Thursday, March 4, 2010

Kings Add Veterans Halpern & Modin


First off, anything I say about the Kings acquisitions can only really be a supplement to what Rich Hammond's already provided.  He's pretty much given Kings fans everything they need to know about the two newest Kings; from what position they play to their favorite teacher in kindergarten.

A number of former Kings were dealt at the deadline this year (Lubomir Visonvsky to ANA, Eric Belanger & Joe Corvo to WAS, Mathieu Schneider to PHX).  I would have liked to bring any of those players back...

So what did the Kings do?  They didn't acquire Paul Kariya.  However, they did acquire a couple of veterans to add to the team's depth without trading any roster players, top prospects or top picks.

The Kings acquired center Jeff Halpern from Tampa Bay in exchange for Teddy Purcell and Florida's 2010 3rd Round Pick.  
First, I though awesome but that's quite a bit for a third-line checking center.  I assume Dean Lombardi values his second-round picks alot more than he did Purcell.

I really like Jeff Halpern's game.  He's a versatile third-line center who can play the wing.  He can score if given the ice-time.  Defensively responsible and can kill penalties.  A good character acquisition.  I watched TSN's Pierre Mcguire speak highly of Halpern's character and the way he dealt with a family tragedy as a member of the Washington Capitals.

The Kings acquired winger Fredrik Modin from Columbus in exchange for a conditional pick.
I really like the acquisition.  I listed Modin as one of my targets.  I love the acquisition because it's a low-risk, high-reward type situation.  I would have loved to acquire Alexei Ponikarovsky but the Penguins had to give up a top NHL-ready prospect to acquire Poni as a rental.  I don't think the Kings are in a position yet to trade an Oscar Moller-type player for a rental. 

If Modin can stay healthy, which is a huge question mark, than I think the Kings may have gotten the steal of the Deadline.  He's similar to Halpern in that he's a third-liner who can play in the top-6.  He's got a great shot which makes him an asset on the power play.  He's also a big-body that will add alot of size up front for the Kings.

IN CONCLUSION...
With the Kings top three lines pretty much set.  I was excited to see Halpern and Modin skate on the fourth-line with Moller.  Finally, Oscar has some linemates not named Ivanans or Segal.  I thought it would allow Moller to slide over to the wing and give him some more space to create offense.

Unfortunately, the Kings sent Moller down.  It looks like they want a little more toughness and are going to give Rich Clune a chance.  Not sure how I feel about that yet.

I would have liked to see the Kings acquire Kariya but if Williams can return before the playoffs start that answers the Kings needs for a top-6 forward.

I would have really liked to see the Kings add another depth defenseman but it appeared the asking price was too high for Dean.  I still don't trust Randy Jones.  And I don't think Sean O'Donnell should be playing the type of minutes he does.  But if Davis Drewiske can find his game after the long layoff; the Kings defense should be able to get by. 

Most importantly, the Kings added two character veterans with playoff experience.  The Kings were buyers for the first-time in a long-time.  And for that reason alone, Kings fans should be excited.

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