When Kings GM Dean Lombardi pulled the trigger on last year’s acquisition of defenseman Andrej Sekera, he knew the conditional first-round draft pick, plus prospect Roland McKeown, was a hefty price to surrender to the Carolina Hurricanes.
Lombardi defended the deal by arguing that Sekera “was one of the better defensemen on the market.”
But then the Kings missed the playoffs. And after that, Sekera signed as a free agent with the Edmonton Oilers.
Which, upon review, made the trade a disaster.
This year, Lombardi is in a similar position, in that he wouldn’t mind adding a defenseman prior to the deadline. But according to the following tidbit from ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun, he might not be so aggressive this time around:
The Los Angeles Kings were looking hard at the market for the longest time, wondering what might make sense in terms of a defenseman. But a source suggested to me Tuesday evening that Kings GM Dean Lombardi has now decided the high prices on the thin rental-defenseman market may not be worth it. I still think Lombardi is willing to add a defenseman if the price is modest, but I don’t think he’s going to be as aggressive as he was last year when he went for Andrej Sekera for a first-round pick.
It’s worth noting that the Kings don’t actually have a first-round pick this summer; that belongs to Carolina. So even if Lombardi was willing to give up a first-rounder, it would have to be in 2017. And let’s not forget that the Kings traded their 2015 first-round pick to Boston as part of the Milan Lucic deal.
What about prospects? Well, the Kings don’t have a whole lot in the way of those either. Their best one is probably 19-year-old winger Adrian Kempe, and they’d be loath to give him up. He represents the only first-round pick they’ve made since 2012 (when they took Tanner Pearson 30th overall).