02/24/2024

STL:

1

DET:

6

Final

MTL:

3

NJD:

4

Final

TBL:

4

NYI:

2

Final

NYR:

2

PHI:

1

Final

WSH:

2

FLA:

3

Final

TOR:

4

COL:

3

Final

VGK:

3

OTT:

4

Final

BOS:

2

VAN:

3

Final

DAL:

2

CAR:

1

Final

CGY:

6

EDM:

3

Final

MIN:

5

SEA:

2

Final

NSH:

4

SJS:

2

Final

ANA:

2

LAK:

3

Final

02/25/2024

TBL:

4

NJD:

1

Final

PHI:

6

PIT:

7

Final

CAR:

2

BUF:

3

Final

NYR:

2

CBJ:

4

Final

DET:

3

CHI:

2

Final

ARI:

3

WPG:

4

Final

NSH:

4

ANA:

2

Final

02/26/2024

OTT:

3

WSH:

6

Final

NYI:

3

DAL:

2

Final

LAK:

2

EDM:

4

Final

BOS:

3

SEA:

4

Final

02/27/2024

WSH:

3

DET:

6

3

09:40

BUF:

1

FLA:

2

3

15:41

ARI:

1

MTL:

3

3

11:57

TBL:

1

PHI:

3

3

16:52

VGK:

3

TOR:

1

3

09:52

CAR:

1

MIN:

2

2

14:07

OTT:

1

NSH:

2

2

13:35

STL:

1

WPG:

3

2

12:48

LAK:

0

CGY:

0

1

15:01

DAL:

0

COL:

0

Final

PIT:

0

VAN:

0

10:00 ET

NJD:

0

SJS:

0

10:30 ET

02/28/2024

CBJ:

0

NYR:

0

07:00 ET

STL:

0

EDM:

0

08:30 ET

02/29/2024

VGK:

0

BOS:

0

07:00 ET

CAR:

0

CBJ:

0

07:00 ET

NYI:

0

DET:

0

07:00 ET

MTL:

0

FLA:

0

07:00 ET

BUF:

0

TBL:

0

07:00 ET

ARI:

0

TOR:

0

07:00 ET

WPG:

0

DAL:

0

08:00 ET

MIN:

0

NSH:

0

08:00 ET

COL:

0

CHI:

0

09:00 ET

PIT:

0

SEA:

0

10:00 ET

LAK:

0

VAN:

0

10:00 ET

ANA:

0

SJS:

0

10:30 ET

03/01/2024

ARI:

0

OTT:

0

07:00 ET

PHI:

0

WSH:

0

07:00 ET

NJD:

0

ANA:

0

10:00 ET

Rumor Mill spikes as LA Kings linked to Winnipeg Jets

Pierre-Luc Dubois in a Winnipeg Jets uniform doing the Superman Celly after a goal.
Getty Images

Following a conclusion to the season that did not end as planned again in Winnipeg, talks are heating up about breaking up their core. It is no secret that teams are willing to part ways with high-quality players in today’s NHL when sustained underachievement occurs. A lot has left to be desired from the Jets organization. They have premiere players that have simply not gotten it done in the playoffs. Last season, they walked away from longtime coach Paul Maurice (where is he at now, you wonder— doing alright, I’d say). Their new coach brought an eye-opening perspective: If you haven’t already, Rick Bowness’ post-playoff interview indicates major changes coming through the organization.

Joshua Morrissey and Kyle Connor would be the most likely candidates to be untouchable.

That leaves plenty of players on that team available. As one of the major names always in the rumor mill due to their prospect pool, the LA Kings have been connected to the Jets. Talks with LAK General Manager Rob Blake have been rumored to be taking place. The Kings have a need in goal, with Joonas Korpisalo unlikely to be re-signed. Anze Kopitar is reaching into the latter half of his 30s with heir apparent Quinton Byfield seemingly a way away from grasping the reins.

Here are some potential combinations that could make the Los Angeles Kings a viable option to trade with. After clearing up some cap space in a three-way trade, including Sean Walker and Cal Peterson, LAK has some added flexibility to coordinate a resigning and extending of Vladislav Gavrikov, plus room to re-sign Gabriel Vilardi. Does a deal for or include Pierre-Luc Dubois and Connor Hellebyuck seem possible?

Pierre-Luc Dubois for Gabriel Vilardi, Viktor Arvidsson, 2024 first-round pick

The Jets would certainly mouth water over this deal, but this should be seen as a (heck) no for the Kings. Gabriel Vilardi has questions over his health, yes, but his breakout season this year has him looking like a bonafide top-6 pivot for the Kings future plans. He was a difference-maker in the playoffs for someone his age and has promise to be an elite player in this league. The Kings saw this type of breakout with Kempe last year at 25 years old, Vilardi is 23.

PLD has never truly broken out as a third-overall pick, but his skill set and size make him a tantalizing player to keep an eye on. The Kings would go three years in a row in a very much win-now mode, even though they haven’t broken through the first round/same opponent in back-to-back years. 

Risky and bold move for Rob Blake; he should stick to the course.

Connor Hellebuyck for Alex Iafallo, Erik Portillo, 2024 first-round pick

While the acquisition of Erik Portillo was masterful of Rob Blake, he’s officially the Kings best goalie prospect and goalie trades traditionally require one going back. Unlikely, the Jets would want an unproven goalie or one in the Kings system outside of Portillo. With Alex Iafallo, he has become a core player for the Kings since he broke through the system in 2017. His contract value makes him a leverageable contract to open up salary cap room for Hellebuyck. 

Most plausible move for Rob Blake, but the Jets will certainly covet a large deal in place to move a franchise goaltender. Also: where does that leave the Kings goaltending pipeline?

What about Mark Sheifele?

He’s 30 years old; he’s a proven elite center. He doesn’t have to be the number one guy with Phillip Danault and Anze Kopitar in the mix. He’s part of the leadership group that Winnipeg is probably trying to get rid of possible salary retention. 

On the surface, the deals don’t exactly sit well or looking manageable. If I’m Rob Blake, I make a effort for Sheifele or Adam Lowry to solidify the center position. But as always, time will tell.

Connor Doyle

US Navy Veteran and UCLA Class of 2024. Background in International Development Studies. Los Angeles born and raised. Following hockey for over a decade.

3 thoughts on “Rumor Mill spikes as LA Kings linked to Winnipeg Jets

  1. Not a chance in Hell. Blake trades 3 straight 1st round pucks. We only have 4 picks this draft. It will be a roster trade and or prospects. 2 of 3 of these players will have to go, Arvidsdon, Iafalo and Moore, before his NMC starts July 1st. Plus Luzotte, Grundstrom are expendable.

    We aren’t trading Villardi, more likely Turcotte, Thomas, Fagamo and Madden would be available, since we have so many RFA’s available.

    1. I couldn’t agree more, however Blake is very much in the ‘win-now’ mode while Kopitar and Drew have championship caliber play left in their tank.

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