February 8, 2018 | 10:14am ET
KINGS STILL WILLING TO TRADE GABORIK
Marian Gaborik, right wing
The Los Angeles Kings are hoping to tinker with their roster before the trade deadline kicks in at 3pm ET on Feb. 26.
Kings GM Rob Blake has been looking around the NHL in an effort to acquire a top-four defenceman, but he’s also looking to add a top-nine forward.
With centre Jeff Carter expected to return towards the end of the month, or in early-March, forward Adrian Kempe may slot down to the third-line centre position, bolstering that unit but still leaving a hole in the top-six. If the Kings decide to go that route, Blake could focus on adding a left wing to add to his top line.
The Kings have been linked to Edmonton Oilers left wing Patrick Maroon, Montreal Canadiens captain Max Pacioretty and New York Rangers sniper Michael Grabner, among others, and talks will intensify as the days progress.
Another move the Kings would welcome, TFP has learned, is trading veteran right wing Marian Gaborik, who continues to jump in and out of the lineup as a healthy scratch.
The Kings tried to trade Gaborik last season, but weren’t able to find the right deal. Instead, they gave him an opportunity to reclaim a permanent spot on the roster this season, but that hasn’t happened. As it currently stands, if the right suitor can be found, the Kings would prefer to deal him.
Gaborik, 35, has three-years left on his contract after this season and comes with a $4.875 million salary cap hit. He does not own any no-trade protection.
It’s unclear if the Kings have had any significant talks, to date, involving Gaborik, but he is most certainly available. The Kings could try to deal him to a team with salary cap space to take on Gaborik’s contract, but would need to sweeten the pot in order to entice a team into making such a move.
The Kings have also had interest to Ottawa Senators defenceman Dion Phaneuf, going back to when he played for the Toronto Maple Leafs, but Phaneuf’s $7 million cap hit is more than the team is willing to take, even if Gaborik’s salary offsets Phaneuf’s, it appears.
Gaborik currently ranks among TFP's Top 30 Available Players.