2. Is this the year the Kings sell big at the deadline?
At the 2020 NHL trade deadline, the Los Angeles Kings traded away life-long franchise stalwart Alec Martinez to the Vegas Golden Knights for a 2020 second-round pick – eventually used to select Brock Faber in a roundabout way- and a 2021 second-round pick via St. Louis.
Now in a vacuum, this sort of deal isn’t particularly indicative of any sort of major line shift – VGK came heavy with a massive overpay offer, and Kings GM Rob Blake happily accepted it – but could the day eventually come where even the most well-loved Kings – you know the ones – will be playing in a more colorful uniform in somewhere other than Figueroa Street?
With only five players currently under contract for the 2022-23 season, the Kings could conceivably move pretty much any player not on a rookie deal at this year’s deadline, and it wouldn’t do much to their future but free up some additional playing time for young players.
Heck, even the three players the Kings currently have signed to contracts with either modified or fully-fledged no-trade clauses could agree to end their extended stays in Downtown LA for a chance to compete for another title as a member of, say, the Toronto Maple Leafs.
If some team is willing to give up a pick for Jonathan Quick, Jeff Carter, or even Dustin Brown – and their expensive contracts – I imagine the Kings would at the very least consider it, if not outright accept the deal.
Make no mistake about it; there will eventually come a day where the Kings hand over the reins from their old guard to a new, younger crop of players, and for that to happen, even the most popular players – I’m looking at you, Drew Doughty – will eventually have to say goodbye to the fans who’ve welcomed them with open arms.