The Los Angeles Kings struggled scoring goals during the 2016-17 NHL season. After finishing among the bottom in the league in goals scored, Rob Blake replaced Dean Lombardi as general manager while John Stevens took over Darryl Sutter as head coach.
Blake moved quickly and re-signed Tanner Pearson, the team’s second-leading goal scorer, to a four-year extension. While keeping Pearson in Los Angeles was a clear priority to help out the offense, the Kings may also be angling themselves to add another young goal scorer by trading for Evander Kane, according to Elliotte Friedman of NHL Network via Chris Nichols of FanRag Sports:
“Yes, he is on the trade block and I think the Los Angeles Kings are among the teams that are very interested,” said Friedman. “I think they’re probably the most interested as far as I know. Vancouver has been and out of the (Kane) trade situation for much of the last year, and I assume they’re always around. And I’m sure there are other teams too.
Kane was originally selected with the fourth overall pick by the Atlanta Thrashers during the 2009 NHL Draft and remained with the organization during the relocation and renaming to the Winnipeg Jets. In February 2015, Winnipeg traded Kane to the Buffalo Sabres where he led them in goals during the 2016-17 season.
It is likely the Kings will trade away a defenseman should Kane join Los Angeles. Just like the Kings, the Sabres are in the midst of a transformation after firing general manger Tim Murray and head coach Dan Bylsma. Jason Botterill became the team’s new general manager while the head coach position remains vacant.