Los Angeles Kings general manager Dean Lombardi insists he will not trade forward Dustin Brown, whose combination of skill and grit would make him attractive to many teams.
Brown doesn’t want to leave L.A. – and he reiterated that point by scoring a hat trick as the Kings beat the visiting Blackhawks 4-0 Saturday.
Before the game, Brown admitted feeling some trade deadline angst.
“I'm not going to say the thought is not there,” Brown said, according to the Los Angeles Times. “When people or media or whoever says something — 'Don't think about elephants.' What do you think about?
“At the same time, I just try to focus on what I need to do to play tomorrow night.”
The Kings made a big splash by dealing puck-rushing defenseman Jack Johnson and his big-time offensive potential to Columbus for goal-scoring center Jeff Carter.
Darryl Sutter installed Carter on right wing to give struggling center Mike Richards an offensive-minded playmate. The two worked together in Philadelphia, although usually on separate lines at even strength.
Richards is glad to have him.
“He's playing well right now,” Richards told the Times. “I've watched the last couple of his games. He had a hat trick against San Jose the other night. He had a little bit of injuries earlier in the year, but he's back right now and he's feeling healthy and excited to get started. He's a motivated kid coming in here and it'll be good.”
Johnson’s exit left pundits wondering if Lombardi would deal for defensive help. Slava Voynov, just back from the AHL, got first crack at teaming with Willie Mitchell.
But if Lombardi isn’t willing to move Brown, can he muster a trade package enough to land a difference maker?