Magic Mountain has nothing on the Kings this year. If you want a wild ride, just try following LA’s hockey team. Winning streaks, losing streaks, injuries, trades, no trades – it’s a wild ride.
Here are five points on the ‘Marco Sturm to the Kings’ trade…
1. Like the Alexei Ponikarovsky signing over the summer, this isn’t THE deal. So, for those worried that Kings GM Dean Lombardi might see this as a way of fixing all the Kings offensive woes, think again. A trade for Sturm is a depth move. And when it comes to LW, the Kings don’t have much in the cupboard right now. So, even if you don’t like the player or the move, remember this – it would cost the Kings virtually nothing to acquire him. If the trade includes a conditional draft pick to Boston (believed to be a fifth rounder), this is a no-brainer. It’s low risk, all upside.
2. The deal wasn’t made yesterday, despite reports. The deal isn’t dead, despite other reports. “There is no deal,” Kings GM Dean Lombardi said. “There is no trade in place with Marco,” said Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli. But, but, but…it could be coming. Apparently, the Kings were concerned with what they saw in some of the medical reports. There seems to be some discrepancies on when Sturm might be available to return. Is is about a week or is it more like a month? That’s a big difference. For now, the Kings are continuing to monitor things and the trade could still happen.
3. Offensively speaking, expectations should be low. Remember, Sturm is coming off major surgery for a torn ACL and MCL in his right knee. History has shown that players returning from injuries like that usually take about a year to get back to their previous shape and performance (see Handzus, Michal). However, that doesn’t make it a poor move either. Besides adding depth, it’s usually not a bad idea to have another veteran around. So, if he can play solidly defensively, the points won’t matter – at least for a few months.
4. All reports indicate Sturm waived his no-trade clause to come to LA. That’s a positive sign in and of itself. For all the talk that some guys haven’t wanted to come to LA over the last few seasons (which was somewhat understandable, as the team hadn’t made the playoffs in eight years), the tide is starting to turn. Ryan Smyth wanted to be here. Willie Mitchell wanted to be here. Perhaps the most interesting question raised yesterday (by Jim Murphy of ESPN Boston) is, would Sturm have to waive his no-trade clause again to consummate the deal at this point?
5. A trade like this leaves all of the Kings’ major prospects and other parts in place. A conditional draft pick is nothing. Thus, the Kings are still primed to make a major move or two closer to the deadline. They’ll have the assets and the cap space to make a bigger splash once other teams are willing to start moving players. Also of note, Sturm will become an unrestricted free agent next summer. Again, giving the Kings more options down the road, as they won’t be tied to him for long. Both facts would be helpful if Lombardi plans on taking a run at Brad Richards of the Dallas Stars.
The NHL trade window will be closed between December 19-27…giving the teams a little more than two weeks to iron out the details before the holiday break.
Ryan Smyth talks about Ray Whitney – the almost trade from last season