As suggested earlier this month, the Kings have traded defenseman Sean Durzi to the Arizona Coyotes for a 2024 second round draft pick. The move was necessary for two reasons: one, to clear cap space so GM Rob Balke can afford to sign a goaltender for the 2023-24 season and two, to balance out the defensive pairings by keeping Jordan Spence in the NHL next season.
During his recent Kings Of The Podcast appearance, Mark Yannetti said that Spence is an NHL defenseman just waiting for a spot to open up on the big club’s roster.
Technically speaking, the Coyotes sent Montreal’s 2024 second round selection to the Kings (a pick Arizona had previously acquired via another trade). This also replaces the second round pick LA recently dealt away in a three-team deal with Philadelphia and Columbus.
With this move, the Kings opening night projected roster and salary cap situation continues to take shape.
Durzi was originally a second round selection of the Toronto Maple Leafs and was then traded to Los Angeles in 2019 as part of a package for Jake Muzzin.
Now 24 years old, Durzi proved to be a valuable blueline option for coach Todd McClellan last year. He finished the 2022-23 season with 38 points (9G, 29A) in 72 games, playing both the left and right side on multiple pairings To date, he’s skated in 136 career NHL games, registering 12 goals and 53 assists for 65 points and has also seen action in 13 playoff games. During his time with the Kings organization, Durzi appeared in 91 career games for AHL Ontario, posting 50 points while a member of the Reign.
With today’s trade, LA Kings GM Rob Blake now has nearly $2 million to sign a goaltender, which has become the team’s No. 1 focus in recent days.
They still also need to trade a forward or risk losing one to waivers during training camp.
For further details on which players may be involved in those decisions, see here.
Updated contract notes on LA’s 10 restricted free agents can be found below.
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