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January 2, 2014 | 1:56pm ET
Trade Desk: Kings need scoring left wing
TheFourthPeriod.com

With the calendar flipping to 2014, NHL general managers will soon become hockey's versions of the Wolf of Wall Street.

They'll be working the phones to corner the market on assets they need to put them over the top for a Stanley Cup championship.

Between now and the March 5 trade deadline, TFP will regularly break down a team's most pressing need, at the time, with a solution on how to cash out.

In Los Angeles, a 9-1-0 run through early December had the Kings in position to take the lead in the NHL's hotly contested Pacific Division, but their Achilles' heel -- consistent offense -- has taken hold since the end of the their last home stand.

The Situation: The Kings chase the Anaheim Ducks and San Jose Sharks in their division. With the first organizational goal being a divisional title, GM Dean Lombardi has started to look outside the current roster for a solution to their scoring woes.

The Need: It seems as if the Kings are always looking for a scoring left wing. They've had players who couldn't produce but found the net after departing Hollywood, like Buffalo's Matt Moulson and Anaheim's Dustin Penner.

They Kings are getting a career year from Dwight King, but Dustin Brown's underperforming half-season doesn't improve the production needed. They've gotten little from Kyle Clifford and Daniel Carcillo, and rookie Tanner Pearson is finding his way in the AHL after a cameo appearance earlier this season.

On some nights, head coach Darryl Sutter has been reduced to putting natural right wings Trevor Lewis and Jordan Nolan on the bottom-six left side as a last resort.

The Play: You can start lining up the usual suspects for the positional need of left wing: Moulson, Calgary's Mike Cammalleri and Tampa Bay's Ryan Malone are names that have circulated around this team seemingly forever.

A more intriguing play would be with a team that has found success with former Kings Moulson and Thomas Hickey, the New York Islanders.

With Kings defenseman Alec Martinez not a particular favorite of Sutter's, and Islanders left wing Michael Grabner appearing to awaken from an awful start, a potential deal makes sense.

New York needs help along the blueline, while Los Angeles would get a wing with size and speed that fits when the eventual reuniting of Mike Richards and Jeff Carter occurs.

The Kings would likely need to throw a replacement winger for the short-term and could supply pending UFAs Carcillo or Lewis, that latter another in the long line of left wings that have struggled to produce in the Los Angeles system.

TFP Senior Writer Dennis Bernstein contributed to this report.


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