Why would the team trade in a talented right-footed defender who skates well, has legitimate offensive abilities, and is only 24 years old? And with an easily manageable salary cap on top of that?
Given that this team can use all the cap space they can take now, perhaps more importantly in this particular deal, opened the door to a much better version of that aforementioned coveted profile.
Traded Sean Dorsey On Saturday, the Kings traded their polarized defenseman to Arizona for a second-round pick in the 2024 NHL Draft. He’s one of four draft picks selected by the Wolves for next year, initially picked from Montreal’s Christian Dvorak. And while this pick doesn’t add to Capital’s meager draft of the 2023 draft next week — just five picks and no first-round picks — it does help fill a hole for 2024 where the Kings had none between the first and fourth rounds. .
This is really not the purpose of this agreement. It’s all about the money, specifically the kind associated with the cap. This is Brandt Clark.
Dorsey has always been a candidate for the exchange. It was always thought he would eventually head elsewhere, even with Sean Walker being sent to Philadelphia in that coverage-focused package with Cal Petersen assisting in re-signing Vladislav Gavrikov. The Kings didn’t just congregate on the right side of the defense. Organizationally speaking, they were crammed in like tin sardines.
This opens the door for Clark, a 20-year-old who made his NHL debut last fall, won a gold medal at the World Junior Championships and finished his year with a career-high 30 and 84 goals in the Ontario Hockey League. points in 43 games between the regular season and playoffs in his final junior season. Clark even got some ice time with Drew Doughty when the Kings were late in games and needed offense. He will have Dottie and Matt Roy in front of him on the right side, but it also allows him to get away from five-on-five and start working on the power play.
And if Clarke had a bad training camp and management decides he needs to do some warm-up work with the Ontario reign in the AHL, the Kings have Jordan Spence as someone who should also step in at their level. Spence, 22, has been slow to get the opportunity to run full time. He doesn’t have Clark’s phenomenal offensive team, but he’s had 87 points in 102 games with the Reign over the past two seasons.
Clark’s rise to prominence and the specter of making his first steps to becoming a major long-term part of their defense is what the fan base hopes for. The Kings named Mickey Anderson as such with their eight-year extension to the left shutout. Trading Dorsey — who scored nine goals and 38 points in 2022-23 — allows emerging reality Clark to be part of the bigger picture. We can see the process of that and how it is evolving or developing rapidly.
But Dorzy trading is also about positioning for the next big move. This seems to be more and more the case for Pierre-Luc Dubois. The grumbling that the Kings plan to deal with the Winnipeg Jets center has yet to be refuted or quelled. In fact, the opposite is true.
How close is Dorsey’s move to acquiring DuBois? As we know, kings have been challenged. Getting rid of Petersen’s contract with Walker helped general manager Rob Blake undo his mistake of giving Petersen a three-year, $15 million extension while keeping $2 million of Ivan Provorov’s contract as part of the deal. . Give Blake complete flexibility.
Durzi earns $2 million in real money this season, but his cap is only $1.7 million. Cap Friendly now has Los Angeles with over $9 million worth of available space. It’s still pretty tough when you consider that they have to find a goaltender to accompany Pheonix Copley and they have free agents locked in for signing, notably Gabriel Vilardi.
When you consider that Dubois has Los Angeles among the teams he’d be willing to jump on his bandwagon, but also looks to earn up to $9 million annually in a contract that needs to be negotiated, it’s still hard to see how the Kings can. Maybe fare. But that brings us to Vilardi, which is an RFA with full arbitration rights.
Velarde, 23, doesn’t have DuBois’ longest track record. He just completed his first campaign with 23 goals and 18 assists in 63 games. He made an impact in the playoff game against Edmonton when he returned from injury. The promise of a 2017 first-round selection is finally starting to materialize on a larger scale after years of postponing issues and the incredible development that came with it.
But even with his breakthrough, Velarde was sidelined for weeks at the end of the regular season, and the injury fault wasn’t something he could totally shake off. His size and talent are beyond doubt. Its availability may remain a question from time to time. Dubois offers his offensive questions about the ups and downs. He was also solid and productive, even though he wasn’t at the peak level of the first place.
Quinton Byfield could be of interest to the Jets, who are trying to get the best offer possible from a player who has been clear about his intentions to leave. But Blake has resisted severing ties with Byfield, certainly still hoping he can become the influential player the franchise needs for the long term. Something of value has to be included in DuBois’ trade, and that’s where Villardi comes in.
Blake has a second round selection from Arizona State. He caught the second pick this year, No. 54, and was the first pick since their first-round pick was sent to Columbus in place of Gavrikov and goaltender Jonas Korbesalo. More salaries have to be spent to make it work, but there are Victor Arvidsson ($4.25 million) and Alex Ivalo ($4 million) who could be transferred because they have no commercial protection. Trevor Moore ($4.2 million) is similarly priced, too, but has a 10-team no-trade clause on a five-year extension he signed last December.
Is Velarde done, one of those $4 million wingers selected in the second round? If the Kings are serious about acquiring Dubois, it’s something Jets general manager Kevin Sheffieldive should at least be open to, since he doesn’t have much influence here. That’s how Blake did it in terms of securing DuBois and running the network, albeit at a much lower cost than with Conor Hellbewick or Joss Sarros.
But that may be the view when it comes to allocating the rest of the money earmarked to many other areas. The mistake with Petersen — combined with the way Vegas won the Stanley Cup with a full team backing up Eden Hill — may leave Blake a bit hesitant about big spending for Hellbwick, who’s spent another year with his $6.1 million tally, but looks to find success. a step. In Andrei Vasilevskiy County for his next contract.
There are freelance goalkeepers, including their own in Korbesalo, who will obviously be looking for their best deals, but they’ll also get less than Vasilevskiy and Saros – who are under $5 million in salaries and would take a king’s ransom to get out. Nashville – Will order now and in the future. Dubois’s run is all about strengthening the center and protecting the position when Anze Kopitar slips to the bottom of the lineup or even on the day he hooks up his skates. (Kopitar is entering the final year of his contract, but has spoken with the club about extending the 35-year-old Kings’ career.)
The Kings have always been interested in Dubois, a powerful forward who seems bemused and sometimes frustrated by his physical attributes. They were keeping a close eye on him when he wanted to leave Columbus, but the Blue Jackets favored NHL talent over the best prospects and got Patrik Laine and Jack Roslovic. When he goes and is fully engaged, DuBois can be a beast. But what stuck with General Choice #3 was the question of when.
With their Durzi trade, they opened a door for Clark and could have opened the door for Dubois a little bit. It gives Dorzy a chance at being the most memorable player on a young Arizona blue line that Jacob Cicciron no longer owns. Nor could the masses of Kings rebuke more than Dorsey’s shortcomings or his.
The Kings may not have first-round picks on Wednesday in the draft, but they still look like a team ready to make some noise in Nashville. Heck, apparently they’re already working this weekend.
(Top photo by Sean Dorsey: Perry Nelson/USA Today)