. Toffoli is exactly the kind of dynamic forward they need right now, and his cheap contract makes him doubly valuable given the lower cap next season.
So the Kings' level of interest in Regehr should depend on the cost. Apparently, no one's offered the Sabres much yet:
Regehr trade talk is interesting. Sabres haven't been offered anything yet worthy of seeking clearance from the vet D-man. #tradecentre— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) April 1, 2013
The market price for rental players seemed to rocket when the Penguins forked over a 2nd round pick and a conditional 3rd for Douglas Murray. That's quite an overpayment for a player the Sharks weren't eager to keep in the lineup. So what would Regehr fetch?
The Kings' current offer likely centers around draft picks as well, although they already sent this year's first rounder to Columbus. It seems they haven't been willing to offer the kind of trade package Buffalo wants.
We have no clear picture of what Buffalo is interested in besides Toffoli, but they know it's a seller's market. If other teams are interested, they may price the Kings out of the running. Regehr's no-trade clause also means he has the final say on where he goes, if he goes at all.
Tell us what you think about the idea of Regehr coming to the Kings. How far do you think the Kings would go in their offer? Is there another target out there you'd prefer? Or should they stand pat and wait for the return of Matt Greene?