As pretty much expected if you read this article here, the Kings did not make any additional deals before today’s NHL Trade Deadline. However, they did make a roster move, sending 22-year-old center Nick Shore to Manchester.
Now, before you go jumping to conclusions, it was what they call a paper transaction and is very common at this time of year. Essentially, Shore was sent down, and then immediately recalled. Why did they even bother to do this then, you ask? It’s all about options for the playoffs. Basically, Shore is most likely to remain in the NHL through the end of the season and into the Stanley Cup playoffs. However, if, for whatever reason, they decide to send him back to Manchester, he needed to be on the Monarchs roster today to retain his AHL playoff eligibility. Today was the deadline for any such transactions. Thus, the move gave them some future flexibility, if desired.
At the time of his last recall (in January), Shore was among the AHL leaders in goals scored (20) and points recorded (42). With Los Angeles this season, the Colorado native and Kings top-rated prospect has suited up for 16 games, notching two assists. He is still looking for his first NHL goal.
On the Mike Richards front, the veteran centerman is expected to be called back up to the big club at some point; however, likely not immediately. NHL teams are allowed to call up four players after the Trade Deadline, via the league’s roster expansion rule. There really isn’t any reason to rush the process, though, just for the sake of expediting things. Hence, the “wait and see” approach. Through 13 games played in the AHL, Richards is averaging a point-per-game (3 goals, 10 assists) with the Monarchs and has seen increased ice time compared to what he was getting on the Kings’ fourth line.
Closing the loop on the trade front – we checked in with multiple sources last night and were in regular contact today. The Kings took phone calls, as you would expect, but were said to never really be close to getting anything done with another team.
GM Dean Lombardi seemed content with acquiring defenseman Andrej Sekera to shore up any holes on L.A.’s blueline. Now, finding the right defensive pairings will be one of coach Darryl Sutter’s biggest challenges over the final six weeks of the regular season.
Note to webmasters/reporters: When recapping news or interviews from this site please remember to include a link to www.MayorsManor.com