Kings' Offseason will see Little Wiggle Room to Make Trades

The Los Angeles Kings enter a rather luminous, erie offseason with three straight playoff exits. They have decided to stand by Rob Blake, the General Manager, and Luc Robitaille, the President of Hockey Operations, as upper management.

They elected to shed Jim Hiller's interim tag and give him his shot at a full-time NHL head coach. The personnel might change significantly, as Matt Roy, Viktor Arvidsson, Blake Lizotte, Cam Talbot, and Pheonix Copley have expiring contracts.

There is some housecleaning to do, with Quinton Byfield's new contract becoming priority number one and Jordan Spence's new contract being number two.

With the cap space left after signing those two (the combined value should range between 5-8 million), the Kings will decide who should be resigned from the aforementioned group above, plus an additional Carl Grundstrom, Arthur Kaliyev, and Trevor Lewis.

If the Kings attempt to go back with a very similar group and expect better results, then the already low credibility of this franchise's management will hit new lows. Going back after it with a similar group and possibly a new system will still isolate their budget goaltending.

The 1-3-1 has become a dreaded term for those following the Los Angeles Kings. However, the King's system and structure elevated the numbers of their budget goaltending tandem by suffocating high-danger chances during the regular season.

As management has already resigned David Rittich to a one-year extension, it is hard to see Copley getting the nod over Talbot. The issue is that resigning Talbot in his soon-to-be 37-year-old season within a potentially new system could provide disastrous results.

The Kings could scope out free agency for a goaltender. However, this offseason, free agency will be very light on quality tenders. In the meantime, Kings fans have flocked to social media to make their best trade proposals and find a partner for a goalie acquisition.

The issue is, with what assets?

The organization used to be the cream of the crop, as Blake collected many assets following the four-game sweep from the Vegas Golden Knights in 2017-18. However, as the organization shifted away from rebuilding and entered the new era of 'making playoffs and finding success,' its assets have dried up considerably.

Blake and co have also handed out No-Movement clauses like candy. Four players have No Movement Clauses, and three have Modified No Movement Clauses.

kings' offseason will see little wiggle room to make trades

Trevor Moore has become a fan favorite while in Los Angeles, but does he become the most viable option for trade? Credit © Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

If you had to trade a viable asset that can get you a decent return, it would be Trevor Moore. While a fan favorite due to his origin, Moore doesn't carry a NMC, is 29 years old, making 4.2 million with the term (carries through 2027-28), and is coming off his first thirty-goal season.

Trades don't come without costs, as blatantly seen with the Kevin Fiala trade (Brock Faber). If Moore can be moved for a legitimate starting goaltender, it's worth the cost. The likelihood of Moore repeating a 30-goal campaign is low.

He scored 17 goals through December (three months) with a high 17.06 shooting percentage. He scored 14 in the final four months with an 11.9 shooting percentage.

It's not that it was expected as a dig at Moore, but in April, Drew Doughty commented, "You know, I don't think when we made that trade, we expected 30 goals out of him, but it's amazing." It's not an outlandish comment. Moore's previous high was 17 goals back in 2021-22. His next high he hit twice, with 10.

The real damage with Moore being traded is his penalty kill effectiveness. Moore is an all-situational player with 10 shorthanded goals in his four years in LA. Those responsibilities have to be passed on if traded.

Moore is the only real piece with a legitimate value without an NMC that could be sent off in a trade for a quality tender. The fanbase would be sorrowful, but the Kings can take a step in the right direction by having a quality tender and a new spot open in the top six for an Alex Turcotte or Akil Thomas.

Want a 5-6 million dollar tender? You have to pay the price.

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