After their worst start to a regular season since the pre-Gretzky trade, the Los Angeles Kings made another move, this time in terms of player personnel.
The Kings announced that they sent Tanner Pearson to the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for forward Carl Hagelin.
Good bye Pearson
Pearson was part of the popular “That’s 70’s Line,” named due to each member of the line having a number in the 70s, who lined up along side Jeff Carter and Tyler Toffoli.
In his time with the Kings, Pearson tallied 69 goals and 75 assists totaling 144 points. His best year was the 2016-17 season, when he scored a career highs in goals (24) and points (44).
Pearson was also a key member of the 2014 Stanley Cup champion team and contributed 12 points in that cup run.
Hagelin, a native of Sweden, is a veteran who started his career with the New York Rangers.
His most recent successes, however, have been with the Penguins. The Swede was part of the Penguins back-to-back Stanley Cup championships during the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons.
General Manger Rob Blake’s willingness to deal a relatively young and popular player, in the search for more offense, shows just how bad the Kings have been.
Entering Tuesday night’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Kings were last on offense in the league, with a 2.06 goals per game average.
This trade may be a signal that players not signed to long term contracts may be on the way out as well if their production doesn’t begin to pick up.
The season isn’t over, but if the Kings don’t start playing better, expect Rob Blake to continue to make moves to try turn it around.