Friday, June 12, 2009

Pronger to the Kings?

ducksWell, this was a pretty good rumour that I saw today and it might be for the wrong reasons. The Kings would be looking to acquire Chris Pronger from the Ducks for Jack Johnson and the 5th overall pick in the Entry Draft. This would be one hell of a blockbuster if it was actually dropped on the NHL world, as there is some pretty good skill to be picked up in the draft this year, especially from the five slot (see mock draft).

2008-2009 Statistics2010
To Los Angeles PosAgeGP/MINPointsCap Hit
Chris Pronger D 34 82 48 $6.25 million

2008-2009 Statistics2010
To AnaheimPosAgeGP/MINPointsCap Hit
Jack Johnson D 22 41 11 RFA
2009 1st Round Draft Pick (5th overall)

In Pronger, the Kings would absorb a large salary cap hit, which they could do well to afford and get themselves an All-Star defender to help out their club going forward. At 34 years old, Pronger still hasn't past his life expectancy in the NHL and should be able to help school the other young Kings defenders coming up the ranks. There are plenty of positives, when you look past his rough & tumble reputation.

For the Ducks, they would pick up the oft-injured Johnson, who hasn't fared well statistically in his first couple full seasons in the league. He has a significant amount of potential strapped to his name, but has yet to come close to fulfilling it. As a 3rd overall pick in 2005, he has already been traded once to the Kings from the Hurricanes and it wouldn't come as a terrible surprise to see him move again. Anaheim could be a good fit for him, especially if Scott Niedermayer is to remain with the team.

The real kicker in this deal is the fifth overall pick, which has all sorts of unlimited potential right now, two weeks before the draft is to actually happen. If anything, I would have picked the Kings to be big players in flipping the pick into something higher, so they could have a possible franchise player, like Matt Duchene or Victor Hedman.

The trade does have a little bit of merit in possibility, since Pronger is a highly valued player in the NHL. The Kings would have to think that he is worth a first rounder going forward to make this work, which I would think some teams would be thinking as well. The cap room is what makes this deal somewhat intriguing.

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