The Kings Need to Stop Trading for Bad Players
Okay, listen. The Kings have done some bad things this season.
When the Kings dealt for Vinny Lecavalier and Luke Schenn, I tried to be open-minded. Maybe this would be the end of the awful Nolan/Andreoff duo! Maybe Luke Schenn could be the next Matt Greene!
(I still think that the latter is possible, but he has... not been that so far.)
It didn't really matter to me because the Kings weren't really sacrificing anything of value when they sent Jordan Weal the other way. Weal wasn't ever going to crack the Kings and there's a reasonably good chance he never amounts to anything in the NHL at all. I don't generally condone adding bad players, but there seemed to be an acceptable possibility that the Kings were rewarded for their gamble.
Early on, they were! Vinny Lecavalier's presence on the power play paid immediate dividends. Unfortunately, Lecavalier's run of luck has come to an end. Lecavalier hasn't picked up a single point in his previous 8 games, and that's while he's getting 14 minutes of ice time per game. For the record, Trevor Lewis, Jordan Nolan, Kyle Clifford, and Andy Andreoff each have at least 1 point in their past 8 games.
Points are luck-based, though, and maybe Lecavalier has quietly been doing the kinds of things that lead to quality possession. Haha, that was a funny joke. Lecavalier has been brutal when it comes to possession. The only player on the Kings roster/not on IR that has performed worse than him in this regard so far this season is Michael Mersch,
There are only two players on the Kings who have drawn into the lineup regularly this season who have been outshot by their opponents. Let's just say that Andy Andreoff is not good company for Vinny Lecavalier's stats to be keeping.
Surely he's producing shot quality though, yeah? He's skilled. Does the kinds of things that create offense. That also does not happen. Only Mersch, Nolan and Andreoff perform worse when it comes to controlling "high danger" scoring chances while they are on the ice.
Okay, I've made my point. Vinny Lecavalier seems perfectly likable, and I think he's a capable performer on the power play, but he is a brutal hockey player overall at this stage of his career. Dressing him on a regular basis actively hurts the team.
Luke Schenn's numbers are weird, in that there is a definite disconnect between his possession, his scoring chances, and his "high danger" scoring chances. Schenn has been demolished in terms of shot attempts, close to even at scoring chances, and surprisingly successful when it comes to "high danger" chances. It'll be interesting to see how these numbers eventually come together. He hasn't really upgraded anything, but he hasn't hurt anything. It seems very possible that his scoring chance numbers (and, by proxy, his goal numbers) come tumbling back toward his Corsi numbers sometime soon. It is frightening to imagine that Luke Schenn might be benefiting from good fortune so far as a King, but it is a possibility.
At the very least, he hasn't been very good. The Kings get overrun by the opposition when he has been on the ice, but so far it hasn't really worked out in his opposition's favor.
That brings us to today, when the Kings acquired the truly terrible Rob Scuderi.
Look, I know we have fondness for Scuderi. He was "The Piece" at one point, and his original signing (among other acquisitions) signified to the fanbase that the Kings were serious about contending. His effort has always been admirable, and there was even a time when he was a pretty effective hockey player. There is no denying that him getting his face smashed in by Steve Bernier was a key reason behind the Kings finally vanquishing the Devils in game 6 of the 2012 Stanley Cup Final.
He's still terrible now.
The Kings definitely weren't losing anything by dealing Ehrhoff. He was both disappointing this season and not going to be a card that Darryl Sutter played at any point. So it is a no-risk move (as opposed to the slight risk that came with dealing Weal). It's still a move for a terrible player, and playing him at all means that the Kings have made themselves worse.
Scuderi is bad, but Ehrhoff hasn't been much better this year – although he obviously has a better track record: pic.twitter.com/ivPS2TaYEv— dom luszczyszyn (@omgitsdomi) February 26, 2016
The Kings are also rumored to be in the mix for Teddy Purcell (which would be fine) and Justin Schultz (which would be less fine). Justin Schultz has been terrible in the NHL, and it would actually be a comical reversal of the trade that made the Kings great (getting rid of Jack Johnson while adding Jeff Carter). Adding Schenn, Scuderi, and Schultz to a defense in one season as your window to win gets even tighter would be a rather hilarious misstep. It wouldn't tank the Kings' chances to win the Cup on its own, but it'd certainly set the game on Hard mode.
At some point, I think the Kings ought to consider acquiring good players instead of bad ones. That's just my opinion, though. I could be wrong.