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
Jiri Tlusty has been traded to Winnipeg, with a third-round pick in 2016 and either a fifth- or sixth-round pick in 2015 going back to Carolina. (If the Jets make the playoffs, it’s a fifth-round pick. If not, sixth.)
Tlusty, 26, has 13 goals and 10 assists in 52 games for the Hurricanes this season. A pending unrestricted free agent, he fully expected he could be dealt prior to Monday’s deadline.
In Winnipeg, Tlusty figures to be a second- or third-line winger. With Mathieu Perreault out, his addition could allow Dustin Byfuglien to return to defense.
It didn’t take long for Patrick Kane’s injury to spark speculation over how the Chicago Blackhawks may use the long-term injury relief to add to their roster prior to Monday’s trade deadline.
From ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun:
And from Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman:
The Blackhawks have been linked to Curtis Glencross, Andrej Sekera and Antoine Vermette, but does it make any sense to give up the assets without Kane? That’s still a really good team, but he’s been their best player.
And one more, from NHL.com’s Brian Hedger:
A major factor in all this will be Kane’s recovery timeline. What if he could be back in time for the first round of the playoffs? There’s no salary cap in the postseason, remember. So Kane’s injury could, theoretically at least, actually end up helping the Blackhawks.
Again. Theoretically. We’re pretty sure there aren’t any celebrations planned for Blackhawks HQ today. If Kane is out 10 weeks, that puts his timeline past the start of the first round (Apr. 15).
At any rate, it’s going to be extremely interesting to see how GM Stan Bowman handles this. Lots of balls in the air right now. Lots of variables to consider.
Related: PHT interviews Don Maloney, who knows he has a big trade chip in Vermette
With the Carolina Hurricanes all but admitting they’re going to sell off unrestricted free agents prior to Monday’s trade deadline, one of their youngest UFAs is trying to play through the uncertainty.
“Obviously I know the deal and know what they expect to do,” Jiri Tlusty said, per the Raleigh News & Observer. “I’m trying to block it out of my mind and just play the game I know how to play. You need stay really focused on the game and that’s what I’m trying to do.
Tlusty is one of the more intriguing names available on the trade market. At 26, he’s pretty young for a pending UFA and could been seen as more than just a rental, assuming the acquiring team is open to extension talks.
He’s also got some serious offensive upside.
During the lockout-shortened ’13 campaign, Tlusty scored 23 goals in 48 games and tied Steve Stamkos, Jonathan Toews and John Tavares for the NHL lead in even-strength markers, with 19. This year, he’s shown his prowess on the power play, tying Eric Staal for the team lead in goals (six).
(Tlusty’s defensive play is solid enough to have garnered some Selke votes in ’13.)
In light of all this, the Czech forward sounds like someone that knows he’s probably on the move.
“It’s kind of hard but it is what it is,” he explained. “Other guys go through it in their careers and I’m going through it right now.
“It’s a part of the business and you have to understand as a player what’s the management plan.”
The Philadelphia Flyers certainly had a chance, especially since the Boston Bruins lost at home to the Vancouver Canucks on the same night.
But having a chance and taking it are two different things. The Flyers lost to the Carolina Hurricanes, who sit at the bottom of the Metropolitan Division, by a final score of 4-1 on Tuesday.
The Flyers, with a win, could’ve moved to within two points of the struggling Bruins for the final Wild Card spot in the East. Didn’t work out that. The window to make the playoffs is closing by the game. They remain four back of Boston.
The Flyers, who beat Nashville and Washington over the weekend and were praised by their owner for not giving up, can ill afford to give up points, especially to teams well below them in the standings.
Rob Zepp was the busiest of the two goalies. He faced 35 shots, making 31 saves. But the Flyers, needing wins and goals, manufactured only 24 shots on Carolina goalie Cam Ward.