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Los Angeles Kings trade rumors, trade deadline outlook

By Adam Gretz | Hockey writer

Would it make much sense for the Los Angeles Kings to deal backup goaltender Jonathan Bernier this season? (USATSI)
Would it make much sense for the Los Angeles Kings to deal backup goaltender Jonathan Bernier this season? (USATSI)

With the 2013 NHL Trade Deadline on April 3 at 3 p.m. ET, Eye on Hockey will examine whether each team is a buyer or seller at the deadline, and who each team should look to sell or receive by the deadline.

Buyers or Sellers

They're the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings and once again one of the best teams in the NHL, so they're certainly not going to be selling.

Dean Lombardi's biggest move last season came well before the deadline, when he sent defenseman Jack Johnson to Columbus for Jeff Carter. The Kings have been a force ever since that trade, and Carter has once again shown why he's one of the top goal-scoring threats in the league, already tallying 18 this season.

What can Lombardi do for an encore this season? And does he even need to try to duplicate it?

It's already a strong, deep team, and a return of the 2011-12 version of Jonathan Quick (or at least something close to that) would probably do more for this team than any potential trade-deadline acquisition. They're a top Cup contender even without a move.

What's incredible about the Kings' situation is, not only are they already one of the top teams in the NHL, but they have more than $9 million in cap space and have most of their key players already signed to long-term contracts. That's some excellent management.

Rumors

It has been a little quiet on the Kings' front, but they are one of the many teams that have been connected to Calgary Flames forward Jarome Iginla, and his presence in Los Angeles would make the defending champs that much tougher to deal with in the playoffs. They certainly have the cap space to add him -- or any other big-money player that they have their sights sent on. And though it's not a pressing need, they could probably use another top-six winger to round out their top two lines.

Top Targets

With the absence of Willie Mitchell and Matt Greene this season, the Kings might want to look for some more depth on the blue line, and perhaps Edmonton's Ladislav Smid or Buffalo's Robyn Regehr could fit. In theory, that is. The problem with Regehr has been the fact that he has really struggled this season in Buffalo and isn't quite the same shutdown player that he used to be.

And it's not like the Kings' defense this season has been an issue, even with some inconsistent goaltending. They're a dominant possession team and don't surrender many shots. But some added depth couldn't hurt.

If you're looking for a veteran rental on D, how about this name: Columbus' Adrian Aucoin.

Dustin Penner hasn't had a particularly strong season, and even had a hard time cracking the lineup earlier in the year. Another top-six forward (Hello, Jarome Iginla!) would be some extra icing on the cake for a team that already has Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown, Mike Richards, Carter and Justin Williams skating on its top two lines.

The Kings have already made a couple of deals this season, sending Simon Gagne back to Philadelphia and dumping Andrei Loktionov to New Jersey for a fifth-round pick. Given the way that Loktionov has played with the Devils, it might be nice to still have him around as a trade chip.

Backup goalie Jonathan Bernier always comes up in trade talks (he did last year, when it came to Rick Nash, and he has even been mentioned this year in a potential Iginla trade). But given the way that he has played and how much Quick has struggled coming back from offseason surgery, it might be wise to hang on to him for some insurance in the net.

More Trade Deadline Rumors:

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @Agretz on Twitter and like us on Facebook. Also, subscribe to our YouTube Channel.

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