Dean Lombardi knows he paid a fairly hefty price to get Andrej Sekera from the Carolina Hurricanes. Yesterday’s trade cost the Kings’ GM a first-round pick and 19-year-old prospect Roland McKeown.
But according to Lombardi, it was a fair price, given the market.
“Certainly I would say at this point, unless there are some surprises, this was one of the better defensemen on the market,” Lombardi said, per LA Kings Insider.
“This is a reflection that he’s not only a good player, but that there’s not a lot of them out there.”
With Sekera and also Cody Franson, traded by Toronto to Nashville, no longer available, the market for rental defensemen has become even thinner than it already was. Jeff Petry. Zbynek Michalek. Jan Hejda. Those are among the top names. Maybe Kimmo Timonen is available, but he hasn’t even played a game this season.
“I don’t think you’re going to see an overwhelming number of top-four guys who are going to be available, period,” said Lombardi.
“But, I’ve been wrong. We’ve seen bigger names move in the past.”
Related: Habs reportedly offered ’13 1st-rounder McCarron to Coyotes for Michalek
Interesting nugget here from venerable NHL scribe and Hockey Hall of Famer Jim Matheson, per the Edmonton Journal:
The Canadiens covet [Edmonton d-man Jeff] Petry to play with Alexei Emelin on a second defence pair in the wide-open East, where there is no clear-cut Cup contender threat. They may not want to deal their two young defencemen, Nathan Beaulieu or Jared Tinordi, in any deal for Petry.
They reportedly have offered their 2013 first-round pick, winger Michael McCarron to the Coyotes for the shutdown D [Zbynek] Michalek.
The proposed move makes sense to a certain degree. McCarron, the 25th overall pick at the ’13 NHL Entry Draft, was a disappointment in his first year in the OHL (with London) and was cut from the U.S. Team for the 2015 World Juniors.
But McCarron is still only 19 years old and, with his tantalizing size (6-foot-6, 225 pounds) still has plenty of value as a prospect. That would seemingly fit with the direction Arizona has taken lately, as the club is shifting towards a youth movement and plans to ship out some veterans prior to, or at, Monday’s trade deadline.
(And if you consider the asking price for Andrej Sekera — who, granted, might not be just a rental for Los Angeles — a prospect could be the asking price for Michalek.)
One final thing to consider: Michalek has been sidelined recently with an upper-body injury, believed to be a concussion. That could greatly affect what teams are willing to spend on the 32-year-old, especially since he’s a pending UFA on July 1.
For most of his tenure with the Winnipeg Jets, general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff has been fairly passive when it comes to making trades. Even his recent Evander Kane blockbuster only happened after an alleged incident with Dustin Byfuglien.
So while the Jets’ decision to acquire forward Jiri Tlusty from Carolina on Wednesday in exchange for a third-round pick and conditional sixth rounder might be just the kind of move you would expect from a team in the hunt for a playoff spot, it is particularly noteworthy given Cheveldayoff’s history.
Cheveldayoff doesn’t want to put too much pressure on Tlusty, but he did view this as more than just a means to fill a void left by Mathieu Perreault’s significant lower-body injury.
“It is a message to the room that we’re all-in, here,” Cheveldayoff said.
The question now is if Cheveldayoff will chose to emphasize that message further by pulling the trigger on anything else. Getting Tlusty certainly helps, but the Los Angeles Kings and Minnesota Wild have bolstered their rosters as well and that’s likely just the beginning for the Jets’ rivals as we still have five days of trading left.
With a 31-20-11 record, the Jets have a four-point edge over the Minnesota Wild in the battle for a playoff spot. That being said, Winnipeg has also played in two more games.
PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
We’ve heard a lot about what top 2015 draft prospects Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel might bring to the teams that select them, but what about the man likely to go third overall? Here’s a couple recent stories about Boston College defenseman Noah Hanifin. (The Hockey News / NHL.com)
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman is “intrigued by the possibility” of a Penguins-Flyers game at Beaver Stadium, but it’s not close to happening. (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)
Editor’s Note: Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a $50,000 Fantasy Hockey league for Thursday night’s NHL games. It’s just $2 to join and first prize is $5,000. Starts Thursday at 7:00 p.m. ET. Here’s the FanDuel link.
Seven-year-old Alyx Delaloyle, who is battling leukemia, was thrilled when the crowd as well as players from the Winnipeg Jets and Dallas Stars cheered her during Tuesday’s game. (Winnipeg Sun)
Kings GM Dean Lombardi realizes he paid a steep price for defenseman Andrej Sekera, but given how his players have done recently and their past playoff success, Lombardi felt it was appropriate to act aggressively. (LA Kings Insider)
The Washington Capitals’ “sloppy” showing against Pittsburgh on Wednesday can trace its origins back to their morning skate. (CSN Washington)
Speaking of, here are the highlights from Pittsburgh’s 4-3 victory over Washington:
Rob Rossi doesn’t think Penguins GM Jim Rutherford should be satisfied after adding Daniel Winnik. (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)
The Los Angeles Kings have acquired defenseman Andrej Sekera from the Carolina Hurricanes, according to multiple reports. In return, the ‘Canes will receive a first-round draft pick (2015, as long as the Kings make the playoffs) and 19-year-old prospect Roland McKeown.
The deal should come as no surprise. With Slava Voynov suspended indefinitely, the Kings needed a d-man, as evidenced by Drew Doughty averaging 29:28 of ice time this season compared to 25:43 last year.
The Kings’ current eight-game winning streak also means they’re more likely than not to be in the playoffs — something that couldn’t be said at the beginning of the month, when the defending Stanley Cup champs dropped as low as 12th in the Western Conference.
Sekera, a 28-year-old pending unrestricted free agent, has two goals and 17 assists in 57 games this season while logging an average ice time of 22:46.
McKeown, a defenseman, was the 50th overall pick in the 2014 draft. He’s currently playing junior for the Kingston Frontenacs of the OHL.
Related: Voynov trial likely to be delayed until March 9