Getting injury information from NHL teams can often be like cracking the code to a safe. The odds are pretty similar.
With the Kings recent rash of injuries — at an unprecedented pace, nearly a player per game was going down for a while — it’s also been a bit challenging to keep up with the myriad of moving pieces.
We’ve spent the last few days working with various sources to gather as much information as possible. As we understand each individual situation currently, here’s where things appear to stand… all subject to change:
(players listed by group, in alphabetical order)
Viktor Arvidsson – likely back next week
Andreas Athanasiou – TBD
Brendan Lemieux – current estimate is about two weeks
Dustin Brown – likely out 3-4 weeks
Mikey Anderson – week-to-week (likely 2+), not expected to return next week
Toby Björnfot – probably 1-2 weeks, on track to be the next defenseman to return
Drew Doughty – could be back as early as late next week, but it’s more likely going to be longer
Alex Edler – scheduled to return on 3/17 (projected lineup here)
Matt Roy – no set timetable yet, likely at least a few weeks
Where does all of this leave GM Rob Blake, as Monday’s NHL Trade Deadline is quickly approaching? We covered some of this in the article above and a few days ago during a radio interview on SiriusXM (see link below). Given the updated timelines laid out today, let’s now add some additional thoughts on a potential deal with Arizona for 23-year-old Jakob Chychrun…
Yes, he remains a player the Kings are highly interested in, as we’ve been saying for quite some time. However, we don’t expect Blake to make a panic move for Chychrun – primarily for two reasons. First, throughout his tenure as a GM (and, really, even back to his playing days), Blake has shown a high panic threshold. He’s as steady as they come. His moves are calculated and come with a steady hand. Second, Chychrun isn’t the only defenseman on the trade market.
If the Kings get Bjornfot back soon, combined with Wolanin being available as a depth player, that gives Blake and the Kings eight defensemen: Bjornfot, Durzi, Edler, Maatta, Moverare, Spence, Strand, and Wolanin. Sure, getting Doughty and/or Roy back would be a significant increase in skill and experience. Yet, they should be able to weather the storm with a minor addition.
Acquiring Chychrun would help the Kings now and for the next three years. If the Coyotes aren’t willing to play ball at the moment, Blake could certainly circle back to them in the summer and instead look elsewhere to bolster his roster in the days ahead; simultaneously sending a message to the locker room that he still believes in this group and appreciates what they’ve done to put themselves in a great position to make the playoffs.
Either way, we expect at least one addition to the Kings blueline before noon on Monday.
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