The good news that came tonight during the Kings 4- 2 loss to the Ducks was the acquisition of right wing Kris Versteeg from the Carolina Hurricanes. The Kings completed a trade last night with the Hurricanes for Valentin Zykov and a conditional fifth round draft pick in exchange for Kris Versteeg. Versteeg has now been traded a total of seven times in his professional hockey career, but this is not because he does not fit or is not contributing to his teams advancement. Instead it is because he is a strong and versatile player who brings valuable experience and has two Stanley Cups on his resume.
Kris Versteeg started with NHL in the 2004 entry draft going to Boston as a 5th round draft pick. In the 2007-2008 season he had his NHL debut with the Chicago Blackhawks. His second season with Chicago 2008-2009 he won the Calder trophy after a fantastic year where he played 78 games and earned a total of 53 points comprised of 22 goals and 31 assists. In the last 5 years he has typically played between 61 and 81 games and earning between 29 and 36 points with 4 different teams. So far this season with Carolina he has played 62 games with 11 goals and 22 assists for a total this far of 33 points. We look forward to seeing Versteeg continue to add to this years points totals as he helps the Kings push forward and advance into and hopefully through the playoffs.
The problem with acquiring Kris Versteeg for the L.A. Kings was their already very strained cap space available. In order to afford his contract they are having to use approximately $630,000 in LTIR relief funds. The Kings were also forced to place Maion Gaborik on long term injured reserve. With this expenditure the Kings will now have about $1.87 million remaining in their LTIR relief. What this means in layman's terms is that the Kings are essentially broke at the moment. As such we can conclude that this is their final trade before tomorrow's deadline.
This is not entirely a bad thing as I believe with the trades they have made thus far and the strong roster they already have the Kings are in about the best position they could hope to be player wise going into the post season. The down side of this total lack of funding is that hopes many of us Kings fans harbored for seeing a contract extension for Milan Lucic are rapidly becoming less and less likely. That however is a topic for another posting. For now we excitedly welcome Kris Verseeg to the Kings line up and look forward to watching him play over the remainder of regular season and with luck throughout the playoffs as well.