New Kings, or Old Flyers?
With the trade deadline approaching, Los Angeles Kings’ GM Dean Lombardi was under a lot of pressure to make a move and bring more offense to LA. Despite a star studded young roster, the Kings rank last in the NHL in scoring averaging just 2.1 goals per game. The only reason the Kings are still in the playoff race despite the lack of goal scoring is their stingy defense, which only allows 2.1 goals per game, third best in the NHL.
In order to raise the scoring totals, the Kings traded one of their best young defensemen, Jack Johnson, for high scoring veteran Jeff Carter. The Kings were able to part with Johnson because of the emergence of 22-year-old defenseman, Slava Voynov. The Kings will be looking for Carter to make an immediate impact and help the Kings reach their full potential for the season.
The bizarre part of this trade is the fact that Carter was one of three Flyer leaders in 2011. The other two? Also current Kings Mike Richards and Simon Gagne. In fact, Richards was the captain of the 2010-2011 Flyers team and Gagne and Carter were both assistant captains. In addition, all three were on the Flyers team that made it to the Stanley Cup in 2010.
With his job on the line, Lombardi turned to experience and leadership. Look for these three to appear on the same line or power play unit to try to surge the struggling Kings offense. Recreating the chemistry these players had I Philadelphia may be enough to help the Kings turn around their offensive woes and make a Stanley Cup push.