Kings at the Trading Deadline

By Tony Calfo

As the trade deadline nears closer and closer, hockey critics have provided
us with their predications of what to expect before the 3:00 pm deadline on
Tuesday. According to the majority of critics, such as TSN’s Bob McKenzie,
deadline should be marked by a number of insignificant trades quite unlike
what we have become accustomed to in the past seasons.

Although the Los Angeles Kings started the season poorly, they have been one
of the NHL’s hottest teams and seemed destined to make some noise in the
upcoming playoffs, especially if they are lucky enough to play the Chicago
Blackhawks in the first round, who have had a strong season but really
cannot be considered a serious contender in the Western Conference.

The Kings were involved in the most talked about trade of last year’s
deadline when they sent Rob Blake to the Colorado Avalanche for Adam
Deadmarsh and Aaron Miller. Will the Kings once again make significant
adjustments to the roster? The answer is likely no, but it should be noted
the recent addition of veteran forward, Cliff Ronning, does improve the
team.

Cliff Ronning has played in over 1000 games and participated in the Stanley
Cup finals as a member of the Vancouver Canucks. Although he is now 36 years
old, he once again led the Nashville Predators in scoring and can be relied
upon to provide some offense, taking away some of the burden from Jason
Allison.

The addition of Ronning provides Andy Murray with some more depth but
without Karalahti, the Kings are not willing to part with any other player
specifically. Their depth in goal is not rivaled by many teams, and I
believe Stephane Fiset is an NHL caliber goaltender. It is possible a team
may inquire about him before Tuesday’s deadline,but it appears this will be
the roster the Kings enter the playoffs with on the NHL’s next important
date, April 20.