By Allan Muir
The Kings have established themselves as one of the toughest, stingiest teams in the league, but with just 12 goals in their last 10 games, they have a pretty clearly defined need heading into the March 5 trade deadline.
Prior to the Olympic break, it seemed as though they'd found a potential partner in the Oilers, a team that was willing to deal skilled center Sam Gagner for a package of young talent.
But a report out of Los Angeles suggests that the Kings' ardor for Gagner, a former first rounder, has cooled. "Things always have a way of changing, but it now appears doubtful that the Kings will resume their pursuit of Gagner," Lisa Dillman writes.
That may open a window for the Predators, who have also been rumored to have an interest in Gagner. Nashville is thought to be looking for a young, offensive-minded center and it has a surplus of what Edmonton needs: young, talented defenders. The name of 2009 first rounder Ryan Ellis has been mentioned, but while he has a proven chemistry with Oilers winger Taylor Hall from their Memorial Cup-winning days in Windsor of the OHL, Edmonton might be looking for a blueliner who is a bit more defensively responsible. Jonathan Ismael-Daiby might be intriguing to the Oilers as part of a package, as would defensive center Austin Watson.
As for L.A., Flames
center Mike Cammalleri may have become its top target.