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Down the Stretch

As the trade deadline approaches, Jesse Cohen looks back at past years' trades and how they have impacted the Kings

by Jesse Cohen @KingsMenPodcast / LAKings.com

The LA Kings played their 60th game against the Boston Bruins on Thursday night. With 22 games left on the schedule and the trading deadline less than a week away, the pressure to improve the team is on.

While the bulk of the roster is made up of players acquired through the draft and free agency (as discussed here), GM Dean Lombardi has never been hesitant to make a trade at the deadline. If the Kings are going to secure a playoff spot, they're going to need the kind of push they've made in past seasons.

Here's a breakdown of the moves that helped them in years past:

2009-10

Record after 60 games: 36-20-4

On March 3rd, the LA Kings acquired Jeff Halpern from the Tampa Bay Lightning and Freddy Modin from the Columbus Blue Jackets. Modin and Halpern combined for just seven points in the final stretch of the regular season and neither player returned to the Kings the following season.

Record in last 22 games: 10-7-5

This was the first playoff season in the Lombardi era. The Kings finished sixth in the Western Conference and lost to the Vancouver Canucks in the first round. Modin scored three goals and had one assist, while Jeff Halpern failed to register a point during the six game series.

Record after 82 games: 46-27-9

RESULT: First round

2010-11

Record after 60 games: 33-23-4

The Kings had been looking for a left winger and on Feb. 28th, they moved Colten Teubert, their first round pick (2011), and a conditional third round pick to Edmonton for four-time 20 goal scorer, Dustin Penner. Penner played the following two seasons in LA, scoring just 11 goals in his 117 regular season games.  

Record in last 22 games: 13-7-2

On March 26th, with only seven games left in the regular season, Anze Kopitar broke his ankle. While Penner registered a goal and an assist in the six games series against the Sharks, the loss of Kopitar was too much for the Kings to survive.

Record after 82 games: 46-30-6

RESULT: First round

2011-12

Record after 60 games: 27-21-12

The Kings had already made plenty of changes prior to the trade deadline in 2012. After the offseason acquisition of Mike Richards failed to produce the expected improvements in the standings, Head Coach Terry Murray was fired and replaced by Daryl Sutter. Four days before the trade deadline, the Kings traded Jack Johnson to the Columbus Blue Jackets for former Flyer, Jeff Carter. Carter scored six goals and had nine points in 16 games for the Kings during the 2011-12 season. He is currently ranked 17th in franchise goals, with 140 in 355 games and leads the 2016-17 Kings with 29 goals.

Record in last 22 games: 13-6-3

The Kings had the 29th ranked offense in 2011-12, scoring just 2.29 goals per game. That number leapt up to 2.85 during their historic playoff run. Carter scored eight goals, including three game winners, in their 20-game march to the Stanley Cup.

Record after 82 games: 40-27-15

RESULT: STANLEY CUP CHAMPIONS

2012-13 (Lockout shortened)

Record after 26 games: 14-10-2

The 2012-13 NHL season was cut almost in half by the lockout. The Kings made almost no changes to the roster that had won the Stanley Cup the previous season. However, an offseason injury to Willie Mitchell left the Kings defensive corps in flux. After being acquired from the Buffalo Sabres on April 1st, Robyn Regehr appeared in 12 games for the Kings, averaging over 21 minutes a night.

Record in last 22 games: 13-6-3

Regehr appeared in all 18 playoff games for the Kings and continued to average over 21 minutes a night. He played the bulk of his minutes with Drew Doughty.

Record after 48 games: 27-16-5

RESULT: Western Conference Finals

2013-14

Record after 60 games: 32-22-6

Despite returning with much of the same roster again, the Kings continued to struggle to score during the regular season. On March 5th, the Kings turned to their frequent collaborator, the Columbus Blue Jackets, and acquired Marian Gaborik. Gaborik racked up five goals and 16 points in 19 regular season games after his liberation from Ohio. The Kings re-signed him to a seven-year deal following the 2014 season.

Record in last 22 games: 14-6-2

Gaborik's 14 goals in 26 playoff games led the NHL as the Kings captured their 2nd Stanley Cup championship.

Watch all of Gaborik's 2014 LA Kings goals here.

Record after 82 games: 46-28-8

RESULT: STANLEY CUP CHAMPIONS

2014-15

Record after 60 games: 29-19-12

The 2014-15 season presented multiple challenges for the Kings. After an eight-game winning streak elevated them from fifth to third in the Pacific Division, the Kings acquired Andrej Sekera from the Carolina Hurricanes on February 25th. Sekera scored just one goal over 16 games with the Kings and signed with the Oilers in the offseason.

Record in last 22 games: 11-8-3

The Kings missed the playoffs. The less said about this, the better.

Record after 82 games: 40-27-15

2015-16

Record after 60 games: 36-20-4

The Kings didn't wait for the trade deadline to make their big splash in 2015-16; adding Milan Lucic in the offseason and Vincent Lecavalier and Luke Schenn on January 6th in a trade with the Flyers. The team continued to make personnel changes at the trade deadline, acquiring Kris Versteeg from the Carolina Hurricanes. Versteeg scored four goals in 14 regular season games. The Kings opted not to re-sign him in the offseason and he currently plays for the Calgary Flames.

Record in last 22 games: 12-8-2

Versteeg managed to score two points in the playoffs but was limited to less than ten minutes a game.

Record after 82 games: 48-28-6

RESULT: First round

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