LA Kings trade for a kid with more questions than answers

So, Kings GM Dean Lombardi made another trade with the Philadelphia Flyers today. At least that’s how it’s going to read in some places. Yet, there is so much more to this deal. Or is there?

Jammed by the salary cap and total number of player contracts under contract, the Flyers needed a little breathing room. No problem. They called up their old buddy for some help. And in exchange for the always popular ‘future considerations’ the Kings picked up a sixth round draft pick and Stefan Legein.

Which is where things get really interesting.

Normally, people wouldn’t be talking much about this deal. It would be more like a shuffling of paperwork than a real hockey trade.

However, upon further investigation you’ll see that Legein is one of the most interesting stories to come out of the NHL Draft in years.

He was an assistant captain on the gold medal winning Team Canada squad at the 2008 World Junior Championships – a team that also featured Drew Doughty, Thomas Hickey, Jonathan Bernier and Wayne Simmonds.

Legein hurt his shoulder during the tournament and some have claimed he’s never been the same since. He came back months later to finish out the OHL season and made his AHL debut, playing two playoff games for the Syracuse Crunch, once his junior club had been eliminated from the playoffs.

That summer, he announced his retirement from hockey – yes, at the age of 19 – essentially, walking out on the Columbus Blue Jackets, who had drafted him 37th overall in 2007.

What went wrong?

At first, some speculated it was just a prank. After all, this was the kid known for terrorizing his teammates with practical jokes.

That wasn’t it. He was serious.

In the video below, he shows off his silly side by conducting a mock interview with John Tavares at the 2008 WJC.

When he decided to return to the ice in late December, Legein told TSN that contrary to previous reports, he never left because of his girlfriend or drugs or any other tabloid-worthy story. He just lost his desire to play hockey.

The 5-foot-9 right wing, who had been working shifts at a pizza parlor during his time off, took a few weeks to get back into game shape and then rejoined the Crunch for the balance of the season. In 26 games, he had one goal for Syracuse.

Early the following year, he was traded to the Flyers and had his most productive pro season to date, posting 24 goals in 72 games played for their AHL affiliate in Adirondack.

He was also second worst on the team, with a minus-19 rating.

Last season he had five goals in 41 games with Adirondack and also played two games for the Greenville Road Warriors of the ECHL.

Which leads to a question.

Over the summer, the Ontario Reign were adamant about needing more players from the Kings. So far, it looks like goalie JF Berube is the only Kings prospect who will start the year in the ECHL. Could Legein be just the guy to bump that number up by one?

For now, he’s headed to Manchester. How long he stays there though is to-be-determined, at best.

The most likely scenario, for the short term, would have the Monarchs sending a player to Ontario to make room for him.

In the end, every player has a story.

Chances are, Legein’s is probably far from being completed.

Too many questions, so few answers about a former highly rated prospect.

The Mayor
www.twitter.com/MayorNHL 
www.facebook.com/MayorsManor 

RELATED ARTICLES:

Team Canada report with Drew Doughty

WJC memories with Captain Canada

JF Berube may be looking for a new nickname

Many frustrations for Ontario Reign President Justin Kemp

Cruising the mall with Simmonds and Doughty

Exclusive:  Jim Fox on the Kings trade for Mike Richards

Ian Laperriere on the Richards vs. Pronger issue with the Flyers

Shop MMAOverload.com Today!

Recent Articles

NHL RADIO REPLAY: Mayor’s Minutes – All the Latest LA Kings News

Follow @mayorNHL
Enjoy a free replay of this week’s Mayor’s Minutes on NHL Network Radio, where John Hoven joined host Jim ‘Boomer’ Gordon to discuss all things Los Angeles.
Today’s radio segment can be heard using the player below or download any of our audio files for free on the MayorsManor iTunes page located here.

TSN REPLAY: Hoven Breaks Down LA Kings Draft and Roster Options

Follow @mayorNHL
Enjoy a free replay of John Hoven on TSN Radio, where he joined host Kevin Olszewski to discuss several LA Kings related topics – including what’s next for AHL Ontario, prospects being considered for the No. 2 selection in the NHL Draft, and which players are on the bubble for the 2020-21 roster.
This […]

NHL Radio Replay: Hoven on Draft Lottery, Kings Plans, and Roster Notes

Follow @mayorNHL
Enjoy a free replay of this week’s Hot Stove, where John Hoven joined hosts David Pagnotta, Dennis Bernstein, and Ryan Paton to break down what happened at the 2020 Draft Lottery, what’s next for the LA Kings, who will the pick, will he play in the NHL next season, the team’s top prospects, and […]

Major News Items

2020 NHL Draft Preview: Quinton Byfield, OHL Forward

One of Dean Lombardi’s most impactful picks came in the form of Drew Doughty at second overall. Twelve years later, the Kings would benefit if the lottery provided the same courtesy. According to Tankathon, Los … [Read More...]

More Prospect News

About John Hoven

John Hoven is a member of the of the Professional Hockey Writers Association and co-hosts Kings of the Podcast. He is also the founder and editor of MayorsManor.com, which has been named Best Sports Blog in Los Angeles by LA Weekly and Hockey Blog of the Year by Yahoo Sports. Click "ABOUT OUR TEAM" above for a full bio.